Horse Tracks

One of the Biggest Championships in the Canadian Horse Racing Calendar is the Canadian Triple Crown

In Canada, one of the biggest events in the horse racing calendar is the Canadian Triple Crown. It is made up of a series of three thoroughbred horse races run every year. It's open to three-year-old horses that were foaled in Canada. The event first took place in 1959, and is very unique in that it shares the same distances as its American counterpart. However, there is a difference in that the races are contested on three different race surfaces. The three legs are made up as follows:

1st leg – The Queen's Plate

2nd leg – The Prince of Wales Stakes

3rd leg – Breeders Stakes

There is another characteristic that the Triple Crown shares with its American counterpart. All the races in both the American and Canadian series are open to geldings. This is different than races held in Europe which bar the racing of geldings in flat races. Since 2014, viewers of the TV station TSN have been able to watch all the races in the Canadian Triple Crown. There are a number of other Triple Crown Championships that take place around the world.

Winners of the Canadian Triple Crown

The Canadian Triple Crown was founded in 1959, and up until now there have been 7 horses that have won it. Five horses that won the three races before 1959 were also honored in the Hall of Fame in 2014. So it's now officially recognized as there being 12 winners of the Canadian Triple Crown. The winners are as follows:

1959 onwards

The three races that make up the Canadian Triple Crown

The Queen's Plate

The Queen's Plate is the oldest thoroughbred horse race that takes place in Canada and was founded in 1860. it's also the oldest continuously run race in North America. Run at a distance of 1¼ miles it is for a maximum of 17 three-year-old thoroughbred horses foaled in Canada. It is held every June or July at Woodbine Racetrack. Woodbine is in Toronto, Ontario. This first race in the Triple Crown was started in 1859 by the president of the Toronto Turf Club. The first ever race was held on June 27th, 1860 at the Carleton Racetrack, Toronto. The prize was 50 guineas and Queen Victoria made the award. When Queen Victoria passed away, the race was renamed the King's Plate, after her successor, Edward Vii and became the Queen's Plate once again when Elizabeth II took to the throne.

Prince of Wales Stakes

This annual Canadian thoroughbred horse race in held at Fort Erie Race Track, Ontario. Only three-year-old horses bred in Canada are allowed to take part and it's a race on dirt over a mile and three sixteenths. It became the second race in the Triple Crown in 1959.

Breeders' Stakes

This is the third race in the Triple Crown and is also held at the Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. The race is run on turf, over a distance of 1½ miles and is the longest race in the series.

Racetracks where the Triple Crown races are held

Woodbine Racetrack

This race track, located in the city of Toronto is where the first and last races are held for the Canadian Triple Crown. It's the only racetrack in North America that is able to stage both thoroughbred and standardbred horse racing programs on the same day. Owned by Woodbine Entertainment Group, it was first known as the Ontario Jockey Club. The track originally opened in 1956, and has undergone a number of remodels. A number of different annual horse racing events are held here, aside from the Queen's Place an the Breeders' Stakes. These include the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes, a turf mile-and-one-half Grade 1 stakes run in early fall as the final prep for the Canadian International or Breeders' Cup Turf. The Woodbine Mile, a Grade 1 thoroughbred turf stakes. The Canadian International, a Grade 1 thoroughbred turf stakes. And the EP Taylor Stakes, a Grade 1 thoroughbred turf race for fillies and mares. In the ground floor of the stands there is a slot machine parlor. A portion of the income from the slot machines supplements the horserace purses.

Fort Erie Racetrack

This horse racing facility is located in Fort Erie, Ontario and was built by the Fort Erie Jockey Club. Inaugurated in 1897, it was at one time owned by the Cella family. In 1952, it was sold to renowned Canadian horseman EP Taylor. Also the owner of Windfields Farm, one of the best for stallions, Taylor played an important role in developing the track and was responsible for creating the Canadian Triple Crown. The racetrack hit a low point in 2012, when it's closure was announced, following a decision to remove the slot machines from the track. Various events took place in that year and also in 2013, which enabled to track to stay open. And in 2014, its future was secured when a consortium led by American business Carl Paladino, Joel Castle and Joe Mosey purchased the racetrack.