Woodbine Racetrack

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Woodbine Racetrack
Woodbine Racetrack.png
Woodbine Racetrack logo
Location 555 Rexdale Boulevard
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M9W 5L2
Owned by Woodbine Entertainment Group
Date opened June 12, 1956
Course type Flat Thoroughbred/Harness
Notable races Canadian International Stakes (Grade I)
Queen's Plate (Grade I-C)
Breeders' Stakes (Grade I-C)
Woodbine Mile (Grade I)
E.P. Taylor Stakes (Grade I)
Nearctic Stakes (Grade I)
Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (Grade I)
Official website

Woodbine Racetrack is a Canadian race track for thoroughbred and standardbred racing at 555 Rexdale Blvd. in the city of Toronto, Ontario formerly in Etobicoke. It is the only horse racing track in North America which stages, or is capable of staging, thoroughbred and standardbred horse racing programs on the same day. However its sister track, Mohawk Raceway located in Campbellville, Ontario hosts most of the major standardbred races in the summer. It is owned by Woodbine Entertainment Group, formerly known as the Ontario Jockey Club.

The track was opened in 1956. It has been extensively remodelled since 1993, and since 1994 has three racecourses.


The current Woodbine carries the name originally used by a racetrack which operated in east Toronto, at Queen Street East and Kingston Road, from 1874 through 1993. (While the Old Woodbine Race Course was at the south end of Woodbine Avenue, the current Woodbine is nowhere near it.) On June 12, 1956 the name was transferred to the new racetrack which would be known as New Woodbine Racetrack until 1963 when the "New" was dropped from the name. The old track was converted to a combined thoroughbred and standardbred track known thereafter as Old Woodbine or, for most of the rest of its history, as Greenwood Raceway (during standardbred meets) and Greenwood Race Track (during thoroughbred meets). The two thoroughbred and two standardbred meets conducted at Greenwood were transferred to the new Woodbine in 1994, which was until then exclusively devoted to thoroughbred racing. On July 4, 2010 Queen Elizabeth II visited the Racetrack as part of her state visit to Canada, viewing the 151st running of The Queen’s Plate Stakes, as well as taking part in the presentation of trophies.

The track was the opening venue for the 1976 Summer Paralympics.

The Breeders' Cup was held at Woodbine in 1996. The Arlington Million was held at Woodbine in 1988.

The Woodbine facility is also home to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Physical attributes[edit]

The outermost E. P. Taylor turf course for thoroughbreds is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long with a chute allowing races of 1.125 miles (1.811 km) to be run around one turn. It is irregularly shaped, the clubhouse turn departing from the traditional North American oval, and the backstretch is from 2.5 feet (76 cm) to 3 feet (91 cm) higher than the homestretch. The Taylor turf course and the main dirt course at Belmont Park on New York's Long Island are the only mile-and-a-half layouts in North American thoroughbred racing. In 2016, Woodbine will contest up to 40 turf races running clockwise (right-hand turns) in what are being billed as "EuroTurf" races.[1]

Inside the Taylor course is the 1 mile (1.6 km) synthetic course for Thoroughbreds. As of 2016, the surface is Tapeta;[2] it was Polytrack between 2006 and 2015, and a natural dirt surface prior to that. Two chutes facilitate races at seven furlongs [.875 miles (1.408 km)] and at 1.25 miles (2.01 km).

Inside the Tapeta course is an oval Standardbred racecourse seven-eighths of a mile [.875 miles (1.408 km) in circumference, made of crushed limestone.

The ground floor of the stands houses a slot machine parlour. Some of the income from the slot machines is used to supplement the horserace purses.

Standardbred races[edit]

Woodbine has been a regular host for the Breeders Crown and will once again host the 2 and 3 year old events in 2009, but starting in 2010 all the Breeders Crown races will be held on the same night. The 2010 event will be at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. All the Breeders Crown races will be held at Woodbine in 2011.

Woodbine was also the host of the Can $1,500,000 North America Cup for 3-year old pacing colts and geldings from 1994–2006. That race along with the Elegant Image Stakes for 3-year old filly trotters and the Good Times Stakes for 3-year old colt and gelding trotters, have been moved to Woodbine's sister track, Mohawk Raceway.

Thoroughbred races[edit]

The record for most wins by a jockey on a single raceday at Woodbine is seven, set by Richard Grubb on May 16, 1967, and twice equaled by Sandy Hawley, first on May 22, 1972 and then again on October 10, 1974.

Major Stakes races for Thoroughbreds run annually at Woodbine include the:

Stakes races restricted to horses foaled in Canada[edit]

Stakes races restricted to horses foaled in Ontario[edit]

Ontario Sire Stakes[edit]

CTHS Yearling Sales Stakes[edit]

Grade I[edit]

Grade II[edit]

Grade III[edit]

Ungraded stakes[edit]

Overnight stakes[edit]

Discontinued races[edit]


  1. ^ "EuroTurf Series launches in Woodbine's Friday opener" (Press release). Toronto, ON: Woodbine Entertainment. 2016-06-07. Retrieved 2016-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Training begins on Woodbine's new Tapeta surface" (Press release). Toronto, ON: Woodbine Entertainment. 2016-03-18. Retrieved 2016-03-19. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°42′45.09″N 79°36′7.35″W / 43.7125250°N 79.6020417°W / 43.7125250; -79.6020417