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Woodbine sets ’24 stakes schedule, drops Canadian International

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Woodbine Entertainment unveiled the stakes schedule for the 2024 Thoroughbred racing season at Woodbine Racetrack.

The iconic King’s Plate headlines the 2024 racing meet with the 165th running scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17. The King’s Plate and the Woodbine Mile serve as Woodbine’s prestigious US$740,000 classics, Can$1 million, while the full stakes schedule consists of 38 graded stakes, including four Grade 1 events.

“It’s exciting to have the dates locked and start working towards our major events,” said Tim Lawson, vice president of Thoroughbred racing. “We are proud of our entire stakes program and really looking forward to what 2024 brings.”

The King’s Plate will launch the 2024 Canadian Triple Crown. The Prince of Wales, raced at Fort Erie, will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and the Breeders’ Stakes will conclude the Triple Crown on Sunday, Sept. 29 at Woodbine.

The Woodbine Mile leads a quartet of Grade 1 turf events on Sept. 14, accompanied by the E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1), Natalma Stakes (G1) and Summer Stakes (G2).

The Woodbine Mile, Natalma and Summer traditionally are part of the win-and-you’re-in Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. The E.P. Taylor Stakes has been moved up three weeks from its date in 2023 to join the turf showcase.

After review and consideration of industry and logistical challenges, the Canadian International Stakes, a Grade 1 last year for 3-year-olds at 1 1/14 miles on turf, will not be held in 2024.

The Woodbine Oaks will be held on Saturday, July 20. The Oaks is the first leg of the Canadian Triple Tiara, which is completed by the Bison City Stakes on Aug. 10 and the Wonder Where Stakes on Sept. 8.

Another important date is the Canada Day Racing Festival on Saturday, June 29, which features five graded stakes. The stakes-filled card includes the Highlander Stakes (G2), Nassau Stakes (G2), Dominion Day Stakes (G3), Selene Stakes (G3) and Marine Stakes (G3).

The 2024 Thoroughbred season at Woodbine Racetrack begins Saturday, April 27, and runs through Sunday, Dec. 15. A total of 129 race dates will be contested.

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