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Feb 25, 2011

Queen's Plate leads over-stuffed Woodbine stakes schedule


Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - The 152nd running of the Queen's Plate highlights the 2011 Woodbine Racecourse stakes schedule. The $1 million race for three-year-olds is one of 102 stakes worth $22 million.

Woodbine's 2011 racing season, with 167 days, gets underway on Saturday, April 2 and runs through Sunday, December 4.

The 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate will be held on Sunday, June 26. It is the first leg in Canada's Triple Crown and North America's oldest continuously-run stakes race.

"We have moved the Queen's Plate back to its traditional June date after it was run in July in 2010," said Steve Lym, Woodbine's Director of Racing and Racing Secretary. "Once again, we have placed the (Woodbine) Oaks three weeks prior to the Plate. The decision to do so was extremely well-received last year. It also enables the connections of a filly that runs in the Oaks more time to prepare for the Plate, should they wish to compete in both events."

Sunday, October 16 will be Woodbine's richest day of racing with three major turf stakes to be run. The 1 1/2-mile $1.5 million Pattison Canadian International for older thoroughbreds will be joined by the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/4-miles and the six-furlong $500,000 Nearctic Stakes. All three will be conducted on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.

"Last year was our strongest one to date in terms of European and American horses competing at Woodbine," said Lym. "Their presence at Woodbine and their results on our highly-regarded turf course further reiterate how our races are regarded by the worldwide racing community."

The Canadian Triple Crown, which includes the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie, will conclude with the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes. The 1 1/2-mile grass race is set for Sunday, August 7.

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