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May 31, 2013

International and E.P. Taylor set for late October


Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Woodbine Race Course released its complete stakes schedule for 2013, with significant changes to major races.

As previously announced, the 154th Queen's Plate will go off on Sunday, July 7 with a $1 million purse. However, the Canadian International and E.P. Taylor Stakes both have $500,000 purse reductions with a later date on the calendar.

The Canadian International, 1 1/2 miles on the turf, and the 1 1/4-mile Taylor will each be held on Sunday, Oct. 27. The International will have a purse of $1 million and the Taylor will be worth $500,000.

Neither race is part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" program in which winners automatically gain a spot in a corresponding World Championships event.

"The later date allows every opportunity for runners coming out of major U.S. and European races to take advantage of Woodbine's turf course," said Steve Koch, WEG's Vice-President of thoroughbred Racing. "Those that run well here usually move on to other races besides the Breeders' Cup later in the year, such as Hong Kong or Japan."

The six-furlong Nearctic Stakes for turf sprinters, was reduced from $500,000 to $300,000 and will be run on Sunday, Oct. 13. It remains part of the "Win and You're In" program.

The $1 million Woodbine Mile, won last year by Wise Dan, will go off on Sunday, Sept. 15 along with the Northern Dancer Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on the grass. The Northern Dancer purse has been reduced from $500,000 to $300,000. The Woodbine Mile continues as a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" event.

"The Ricoh Woodbine Mile is a premier event in the thoroughbred racing world," said Koch. "Wise Dan obviously reinforces that distinction. We anticipate offering another brilliant field of world-class horses for the Mile, as well as the Northern Dancer, the Canadian and Ontario Derby that day."

A total of 107 stakes races, worth over $20.25 million, are scheduled.

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