Queen's Plate

Last updated
Queen's Plate
Restricted race
Norcliffe by Bob Demuyser.jpg
Norcliffe, painted by Bob Demuyser (1920-2003)
Location Woodbine Racetrack
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Race typeThoroughbred
Website Official website
Race information
Distance1 14 miles (10 furlongs)
Surface Tapeta
Qualification3-year-old Canadian-bred
Weight Colt/Gelding: 126 lbs (57.2 kg)
Filly: 121 lbs. (54.9 kg)
Purse CDN$1 million

The Queen's Plate (named the King's Plate from 1901 to 1952, when the reigning monarch was male) is Canada's oldest Thoroughbred horse race, having been founded in 1860. [1] It is also the oldest continuously run race in North America. [2] It is run at a distance of 1 14 miles for a maximum of 17 three-year-old Thoroughbred horses foaled in Canada. The race takes place each summer, in June or July, at Woodbine Racetrack, Etobicoke, Ontario, and is the first race in the Canadian Triple Crown.



In 1859, while Upper Canada was still a colony of Great Britain, the then-president of the Toronto Turf Club, Sir Casimir Gzowski, petitioned Queen Victoria to grant a plate for a new race in the territory. Upon royal assent, the first Queen's Plate was run on June 27, 1860, at the Carleton racetrack in Toronto, with the prize of "a plate to the value of 50 guineas". Despite the name of the race, the winning owner is presented with a gold cup rather than a plate. [3]

Originally, the race was restricted to three-year-olds bred in Upper Canada that had never won a stakes race. The race was originally run in heats, with a horse having to win two heats to be declared the winner. Over the years, the race conditions have evolved. Heat racing was discontinued in 1879, and the race was opened to stakes winners around the same time (some early records are incomplete). For many years, the race was open to older horses and in the early 1900s was even open to two-year-olds. The race is currently restricted to three-year-olds foaled in Canada. The owner must pay a nomination fee ($500 in 2018) in February, a second subscription fee ($1,500 in 2018) in May and a final entry fee ($10,000) in late June prior to the race. [4] [5] [6]

The first four renewals were run at Carleton racetrack. After that, the Queen's Plate became a "movable feast", with politicians from all over modern-day Ontario vying to host the race in their constituency. Fifteen different race tracks hosted the race over the next two decades, with distances varying from one to two miles. [4] In 1883, the race moved to Old Woodbine, located in eastern Toronto along Lake Ontario. The race continued to be held at Old Woodbine until that track was replaced by "New" Woodbine in northern Toronto in 1956. The race has been run at Woodbine ever since. In 2006, Woodbine changed the track surface for the main track from natural dirt to a synthetic surface known as Polytrack. In 2016, the surface was changed to Tapeta. Because of the change in racing surfaces, Woodbine maintains several sets of track and stakes records. The fastest time for the race since 1957, the year in which the race was set at its current length of 1 14 miles, is 2:01 4/5, set by Kinghaven Farms Izvestia in 1990 over a dirt surface. However, because the race is now run over an artificial dirt surface, the modern stakes record is 2:02.26, set by Wonder Gadot in 2018. [5] [7]

In 1902, the year after Victoria's death, the race became the King's Plate, after her successor, Edward VII. It became the Queen's Plate again when Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952. [8]

Horses owned by Windfields Farm have won the Queen's Plate eleven times, but the most successful was the stable owned by Joseph E. Seagram, a prominent distiller from Waterloo, Ontario. Seagram's stable won the Queen's Plate on twenty occasions between 1891 and 1935 including eight times in a row between 1891 and 1898, and ten times in eleven years from 1891 to 1901.

In 1964, Northern Dancer, the first Canadian-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby, also won the Queen's Plate in his final race. [9]

In 2006, Josie Carroll became the first woman trainer to win the Queen's Plate. The following year, Emma-Jayne Wilson became the first female jockey to win the race.

The 2004-2013 Plate winners had little success in their subsequent racing careers. This compares unfavourably to the 1990s when a number of Plate winners had considerable success thereafter, including With Approval, Izvestia, Dance Smartly and Awesome Again. The more recent Queen's Plate winners have also been successful, including Lexie Lou (who became a multiple graded stakes winner in Canada and the US after winning the Plate in 2014) and Shaman Ghost (a Grade I winner in America after winning the Plate in 2015). [10]

Nick Eaves, former President and CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group, announced during the 2012 Queen's Plate post position draw that Woodbine Racetrack may be forced to close in April 2013 due to the cancellation of Slots at Racetrack program partnerships between Ontario's racetracks and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Eaves said that if Woodbine is not open, "there won't be a Queen's Plate." [11] A new funding agreement was put in place in March 2013, which ensured the continuation of horse racing at Woodbine.

37 fillies have won the Queen's Plate, beginning with Brunette in 1864. The 2017 running was won by filly Holy Helena, while the 2018 running was won by Wonder Gadot. [12] Two chestnut fillies both by the name of Wild Rose have won the Queen's Plate, in 1867 and 1886. They were the daughter and great-great-grand-daughter respectively of Yellow Rose, who also produced the first Queen's Plate winner Don Juan. [4]

The race has been held at a variety of distances: [5]

Royal patronage

Queen Elizabeth attends the 2010 Queen's Plate Queen Elizabeth at the Queen's Plate.jpg
Queen Elizabeth attends the 2010 Queen's Plate

As Queen of Canada, Queen Elizabeth II is patron of the event, and various other members of the Canadian Royal Family have been in attendance through the years, beginning with the Duke of Argyll and his wife, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, in 1881, when the Duke was serving as Governor General of Canada and the couple was touring Ontario. [13] Elizabeth II's most recent visit to the race was in early July 2010. [14]


Stakes Record

Winningest Jockeys:

Winningest Trainers:

Winningest Owners:


2019 One Bad Boy Flavien Prat Richard Baltas Sayjay Racing 2:02.98
2018 Wonder Gadot John R. Velazquez Mark E. Casse Gary Barber 2:02.26
2017Holy Helena † Luis Contreras James A. Jerkens Stronach Stables 2:02.87
2016Sir Dudley Digges Julien Leparoux Michael J. Maker Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey 2:04.09
2015 Shaman Ghost Rafael Manuel Hernandez Brian A. Lynch Stronach Stables 2:03.45
2014 Lexie Lou Patrick Husbands Mark E. Casse Gary Barber 2:03:94
2013Midnight Aria Jesse M. Campbell Nicholas Gonzalez Tucci Stables 2:04.72
2012Strait of Dover Justin Stein Danny Vella Canyon Farms 2:01.99
2011Inglorious † Luis Contreras Josie Carroll Donver Stable 2:02.63
2010 Big Red Mike Eurico Rosa da Silva Nick Gonzalez Terra Racing Stable 2:04.89
2009 Eye of the Leopard Eurico Rosa da Silva Mark Frostad Sam-Son Farm 2:03.84
2008 Not Bourbon Jono Jones Roger Attfield Charles E. Fipke 2:03.59
2007 Mike Fox Emma-Jayne Wilson Ian Black D. Morgan Firestone 2:05.45
2006Edenwold Emile Ramsammy Josie Carroll Jim & Alice Sapara2:05.30
2005 Wild Desert Pat Valenzuela Robert J. Frankel Daniel Borislow & Partners2:07.37
2004Niigon Robert Landry Eric Coatrieux Chiefswood Stable2:04.72
2003 Wando Patrick Husbands Michael Keogh Gus Schickedanz 2:02.48
2002T J's Lucky Moon Steve Bahen Vito Armata Molinaro Stable 2:06.88
2001 Dancethruthedawn Gary Boulanger Mark Frostad Sam-Son Farm 2:03.78
2000 Scatter the Gold Todd Kabel Mark Frostad Sam-Son Farm 2:05.53
1999Woodcarver Mickey Walls Michael Keogh Gus Schickedanz 2:03.13
1998 Archers Bay Kent Desormeaux Todd Pletcher Melnyk & Bristow 2:02.10
1997 Awesome Again Mike E. Smith David Hofmans Frank Stronach 2:04.20
1996Victor Cooley Emile Ramsammy Mark Frostad Windways Farm2:03.80
1995 Regal Discovery Todd Kabel Roger Attfield No. 1 Stable2:03.80
1994 Basqueian Jack Lauzon Daniel J. Vella Frank Stronach 2:03.40
1993 Peteski Craig Perret Roger Attfield Earle I. Mack 2:04.20
1992 Alydeed Craig Perret Roger Attfield Kinghaven Farms 2:04.60
1991 Dance Smartly Pat Day Jim Day Sam-Son Farm 2:03.40
1990 Izvestia Don Seymour Roger Attfield Kinghaven Farms 2:01.80
1989 With Approval Don Seymour Roger Attfield Kinghaven Farms 2:03.00
1988 Regal Intention Jack Lauzon Jim Day Sam-Son Farm 2:06.20
1987Market Control Ken Skinner Roger Attfield Kinghaven Farms 2:03.60
1986 Golden Choice Vincent Bracciale Jr. Michael Tammaro Dick Sanderson2:07.20
1985 La Lorgnette David Clark Macdonald Benson Windfields Farm 2:04.60
1984 Key to the Moon Robin Platts Gil Rowntree B. K. Y. Stable 2:03.80
1983Bompago Larry Attard John Cardella Carl Cardella & Partners2:04.20
1982 Son of Briartic Paul Souter Jerry G. Lavigne Paddockhurst Stable 2:04.60
1981 Fiddle Dancer Boy David Clark James C. Bentley John B. W. Carmichael 2:04.80
1980Driving Home William Parsons Glenn Mangusson CFCW Racing Stable 2:04.20
1979 Steady Growth Brian Swatuk John J. Tammaro Jr. Kinghaven Farms 2:06.60
1978 Regal Embrace Sandy Hawley Macdonald Benson Windfields Farm 2:02.00
1977Sound Reason Robin Platts Gil Rowntree Stafford Farms 2:06.60
1976 Norcliffe Jeffrey Fell Roger Attfield Norcliffe Stable 2:05.00
1975 L'Enjoleur Sandy Hawley Yonnie Starr J. Louis Lévesque 2:02.60
1974Amber Herod Robin Platts Gil Rowntree Stafford Farms 2:09.20
1973 Royal Chocolate Ted Colangelo Gil Rowntree Stafford Farms 2:08.20
1972Victoria Song Robin Platts Larry Grant Green Hills Farm2:03.20
1971 Kennedy Road Sandy Hawley James C. Bentley Helen G. Stollery 2:03.00
1970Almoner Sandy Hawley Jerry G. Lavigne Parkview Stable 2:04.80
1969 Jumpin Joseph Avelino Gomez Robert S. Bateman Warren Beasely 2:04.20
1968 Merger Wayne Harris Roy Johnson Golden West Farms 2:05.20
1967 Jammed Lovely Jim Fitzsimmons Yonnie Starr Conn Smythe 2:03.00
1966 Titled Hero Avelino Gomez Patrick MacMurchy Peter K. Marshall 2:03.60
1965Whistling Sea Tak Inouye Roy Johnson Olivier Ranches2:03.80
1964 Northern Dancer Bill Hartack Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 2:02.20
1963 Canebora Manuel Ycaza Gordon J. McCann Windfields Farm 2:04.00
1962 Flaming Page Jim Fitzsimmons Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 2:04.60
1961 Blue Light Hugo Dittfach Patrick MacMurchy Col. K. R. Marshall 2:05.00
1960 Victoria Park Avelino Gomez Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 2:02.00
1959 New Providence Bobby Ussery Gordon J. McCann Windfields Farm 2:04.80
1958Caledon Beau Al Coy Yonnie Starr Conn Smythe 2:04.20
1957 Lyford Cay Avelino Gomez Gordon J. McCann E. P. Taylor 2:02.60
1956 Canadian Champ David Stevenson John Passero William R. Beasley 1:55.00
1955 Ace Marine George Walker Yonnie Starr Larkin Maloney 1:52.40
1954Collisteo Chris Rogers Richard Townrow Bur-Fit Stable1:52.00
1953 Canadiana Eddie Arcaro Gordon J. McCann E. P. Taylor 1:52.20
1952 Epigram Gil Robillard Stanley V. Bowden Three V's Stable1:58.60
1951Major Factor Alf Bavington Gordon J. McCann E. P. Taylor 1:53.00
1950McGill Chris Rogers Pete Keiser Vincent J. Sheridan 1:52.40
1949Epic Chris Rogers Bert Alexandra E. P. Taylor 1:52.20
1948Last Mark Howard R. Bailey Jim G. Fair Jim G. Fair 1:52.00
1947Moldy Colin McDonald Arthur Brent Parkwood Stable 1:54.20
1946 Kingarvie Johnny Dewhurst Arthur Brent Parkwood Stable 1:55.60
1945 Uttermost Robert B. Watson Cecil Howard Harry C. Hatch 1:53.80
1944Acara Robert B. Watson Cecil Howard Harry C. Hatch 1:54.80
1943Paolita † Pat Remillard William Thurner Charles H. Hemstead 2:02.60
1942Ten to Ace Charles W. Smith Harry Giddings Jr. Harry Giddings Jr. 1:57.80
1941 Budpath Robert B. Watson Loyd Gentry Sr. Harry C. Hatch 1:56.80
1940 Willie the Kid Ronnie Nash Gordon J. McCann Mildred A. Kane 1:55.80
1939 Archworth Sydney Denny Birley Mark Cowell C. George McCullagh 1:54.40
1938 Bunty Lawless John W. Bailey Jack Anderson Willie F. Morrissey 1:54.40
1937Goldlure Stirling Young William H. Bringloe Harry C. Hatch 1:55.40
1936Monsweep Danny Brammer William H. Bringloe Harry C. Hatch 1:55.00
1935Sally Fuller † Herb Lindberg Johnny Thorpe Seagram Stables 1:55.40
1934 Horometer Frankie Mann Harry Giddings Jr. Col. Samuel McLaughlin 1:54.20
1933King O'Connor Eddie Legere William H. Bringloe Seagram Stables 1:56.40
1932 Queensway Frankie Mann Harry Giddings Jr. Robert W. R. Cowie 1:55.20
1931Froth Blower Frankie Mann Harry Giddings Jr. Robert W. R. Cowie 1:59.20
1930 Aymond Henry Little Jack Hutton Ryland H. New 1:57.20
1929 Shorelint J. D. Mooney Fred H. Schelke Thorncliffe Stable 1:57.60
1928Young Kitty † Lester Pichon William H. Bringloe Seagram Stables 1:57.00
1927Troutlet † Francis Horn John Nixon Ryland H. New 1:55.80
1926Haplite Henry Erickson William H. Bringloe Seagram Stables 1:59.60
1925Fairbank † Chick Lang Jack Givens James C. Fletcher 1:56.40
1924Maternal Pride George Walls William G. Wilson Hugh S. Wilson 1:57.60
1923Flowerful Terry Wilson William H. Bringloe Seagram Stables 2:11.00
1922South Shore † Kenny Parrington Fred H. Schelke Thorncliffe Stable 2:12.00
1921Herendesy James H. Butwell George Walker Brookdale Stable 2:10.00
1920St. Paul Roxy Romanelli Harry Giddings Jr. Harry Giddings Sr. 2:09.00
1919Ladder of Light † Lawrence Lyke Joseph H. Doane George W. Beardmore 2:09.40
1918Springside Lee Mink Ed Whyte George M. Hendrie 2:08.80
1917 Belle Mahone Frank Robinson Barry Littlefield Joseph E. Seagram 2:08.80
1916Mandarin Arthur Pickens Barry Littlefield Joseph E. Seagram 2:12.00
1915Tartarean Harry Watts John Nixon Charles Millar 2:09.20
1914Beehive Guy Burns Harry Giddings Jr. Harry Giddings Sr. 2:10.60
1913Hearts of Oak Johnny Wilson Harry Giddings Jr. Harry Giddings Sr. 2:09.20
1912Heresy Robert Small John Nixon Brookdale Stable 2:11.00
1911 St. Bass Eddie Dugan Harry Giddings Jr. Harry Giddings Sr. 2:08.80
1910Parmer Johnny Wilson John Nixon Valley Farm Stable 2:12.40
1909Shimonese † Clifford Gilbert John Nixon Valley Farm Stable 2:10.40
1908Seismic Charles Fairbrother Barry Littlefield Joseph E. Seagram 2:11.00
1907Kelvin James Foley Charles Phair T. Ambrose Woods 2:12.60
1906Slaughter John K. Treubel Barry Littlefield Joseph E. Seagram 2:11.60
1905 Inferno H. Kelly Phillips Barry Littlefield Joseph E. Seagram 2:12.00
1904Sapper Jimmy Walsh John Dyment Jr. Nathaniel Dyment 2:12.00
1903Thessalon Quintin Castro John Dyment Jr. Nathaniel Dyment 2:15.50
1902Lyddite † Sam Wainwright Ed Whyte William Hendrie 2:15.00
1901John Ruskin Harry Vititoe Harry Blair Joseph E. Seagram 2:18.75
1900Dalmoor Harry Lewis Harry Blair Joseph E. Seagram 2:14.00
1899Butter Scotch † R. J. Mason Eddie Whyte William Hendrie 2:15.50
1898Bon Ino † Tiny Williams Charles Boyle Joseph E. Seagram 2:15.50
1897Ferdinand Harry Lewis Charles Boyle Joseph E. Seagram 2:13.00
1896Millbrook Harry Lewis John R. Walker Joseph E. Seagram 2:19.00
1895Bonniefield Alf Brooker John R. Walker Joseph E. Seagram 2:17.50
1894Joe Miller Frank Regan John R. Walker Joseph E. Seagram 2:28.50
1893Martello Harry Blaylock John R. Walker Joseph E. Seagram 2:14.00
1892O'Donohue F. Horton John R. Walker Joseph E. Seagram 2:22.00
1891Victorious Michael Gorman John R. Walker Joseph E. Seagram 2:14.50
1890Kitestring † Fred Coleman Daniel Curtin Thomas D. Hodgens 2:22.00
1889Colonist Richard O'Leary Richard O'Leary J. D. Matheson2:16.00
1888Harry Cooper Richard O'Leary Richard O'Leary J. D. Matheson2:18.50
1887Bonnie Duke Charlie Wise William E. Owen Robert Bond 2:19.00
1886Wild Rose † Charles Butler Charles Butler David Watson Campbell 2:48.25
1885Willie W. William Jamieson Erastus Burgess Erastus Burgess 2:58.00
1884Williams A. Martin A. Martin John Halligan 2:50.75
1883Roddy Pringle Jacob Smith Charles Boyle Charles Boyle 2:52.50
1882Fanny Wiser † Allie Gates W.E. Owen Arthur Abingdon Stable 2:51.00
1881Vice Chancellor Mr. Brown Erastus Burgess John White 2:53.00
1880Bonnie Bird † Richard O'Leary Erastus Burgess John Forbes 2:47.00
1879Moss Rose † Allie Gates Jonathan Scott John White 2:54.50
1878King George Allie Gates Richard O'Leary Col. John Peters 2:49.50
1877Amelia † Charles Phair Jonathan Scott John White 2:56.50
1876Norah P. † Mr. Cook Daniel Curtin Col. John Peters 2:52.00
1875Young TrumpeterUnknown Daniel Schoff R. Ellison & C. Horton 2:52.50
1874The Swallow † John Hazard William H. Hannon Dr. Robert Thompson 2:51.75
1873Mignonette †Unknown Jacob Smith Roddy Pringle 2:57.00
1872Fearnaught Richard O'Leary Richard O'Leary Alex Simpson 2:54.50
1871Floss † James Lee Robert T. Davies Robert T. Davies 3:21.00
1870John Bell John Bennett Charlie N. Gates Charlie N. Gates 3:54.50
1869Bay Jack Abe Robinson Jr. James Berry Edward S. Bilton 3:50.00
1868Nettie † Archie Fisher Jonathan Scott James & John White 3:55.00
1867Wild Rose † Alex McLaughlin Mr. Fagan James & John White 1:50.50
1866Beacon Johnny Gagen Johnny Gagen Peter D. McKellar 1:54.00
1865Lady Norfolk †Unknown John Sheppard John Sheppard Ukn
1864Brunette †Unknown Dr. George D. Morton Dr. George D. Morton 2:00.00
1863Touchstone William Small James White James & John White 1:59.00
1862Palermo Charles S. Littlefield Sr. Charles Boyle George C. Chalmers 2:03.00
1861Wild Irishman Ben Alcott George Cameron [15] George Henderson 2:00.00
1860Don Juan Charles S. Littlefield Sr. James White James White 1:58.00

† indicates a filly

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