The earliest horse race in Toronto to be recorded was way back in 1793 upon the sandy beaches of Toronto Island. Many tracks were built throughout the 1800s and into the 1900s and modern-day Toronto.
Toronto, Ontario is one of the biggest cities in Canada and a key place for sporting events in the country. Canada itself has a long history with horse racing and its events are big parts of the sporting calendar to this day.
Canadian horse racing offers two types of races for punters to enjoy. Flat racing where Thoroughbreds race the courses as well as harness racing where the Standardbreds pull carts with a driver around the track.
Flat racing is the most popular form of gambling out of the two with horse racing odds offered across all races in the calendar, across all venues.
Betting has helped elevate the sport further and further within Canada with the huge tax revenues paid and the big crowds it helps bring to the racetracks.
But where to go?
The Queens plate is one of the most important races in the country and is held at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. It is the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, starting at Woodbine, then going to the Prince of Wales Stakes in Fort Eire and finishing with the Breeders’ Stakes back at Woodbine.
Woodbine was opened in 1956 and has been remodelled a few times to remain one of the most desired racetracks for racing fans and punters in Canada. It remains the only venue outside of the United States to host the annual Breeders’ Cup World Championship, which it did back in 1996. This huge honour only highlighted further the quality of the venue and the size of the crowds which are drawn into the spectacles.
There are three separate racecourses at Woodbine: The Tapeta track, the E.P. Taylor Turf course and the Inner Turf course. Each of these are used for the major races in each category every year.
Included in the yearly calendar are the Major Stakes of aforementioned Queens Plate as well as the Woodbine Oaks, Norther Dancer Turf Stakes, Breeder’ Stakes, Woodbine Mile, Canadian International and the E.P. Taylor Stakes.
Some of these races are the most popular for gambling, with the Woodbine Mile for example being a feature for some of the world’s best 3-year-olds-and-up. It is a $1 million dollar classis which has been drawing the crowds since 1997 and takes place on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
The Woodbine Oaks takes place in August and is Canada’s premier event for fillies and is the first leg of the Canadian Triple Tiara series. With a $500,000 purse, it takes place on the Tapeta track. The flat race is one that draws the crowds regularly and Woodbine Racetrack offer a number of different experiences to add to your day such as a place on the Patio of Champions which offers unrivalled views of the course and landscape around.
The Woodbine Mohawk Park just a short trip west from the Woodbine Racetrack and is the host to the harness races which draw a smaller crowd these days, but that does not take away from the entertainment that can be had.
Regular Standardbred race events are hosted at Woodbine Mowhawk Park as much as four times a week. Every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday there are events running. With the regularity of events, the numbers of punters may not always be high, but the opportunities to experience top quality harness races is available to those ready to make the trip just outside Toronto city.
Benefits for all…
The financial incentives of the betting environment within the major races are what elevate the events and have made them fixtures in the sporting calendar of Toronto for years. Gambling and horse racing have gone hand in hand for centuries and the excitement of the bet for the punter elevates the experiences, at times without dependence on the results.
With a huge income from revenues of gambling operators, the sport itself is able to use this money to increase its appeal as well as the experience for the client. Being able to maintain and improve the facilities, while bringing the best horses to the races is key to long-term success.
Sports are a competitive market across the globe and horse racing is competing with far more accessible and popular sports for the general public. With this in mind it is important for race providers to work with the betting market and look to provide the best experience possible for people of age to enjoy.
Toronto is a city which loves it sport and full of people keen to find new experiences and enjoy different sports throughout the year. The calendar operates around the changing season and provides an exciting outdoor experience in the warmer months for all to enjoy.