The drive to the Canadian Triple Crown will begin in August at Woodbine Racetrack.
Woodbine Entertainment announced Wednesday the $1-million King’s Plate, the opening leg of the Triple Crown, will be held Aug. 17 at Woodbine Racetrack. The 1 1/4-mile race is North America’s longest continuously run stakes race.
The 2023 race was the first under “The King’s Plate” name in more than 70 years after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022. Since its inception in 1860, The Plate has been named for the reigning British monarch.
Woodbine added a formal invitation to King Charles III to attend the ’24 event has been extended to Buckingham Palace.
“This year’s King’s Plate was a big success, delivering a record handle, sold-out crowd and really exciting racing,” said Woodbine chief executive officer Michael Copeland. “The third weekend in August has been a good spot for attracting a quality field on the track and an energetic crowd off the track.”
The “handle” is the amount of money placed on the race by bettors. Over $18.1 million was bet across all 13 races on the ’23 King’s Plate card.
Woodbine also announced a portion of its renowned E.P. Taylor turf course will be rebuilt. It has purchased new Kentucky bluegrass to install over a rebuilt five-furlong section of the backstretch, with plans to also include a new drainage system that could allow for a longer turf season.
The project won’t begin until 2025 and has no impact upon the ’24 season. Woodbine recently installed a covering over the inner turf course that could allow for turf racing to begin earlier next year.