Horse racing is about to officially return to Woodbine

Wager on WoodbineTORONTO — Woodbine Entertainment made the announcement that it will resume live horse racing this weekend. [Opening day is June 6, 2020]

That means harness racing will resume Friday at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with thoroughbred racing beginning Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack.

Racing at both venues will go without spectators and only essential personnel. Each track has implemented strict health-and-safety protocols.

“The horse-racing industry supports tens of thousands of jobs throughout our province, making the return of live racing this weekend very meaningful for many people,” Jim Lawson, the CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, said in a statement…

News that Queen’s Plate will run on this Date

North America’s oldest continuously run horse race [the Queen’s Plate] was originally scheduled to take place on June 27 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The history of The Queen’s Plate is so rich and the fact that it’s been held every year since the inaugural race in 1860 is remarkable,” said Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson. “We are honoured to be able to continue this rich history in face of adversity by hosting the race for the 161st consecutive year.”

Handicapping Tip of the Day #52 – Prepare for the young ‘uns

It is clear to me that more attention should be paid to Biamonte’s two year old debut runners than other first timers.

by Art Parker

Almost all tracks are down. Racing is nearly at a standstill. By this time of year most horseplayers would be researching everything they could find about the Kentucky Derby.

For us that love horse racing the best part of life is the anticipation of normal days ahead, whenever they come. But what do we do until those days arrive? The answer: Prepare for the future, collect and analyze information.

The best horseplayers I have known do not show up at the track, buy past performances and go wager. The best ones spend a great deal of time preparing, and researching, away from the track. There is never enough information for the good horseplayer.

Delaware Park walking ring, horses. June 2013. Photo by Art Parker for AGameofskill.com

copyright Art Parker & AllStarPress.com

Let’s assume that we get back to normal sometime early or mid-summer. That just happens to be the time we start to see an increase in two year old races. In my opinion races for the freshman class is another world entirely. I’ve never played many two year old races and usually avoid them – unless I see something that gives me a clear advantage.

Those that possess credible information on breeding have something of an advantage when playing two year olds. Sires that produce young speed demons are far more likely to win freshman races than those produced by sires known for late maturity and plodders.

In my opinion the most important advantage in handicapping two year olds is knowledge of trainers. Let’s face it. Different trainers excel at different things. Some are masters at a first time layoff. Others are absolute killers when it comes to a first time claim. The same holds true when it comes to winning with two year olds.

What’s important is not the winning percentage of a certain trainer move, solely. What’s also important is how well that trainer succeeds when compared to other moves and how or what does he/she actually do when winning with a move.

A good case in point about two year trainers can be found at Woodbine. Over the last ten years or so Ralph Biamonte, always one of the more successful conditioners in Toronto, has some unique history with his freshmen debut runners. Overall, Biamonte’s debut winner’s account for about 10% of his total wins. The critical piece of information is that Biamonte’s two year debut winners outnumber all other debut winners about 4-1. It is clear to me that more attention should be paid to Biamonte’s two year old debut runners than other first timers.

So what is the tip off? What is the key to these specific runners winning?

Biamonte’s two year old debut winners have their last work from the gate 80% of the time and it is usually a “hot” work. The other noticeable trainer habit is that that last work comes almost always 6-7 days prior to race day.

Naturally there are other things to consider such as the rider. Eurico Da Silva has ridden about one-half of Biamonte’s winners with a long list of riders making up the other 50%. So if DaSilva is on board a two year old debut runner meeting this description my interest escalates.

It is not always possible to do all of the research you wish to, but it is important to do what you can. One little tidbit may reveal a huge probability of success that can bring you a much larger ROI and, if so, it is worth it.

What to do now? Research the past to unlock the future. By the time we are back to normal the babies will be running. If you are going to play them be prepared by researching thoroughly.

More Handicapping Tips from agameofskill.com

2019 Thoroughbred racing season at Woodbine

Woodbine via WO FB pageWoodbine Entertainment has unveiled its stakes schedule for the 2019 Thoroughbred racing season highlighted by the prestigious $1 million Queen’s Plate and the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile, which will kick off Woodbine’s championship fall turf season. The grand opening of Woodbine’s new inner turf course this spring will add a new level of excitement and competition to the mix.

Strengthened by the previously announced purse increases for 2019, the $16 million-plus stakes schedule consists of 95 stakes to be contested over the course of the 133-day meet, running from April 20 to December 15.

The 160th edition of the Queen’s Plate, the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing starring the finest Canadian-bred three-year-olds, will be contested on Saturday, June 29. Woodbine will also host the final Triple Crown leg, the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes, on Saturday, Aug. 17.

With an increased purse guaranteed at $1 million for the 2019 running of the Ricoh Woodbine Mile, the Grade 1 stakes event will mark the start of Woodbine’s championship turf season. One of three Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ events on the stakes calendar, the Ricoh Woodbine Mile is set for Saturday, Sept. 14 with a strong undercard including the $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (Grade 1).

Great Woodbine Stakes on Tap

The $250,000 Natalma Stakes and companion Summer Stakes, both Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races for two-year-olds, will follow a stakes-filled Ricoh Woodbine Mile day on Sunday, Sept. 15. With the highly anticipated opening of the inner turf course this year, Woodbine will offer a pair of new $100,000 stakes for two-year-olds on the September 15 undercard called the Ontario Racing Stakes and the Woodbine Cares Stakes for fillies, both to be run over the pristine green at five furlongs.

The $800,000 Pattison Canadian International (Grade 1), another premier race that annually attracts top international turf talent, will be contested at the height of the fall stakes season on Saturday, Oct. 12. The E.P. Taylor Stakes (Grade 1), with a purse increased to $600,000, is among the usual supporting features that day and will serve as the final leg of Woodbine’s new Ladies of the Lawn Series, which offers $75,000 in bonuses to the top performers based on points accumulated in the designated graded turf routes for fillies and mares. The series also includes the $175,000 Nassau Stakes (Grade 2), $175,000 Dance Smartly Stakes (Grade 2) and $250,000 Canadian Stakes (Grade 2).

The $500,000 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser will headline the track’s first signature race day of the meet on Saturday, June 8 as Canadian-bred three-year-old fillies begin their bid for the Triple Tiara. The Woodbine Oaks will be accompanied by the Plate Trial Stakes in addition to a 6-1/2-furlong stakes race to be held on the turf for three-year-old fillies, which will be named in 2019 in honour of the late William D. Graham, a long-time Woodbine Entertainment Director and Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame breeder who passed away in January.

Canadian Millions Night is another annual highlight of the season that will showcase the top Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Yearling Sales graduates over six stakes with a total of $750,000 in purses up for grabs on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

With the early season Jacques Cartier Stakes upgraded from Listed Status to Grade 3 by The Jockey Club of Canada’s Graded Stakes Committee, Woodbine’s stakes schedule includes a total of 41 graded stakes.

The Charlie Barley Stakes, Grade 3 Ontario Colleen, Eternal Search (formerly called the Victoriana), Vice Regent and Ontario Damsel will shift over from the E.P. Taylor Turf Course to the new inner turf course.

The Achievement Stakes has been retitled the Greenwood Stakes to celebrate the second annual trackside social affair hosted by The Social Concierge.

Woodbine’s popular Turf Endurance Series will return this year with $40,000 in bonuses available for the top performers competing in the four legs from July through October. New competitions this year include a Turf Sprint Series on the new inner course with qualifiers and semi-finals before culminating in a $75,000 final under the lights on Wednesday, Aug. 21. Woodbine will also present a $50,000 Early Bird Starter Handicap on Wednesday, May 29.

Woodbine will again be offering its Graded Stakes Bonus Program in 2019 with increased bonuses up to $75,000 for incoming graded stakes winners. Horses that have won a Grade 1 or Grade 2 stakes race in the current year will receive a $50,000 bonus for winning a Grade 2 stakes race at Woodbine and $75,000 for winning a Grade 1 stakes race at Woodbine.

To view the complete stakes lineup for Woodbine’s 2019 Thoroughbred racing season, visit Woodbine.com.

Incredible $5M Bonus Offered via Monmouth and Woodbine

Monmouth Park by Rich Nilsen

copyright 2016 AGameofSkill.com

Monmouth Park Racetrack and Woodbine Entertainment have partnered on an unprecedented $5-million bonus that will be the highlight of the Jersey Shore track’s handicapping contest schedule in 2018.

The bonus will be awarded to a player who finishes in the Top 10 of the $400 Monmouth/Woodbine handicapping contest on June 30, then wins the $250 Monmouth/Woodbine handicapping contest on October 13, then goes on to win the 2019 National Horseplayers Championship at the Treasure Island in Las Vegas.

“We pride ourselves on running the best handicapping contests in the country,” said Brian Skirka, Monmouth Park’s Marketing Manager and Contest Director. “That includes innovating new contest formats such as our Pick Your Prize Handicapping Challenge and bonuses such as this. A bonus of this magnitude is unprecedented and I thank the management of Woodbine Entertainment not only for their years of partnership with our contests but also for their partnership and support on this exciting bonus.”

The bonus’ first leg will be a $400 handicapping contest on Saturday, June 30 featuring races from Monmouth Park and Woodbine. Monmouth Park’s card that day will be anchored by the Grade 1, $300,000 United Nations, while the historic $1,000,000 Queen’s Plate highlights Woodbine’s biggest day.

Should a player finish in the Top 10 on June 30 and proceed to win Monmouth’s October 13 contest featuring races from Woodbine’s Pattison Canadian International Day, that player will head to the 2019 NHC alive for a $5 million bonus.

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“We are pleased to announce our continued partnership with Monmouth Park. The first of the dual series taking place on June 30 will give horse players the action of Woodbine’s 159th running of the Queen’s Plate,” said Alex Fanti, Woodbine Entertainment’s U.S. Marketing Manager. “Monmouth Park provides a great tournament atmosphere for fans to take part in, plus a multitude of other track offerings. With their commitment to innovation and their dedicated staff, we are confident they will create a memorable experience for those who attend.”

An innovative event in its own right, Monmouth Park’s $2,000 Pick Your Prize Handicapping Challenge will be back for its third year on Saturday, June 2. Registration is now open for one of the most lucrative contests in the country – with last year’s prizes consisting of 17 NHC seats, five Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge seats and over $65,000 in cash. Players can earn a spot by qualifying at www.horsetourneys.com or www.drf.com or can register by contacting Skirka at bskirka@monmouthpark.com.

In total, Monmouth Park will host 13 handicapping contests in 2018 – including the already-underway Simulcast Series Challenge. The Oceanport track will award approximately 43 seats to the 2019 NHC over the next eight months. In addition, eight players will win full entry into the 2018 BCBC.

For the complete 2018 Monmouth Park handicapping contest schedule, log-on to www.monmouthpark.com.

Monster-sized Jackpot Pool May Be Held September 16th

Press Release

Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) announced Tuesday that a mandatory payout for the Thoroughbred Jackpot Hi 5 is slated for Saturday, September 16, as part of a tremendous Ricoh Woodbine Mile card.

Following Woodbine’s Sunday, September 10 card, wagering on the Jackpot Hi 5 will be suspended on Wednesday, September 13 and Friday, September 15.

Wager on WoodbineThe Jackpot Hi 5, which currently boasts a carryover of $1,332,741.43, requires horseplayers to select the first five finishers in exact order on the last race of the programm.

The Jackpot proviso means that the entire pool pays out only when there is one winning ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order.

If there is not just one winning ticket, half of the wagering pool is carried over and offered on the next racing card. The other half is paid out in consolation payouts to those Jackpot Hi 5 tickets which have the correct order of finish. If there are no winners of the wager, the entire pool, minus takeout, carries over.

A lucrative mandatory payout amount is expected to create a stir among handicappers hoping to share in the pool.

On July 8, 2016, Dan’s Revenge, at 12-1, topped an impressive $118,565.85 payout on the Jackpot Hi 5, in a six furlong Tapeta sprint for sophomore claimers.

For fans and horseplayers wanting further details on WEG’s Jackpot Hi 5, including details, strategy and carryover info visit www.WoodbineEntertainment.com/JackpotHi5.

International Field Set for Woodbine on Sunday

Here is a video preview of the 2016 Pattison Canadian International contenders, including several runners from overseas.  The race is the 79th renewal and it is Sunday, October 16th at Woodbine Racetrack.

There is also a mandatory payout of the Super Hi-5 Jackpot, the last race of the day at Woodbine.  The pool begins with over a $400,000 carryover.

Who is your selection?   Comment below.

Mandatory Payout for the Jackpot Hi-5 – Sunday, Oct. 16 at Woodbine

Wager on WoodbineWoodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) announced that a mandatory payout for the Thoroughbred Jackpot Hi-5 is slated for Sunday, October 16, which is Patterson Canadian International day.

The final opportunity to wager on the Jackpot Hi-5 before the mandatory payout date will be Sunday, October 9.

The carryover will continue to build through that date, provided there is not a single winner. The wager will then be suspended for the Holiday Monday, October 10; Wednesday, October 12; Friday, October 14; and Saturday, October 15 cards of racing, allowing customers to prepare for the mandatory payout prize.

The Jackpot Hi 5, which currently boasts a carryover of $365,996.78 requires horseplayers to select the first five finishers in exact order on the last race of the programme. The Jackpot proviso means that the entire pool pays out only when there is one winning ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order.

On a card where there is not a mandatory Jackpot Hi-5 payout, and not just one winning ticket, half of the wagering pool is carried over and offered on the next racing card. The other half is paid out in consolation payouts to those Jackpot Hi 5 tickets which have the correct order of finish. If there are no winners of the wager, the entire pool, minus takeout, carries over.

The Jackpot Hi-5, which has not been won since August 6th, has become a popular part of the WEG wagering profile. The wager, which offers a 20-cent minimum and a takeout of 15%, debuted in 2013.

For fans and horseplayers wanting further information on WEG’s Jackpot Hi 5, including details, strategy and carryover info visit www.WoodbineEntertainment.com/JackpotHi5

 

AGOS Claimer of the Week: Woodbine 9yo

Wager on Woodbine An old gent wins in Toronto

Gentleman Jackson teased his competition and led almost every stride to win the opening race at Woodbine last Friday afternoon. Gentleman Jackson has been named the agameofskill.com Claimer of the Week. In the race for $10,000 claimers, the 9 year old stopped the timer at 1:23.51 for the 7 furlongs and was ridden by Alan Garcia. The son of Alert returned $4.90 to his backers as he collected the 14th victory of his career. The bay gelding is trained by Jim Ensom and owned by Lee, Mitchell and others. The grandson of Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled has finished in the money an impressive 32 times from 54 lifetime starts and has earned $362,000.

Want to learn more about handicapping the horses?  Check out our Tips of the Day

Controversy Around CEO entrusted to reinvent Canada’s largest track

Wager on Woodbine On an overcast Sunday at the Woodbine horse race track in northwest Toronto, a smattering of guests sit in the chipped blue folding seats. Gulls fight over chicken bones. Jets from the nearby airport rumble overhead.
On a screen near the entrance the “Events for today” are advertised: “Dennis Carelli’s stag. Happy 80th birthday, Joe Mitchell.… [Read more…]