Rocket Fuel
Ultimate 48 Sweepstakes
Please provide a valid email address.
Close

Blog

Woodbine Diaries, Day 3

Have I mentioned yet how beautiful Woodbine is? The track is clean and modern, and the racing has been a pleasure to watch.

My raceday started out with a journey to the paddock, which is right in front of the Woodbine grandstand. The paddock is populated by huge weeping willows, and the backdrop of the façade of the building provides an arresting scene.

Sat1 

My next stop was to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, located on the first floor of the track.

Sat2

red white blue Bar

Sat2a

I was especially taken with the sculpture of the immortal Northern Dancer right at the entrance. His influence on the Thoroughbred breed can’t be overstated, and he’s definitely the pride of Ontario racing – there’s even a Grade 1 stakes named after him that will be run on Sunday. 

Sat3

Once you go inside the Hall of Fame, there are countless pieces of memorabilia commemorating the great horses of Canada.

Sat4

The Countess Adios Trophy

Sat5

The saddle towel worn by 2001 Queen’s Plate winner Dancethruthedawn

I also loved the vintage advertisements adorning the columns in the Hall of Fame.

Sat6

red white blue Bar

Sat7

My favorite piece in the Canadian Hall of Fame was probably the George Hendrie Memorial Trophy from 1913. It was absolutely exquisite up close.

Sat8

My next stop was to check out the life-size sculpture of Northern Dancer overlooking the paddock. He truly is an omnipresent figure here.

Sat9

After I was done exploring, I was delighted to take in the racing on a beautiful afternoon. The action was great and I was getting the hang of betting here.

Sat10

red white blue Bar

Sat11

red white blue Bar

Sat12

red white blue Bar

Sat13

red white blue Bar

Sat14

Then I met up with a few friends of mine, Chris Heeley and Stephen Gersztoff, who are some of the biggest racing fans I know. These guys can be found at almost every major racing day across North America, and have made friends with pretty much everyone they meet.

Sat15

Keith McCalmont with Stephen and Chris

This was their first trip to Woodbine, too, but the second I met up with them they had already been invited to the winner’s circle by jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson and trainer John Charalambous (whom they had just met.)

Sat16

That’s one of the things I love most about horse racing. The stars of the sport are almost universally approachable and are happy to interact with all fans of the game. 

After hanging out with Chris and Stephen for a while, it was time for the Grade 2 Natalma Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. The race is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race, meaning that the race winner gets an all-expenses-paid trip to run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2). Fourteen fillies lined up to take their chance, and at the end of the race, Spring Venture took home top honors.

Sat17

red white blue Bar

Sat18

red white blue Bar

Sat19

After that, I enjoyed a few races until it was time for the Grade 2 Summer Stakes, another Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” test that would send the victor to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). This one went to I’m Boundtoscore, who came in at odds of 10-1. Good payout!

Sat20

That’s it for today, and I’ll have more tomorrow on Woodbine Mile (Can-G1) Day!

To read Penelope's Day 1 Woodbine Diary, click here.

For the Day 2 Woodbine Diary, click here.

Image Description

Penelope Miller

I'm Penelope Miller and I'm the Senior Manager of Digital Media for America's Best Racing. I've been involved with the Thoroughbred industry for most of my life and I want to make sure that the great sport of horse racing is enjoyed by people all over the nation. Please share your thoughts and ideas with me in the comments section below!

Image Description

Penelope Miller

I'm Penelope Miller and I'm the Senior Manager of Digital Media for America's Best Racing. I've been involved with the Thoroughbred industry for most of my life and I want to make sure that the great sport of horse racing is enjoyed by people all over the nation. Please share your thoughts and ideas with me in the comments section below!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Sponsors & Partners

  • FoxSports1
  • NBC Sports
  • Logo 6
  • Saratoga
  • Santa Anita
  • CBS Sports
  • Monmouth
  • Keeneland
  • Gulfstream Park
  • Del Mar
  • Belmont Park
  • Arlington Park
  • OwnerView