Woodbine Race Track
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Woodbine Racetrack, located in Toronto, Canada, is the vision of Edward Plunket "E.P." Taylor, who became director of the Ontario Jockey Club in 1947. Constructed on 780 acres in the Township of Etobicoke, the track first opened in 1956 with a one-mile dirt track and a seven-eighths of a mile turf course.
In 1994, Woodbine became the first North American track to hold Thoroughbred racing in the day and Standardbred racing at night. To do so, a new seven-eighths of a mile Harness track, a one-mile Thoroughbred dirt track and a 1 ½-mile turf course – named the E.P. Taylor Turf Course after the track's founder – were constructed.
Just two years later it became the first, and to date only, track outside of the United States to host the Breeders' Cup.
Woodbine is home to the Queen's Plate, North America's oldest continuously run stakes race and Canada's equivalent of the Kentucky Derby. The race name switches between "Queen's Plate" and "King's Plate" depending on the current ruling English monarch. The race celebrates its 156th running on July 5, 2015, and has seen in attendance Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip on multiple occasions.
Woodbine has provided a picturesque background to many of racing's elite, including breed-shaping sire Northern Dancer, who became the first Canadian-bred to win the Kentucky Derby, and of course the immortal Secretariat, who closed out his career with victory in the Canadian International Championship in 1973.
Currently, Woodbine still sports a one-mile main track, though the dirt has been switched out for synthetic Polytrack, its famed E.P. Taylor Turf Course, and the Standardbred track.
Woodbine boasts a seating capacity of 12,000, though the largest recorded attendance came to 42,243, and a parking capacity of 14,700. Admission and general parking are free, and there are several dining options available on track.