Day At The Track

Steady numbers for Woodbine stakes events

10:24 AM 02 Apr 2016 NZDT
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The 2014 Pepsi North America Cup
The 2014 Pepsi North America Cup

Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today released updated lists of eligible harness racing horses to their impressive stakes program.

The March 15 stakes deadline featured sustaining payments for several events, including the Pepsi North America Cup, and nomination payments for many big events, including the Metro Pace and Canadian Pacing Derby.

The Pepsi North America Cup, Canada's richest harness race, has 53 horses remaining eligible following March's sustaining payment. Originally 58 three-year-old pacers were nominated to the $1 million event.

The $700,000 Canadian Trotting Classic, $400,000 Fan Hanover, $400,000 Elegantimage and $250,000 Goodtimes all had a sustaining payment due on March 15. Each event saw at least 88 per cent of their nominees make the first sustaining payment.

A total of 168 two-year-old pacers have been nominated to the Metro Pace. The $685,000 event is the richest race for two-year-olds and has been captured by many greats including Artsplace, Rocknroll Hanover, Somebeachsomewhere and Captaintreacherous.

The $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, Canada's oldest stakes race, has attracted 47 nominees. The list of older pacers nominated to the 'Derby' includes last year's champion and Canadian Horse of the Year State Treasurer, U.S Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit, 2015 Pepsi North America Cup champion Wakizashi Hanover and Breeders Crown champion Always B Miki.

Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred of all-time, is also nominated to the Canadian Pacing Derby. The winner of over $7.3 million has appeared in the 'Pacing Derby' five-times, including winning the event in 2012.

A group of 36 older trotters have been nominated to the $680,000 Maple Leaf Trot. Last year's winner Bee A Magician has once again been made eligible to the event and is one of four mares (D One, Mission Brief, Shake It Cerry) nominated.

A trio of WEG's signature events for two-year-olds all featured a close number of nominees. The $455,000 Shes A Great Lady for pacing fillies has 161 nominees, while the $370,000 William Wellwood for rookie trotters and the $410,000 Peaceful Way for trotting fillies attracted 162 and 164 nominees, respectively.

A full list of nominees and eligible horses for all WEG stakes events can be found by clicking here.

Below are the signature dates for the 2016 WEG racing season.

Saturday, June 18: Pepsi North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Goodtimes, Roses Are Red, Armbro Flight

Saturday, September 3: Metro Pace, Canadian Pacing Derby, Shes A Great Lady

Saturday, September 17: Canadian Trotting Classic, Maple Leaf Trot, Elegantimage, William Wellwood, Peaceful Way

Saturday, September 24: Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Championships

Saturday, October 15: Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals

Saturday, November 19: "Fall Four" Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamond, Goldsmith Maid (at Woodbine)

Mark McKelvie

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