Everything you need to know about the Queen's Plate

The Queen's Plate is the longest running race on the Canadian circuit and is considered one of the finest Canadian thoroughbred events to this day. Inaugurated in 1860, the race celebrated its 150th run in 2009. The Queen's Plate is held annually at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario, either in late June or early July.

Today Queen's Plate is the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown series, which is completed by the Prince of Wales Stakes and the Breeders' Stakes. The Triple Crown format was introduced to the Canadian thoroughbred racing circuit in 1959, almost a century after the Queen's Plate itself premiered on the track. Currently the race is conducted over distance of 1 ¼ miles; however, this has not always been the case.

The distance of the Queen's Plate has varied dramatically over the years. The original race was run over one mile and changed to two miles in 1868. Over the next ninety years the distance went from 1 ¾ miles to 1 ¼ miles to 1 1/8 miles - until it was finally settled back on 1 ¼ miles in 1957.

The Queen's Plate is open to three year old Canadian-bred thoroughbred race horses; the restriction of the race to thoroughbreds bred in Canada sets the series apart from its international counterparts. Most nations allow international contenders to enter their Triple Crown events. However, the privilege of competing for the purse of CAN$1 million is reserved for horses bred in Canada only.

Over the years the Queen's Plate has seen its fair share of historic horse racing moments. Recent benchmark events include the victory of Edenwold in 2006, earning trainer Josie Carroll the title of first woman trainer to win the Queen's Plate; and the 2007 victory of Mike Fox under Emma-Jayne Wilson, the first female jockey to win the event. Male record holders include jockeys Avelino Gomez, Sandy Hawley and Robin Platts, who won the Queen's Plate four times each and trainers Harry Giddings Jr. and Roger Attfield, who both trained eight Queen's Plate winners.

Recent Winners Of The Queen's Plate:

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Time
2010

Big Red Mike

Eurico Rosa Da Silva

Nick Gonzalez

2:04.89

2009

Eye Of The Leopard

Eurico Rosa Da Silva

Mark Frostad

2:03.84

2008

Not Bourbon

Jono Jones

Roger Attfield

2:03.59

2007

Mike Fox

Emma-Jayne Wilson

Ian Black

2:05.45

2006

Edenwold

Emile Ramsammy

Josie Carroll

2:05.30

2005

Wild Desert

Pat Valenzuela

Robert J. Frankel

2:07.37