While the American Triple Crown may be the more well-known series of races, the Canadian Triple Crown is an important and heavily-followed event series in its own right.
The three-race series shares the same distance in each of the events as the American Triple Crown, but the races are unique in that each is run on a different race surface.
The first leg, the Queen’s Plate, takes place at the end of June or beginning of July at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario.
This is followed later in July by the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Racetrack in Fort Erie, Ontario. The final race in the series is the Breeders’ Stakes in August, and it is run on the E.P. Taylor Course back at Woodbine.
There are three ways that people can place a bet on the Canadian Triple Crown:
In the USA, and many other regions across the globe, online betting is ideal for anyone seeking the latest odds, and a variety of jackpots that could change lives. Online betting sites always operate with quality control in mind, aiming to ensure that users can navigate with ease and place bets within a matter of moments.
Odds are also instantly accessible, as are the special offers that are open to new users. By clicking on banners or links on any trusted third-party sites, users can redeem them instantly upon signup. In nearly all cases, the offer will be either one of two bonus types. The first is a ‘free bet’, where only the winnings (if any) are received by the bettor. Alternatively, the offer may be a ‘matched bet bonus’, which returns both the stake and any winnings, but may come with the requirement to wager the bonus amount a set number of times before winnings can be obtained.
Those that attend Canadian Triple Crown events, and want to use a more traditional means to wagering, can utilize the services of a teller. Calculations for potential payouts are done straightaway and, in a public area where details on a mobile betting app or site could potentially be intercepted, many bettors prefer this method.
OTB parlors can be found all across the country. Furthermore, in states where it is legal to bet on horse races, there is every chance that the number of OTB parlors being built will increase over the coming years, especially as mobile betting grows across the US.
New Jersey has always been a pioneer for legalized betting, and as of 2019, has five popular OTB parlors:
These are the OTB locations for class-specific horse race simulcasting and wagering in Pennsylvania.
The Mountaineer Casino Racetrack also hosts the West Virginia Derby.
More information on Indiana’s betting laws can be found at this page.
The three horse racing sites listed below are among the most popular across the USA. All of them offer a smooth, seamless online betting interface, with simulcasting of live races across the globe. There are also expert insights available, alongside daily prizes and jackpots that can change lives.
Betting shops are commonplace in the UK, and can be found on just about any street and in shopping centers across the country. However, online betting remains the number one way for British and Irish residents to place bets.
bet365: Very popular in most English-speaking countries, bet365 offers highly competitive odds for races taking place at more than 200 venues across multiple continents. Live streams of races taking place at British and Irish courses can also be viewed by those that wager a certain amount.
Betway: Gaining over 2m customers since its 2006 launch, Betway is known for its attractive bonus offers, which are available exclusively to new registrants. One of its biggest USPs is the HorseFinder tool, which is a vital part of the betting experience for any Betway user.
The Canadian Triple Crown, like the American Triple Crown, is contested by three-year old horses. This means that the horses have just one shot at winning the races, and that there are no repeat winner shots in the paddock.
One of the horses that showed well as a two-year old is Keep On Truckin’, who blazed to an 11 ¾-length win on his debut at Woodbine. He backed this up with another couple of big wins, and he will be one of the favorites when Canadian Triple Crown time comes around in his three-year old season.
Keep On Truckin’ is certainly worth keeping an eye on, but there are other horses that have shown well at times as two-year olds. Meyer finished second behind Keep on Truckin’ at the 2019 Clarendon Stakes, and will expect to push on as a three-year old.
The same goes for both Gelato Amore and Forester’s Fortune. Decorated Invader is another horse to keep an eye on after a big win at the 2019 Summer Stakes at Woodbine, as is Cadet Connelly, who showed well in that race before finishing in second place.
The Canadian Triple Crown was established in 1959 and there have been seven winners of said accolade since that date. Though there were five more horses who won all three races before the series was established, the first official winner was New Providence in 1959.
The horse earned just under $130,000 for his career and retired to stud where he sired European Champion horse Storm Bird.
Canebora was the next horse to win the Canadian Triple Crown in 1963.
There was then a long break between winners before four came in the space of five years. Those horses were With Approval (1989), Izvestia (1990), Dance Smartly (1991), and Peteski (1993). Dance Smartly is perhaps the most famous of these horses, going undefeated in 1991, and becoming the first Canadian-bred horse to win a Breeders’ Cup race.
There has been just one Canadian Triple Crown winner this century, with Wando completing the three-race series on top in 2003. Wando had moderate success as a four-year old before being retired to stud in Kentucky.
The Queen’s Stakes record is held by Izvestia, who ran it in 2:01.80 back in 1990. That is slightly faster than Straight of Dover, who did it in 2:01.99 in 2012.
1994 saw Bruce’s Mill run the Prince of Wales Stakes in 1:53.80, a year after Peteski had set the record at 1:54.40.
For the Breeders’ Stakes, the existing record is held by Charlie’s Dewan, who went around the track in a time of 2:26.40 nearly 25 years ago, in 1995.
The first part of the qualification process is to have a three-year old horse, as that is the only age at which a horse can compete in the Canadian Triple Crown races. The other basic rule is that the horse must have been bred in Canada, and this is a major difference from the American Triple Crown, where Canadian-bred horses are eligible to run in the US version of the event.
After that it is simply a case of getting attention for the horse. This is done by racing in, and ideally winning, as many races as possible as a two-year old – specifically races that are contested on the Canadian Triple Crown race courses. The event is late enough in the year so that horses which start showing well as a three-year old can still get involved, but that early pedigree makes a big difference nonetheless.
The three events are run over the same distances as the American Triple Crown and in the same order of distance too. The Queen’s Plate, which is the first of the two races run at Woodbine, is over 1.25 miles. The Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie is run over 1 and 3/16ths of a mile, while the Breeders’ Stakes is the longest race in the series – and the longest race many of these horses will ever run – at 1.5 miles.
The main difference between the two Triple Crowns – and what should make this a more difficult series to win – is that all three races are contested on different surfaces. The Queen’s Plate is run on a Tapeta surface, which is a type of synthetic turf. The Prince of Wales Stakes is run on a traditional dirt track, while the Breeder’s Stakes is run on a different track, at Woodbine, that is made out of turf.
The other major difference is that this series actually gives the horses and jockeys time to rest and recover from one race to the next. With 25 days between the first and second races, and then 34 days between the second and third, the whole event lasts much longer than the mere five weeks that are allotted for the American Triple Crown.
The Canadian Triple Crown may have only been established in 1959, but the races involved have a much richer history than just 60 years.
The Queen’s Plate is the oldest thoroughbred horse race in Canada, having been established way back in 1860. The race is so old that it has undergone a couple of name changes based on the ruling UK monarch, with the Queen’s Plate being replaced by the ‘King’s Plate’ from 1901 to 1952, at a time when males were sitting on the throne, between the reigns of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II.
The race was first run under royal assent when Queen Victoria granted a plate for the winner of the race in the British colony of Upper Canada. The race moved all over the area of modern-day Ontario, with 15 tracks hosting the event in its early years. It has been held at either the old or new Woodbine courses since 1883.
Though there are no serially-winning horses, some winning jockeys have stood out in recent years. Back in 2006, Emile Ramsammy proved that experience can often trump age at prestigious events, winning the Queen’s Plate for the second time after a drought of ten years. He did so on a horse named Edenworld, with a relatively slow time of just over 2m 07s. Ten years previously, in 1996, he had been 3.5s quicker on the back of Victor Cooley.
In 2008, Emma-Jayne Wilson made history by becoming the first-ever winning female jockey. Not Bourbon’s official winning time was 2:03.59, and she remains the Queen’s Plate’s only female winner to date. The following year, Eurico Rosa da Silva won on Eye of the Leopard in 2:03.84, and then staked his own place in the history books by winning again in 2010, with Big Red Mike coming in just over a second slower.
Rosa da Silva remains the last man to win successive Queen’s Plate races, and was the first to do so since Craig Perret in 1993. However, some purists are mostly in awe of Justin Stein. The reason for this is that Stein (riding Strait of Dover) is the only jockey this century to record a sub 2m 02s time at the Queen’s Plate, achieving that feat in 2012.
The Prince of Wales Stakes has been run since 1929 where it debuted at the now-defunct Thorncliffe Park Raceway. The race didn’t move to Fort Erie until the Triple Crown was established in 1959, and has been held over a number of distances before finding its current 1 and 3/16 mile-length in 1988. The Prince of Wales Stakes is interesting because it is one of the few big races in the world to be run on a Tuesday night.
Luis Contreras has won this event three times in the last nine years, doing so for the first time on the back of Pender Harbour (2011), and getting his subsequent wins on the back of Amis Gizmo (2016) and Cool Catomina (2017). Even more impressive is the fact that he did it under three different trainers and three different owners, proving his own worth and his ability to adapt to new regimes.
However, only one jockey has managed a sub-1m 55s time in this event so far this century, with Coltimus Prime – ridden by aforementioned Queen’s Plate maestro Eurico Rosa da Silva, and trained by Justin J. Nixon – recording 1:54.58 back in 2014.
This makes any horse and jockey combo trained by Justin J. Nixon one to watch. Indeed, trainers are often overlooked by the more casual racegoer, but Mark E. Casse has earned a name for himself in recent years, with four Prince of Wales Stakes wins since 2009, winning it in subsequent years (2012 and 2013). He last won as a trainer only in 2018, with Wonder Galot.
The Breeders’ Stakes is the second-oldest of the three races having been first contested in 1889. This is the longest of the three races, and it has been held at the same 1.5-mile distance since 1957. The 1994 race was held at Fort Erie, while the Woodbine course took on renovations.
Rafael Hernandez has won this race in three out of the last four years, and is the reigning champion of this event after recording a time of 2:30.43 on Tone Broke. However, he has never recorded a time of less than 2m 29s, and only one jockey has achieved that sub-time threshold. The man to do so was the very familiar Eurico Rosa da Silva, recording a time of 2:28.69 on Up With The Birds.
The last winning female trainer was Rachel Halden, with the aforementioned Camp Creek in 2016, in the year that Rafael Hernandez recorded his fastest winning time at the Breeders’ Stakes. However, the most successful trainer for this particular race is Roger Attfield, who claimed his ninth race win at the event back in 2015 – a whole 29 years after winning it as a trainer for the first time!
The next Canadian Triple Crown will begin in the summer of 2020.
The Queen’s Plate has a maximum field of 17 horses with the other two legs featuring fewer runners.
As of 2019 there is a $500,000 bonus for a horse winning the Canadian Triple Crown that has been put forward by the sponsors. This is in addition to the individual race monies.
Two fillies have won the Canadian Triple Crown. The first was Queensway in 1932, and she was followed in 1991 by the great Dance Smartly. Wonder Gadot almost claimed a third Triple Crown for fillies in 2018, winning the first two races, before her owners chose not to run her in the Breeders’ Stakes.
Tickets for the Canadian Triple Crown are reasonable with even the box seats being in the range of most punters.
The races last between around and two and half minutes depending on the distance, with the whole event taking place over the course of around 50 days, and meetings taking place at two different race tracks.