The King’s Plate made its return this year, and its 164th edition is one for the history books. Woodbine Entertainment reported that Sunday’s August 20, 2023 card of 13 races generated Woodbine Racetrack’s largest handle in history. With a wagering volume of CA$18,127,049.67, the track has now broken its previous record from the 2019 Queen’s Plate.
Previously known as the Queen’s Plate, the King’s Plate is the first jewel from the OLG Canadian Triple Crown. It is Canada’s oldest continuously run Thoroughbred race in North America. Now fans of thoroughbred ponies have the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie Race Track and Breeders’ Stakes again at Woodbine Racetrack to look forward to.
Setting New Track Handle Record
In its press, the horse racing group disclosed that Sunday’s 13-card accumulated a total of CA$18,127,049.67 in betting activity, hence breaking the previous record of CA$18,005,973.60 from 2019. In addition to that, this year’s handle is a massive improvement on the one from last year’s Queen’s Plate when betting volume eclipsed CA$13.6 million.
The King’s Plate itself, delivered CA$4,455,176.26 of the card’s betting handle, while also setting a new record Win Pool of CA$1,179,172.71 and having a 17-horse field, which was the largest since 2011. The race was captured by Paramount Prince with help from Patrick Husbands who has now secured his third win in the Plate. The horse got a finish time of 2:01.93.
The improvement in the wagering numbers for the prestigious event can be credited to several factors. The on-track handle rose by 17.6%, while the group’s entire Home Market Area delivered close to CA$3 million in bets, which was an 8.6% bump from last year. Meanwhile, the foreign market brought CA$14.5 million, a drastic increase over CA$10.3 million in 2022.
It should be mentioned that Sunday’s handle featured bets from bets placed at the track, off-track betting facilities, U.S.-based retail and online racebooks, and Woodbine’s HPIbet and Dark Horse Bets. And for the first time, Ontario-licensed private sportsbook, bet365, also offered wagering on the King’s Plate, as the operator launched the company’s pari-mutuel wagering last week.
More highlights from the card, include Jackpot Hi-5 hitting CA$1.2 million in new money. Meanwhile, Early Pick-5 reached a pool of CA$492,52, Middle Pick-5 had a pool of CA$496,788, and Late Pick-5 got to CA$415,173. The track’s Late Pick-4 pool stretched to CA$477,809. Lastly, Sunday’s card featured an average field size of 9.6.
2023 Thoroughbred Meet Resumes
In total Woodbine Racetrack’s 2023 Thoroughbred season features 133 race dates and is on schedule to conclude on December 17, 2023. Fans now have more exciting races to look forward to. Such as the Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile on September 16, the Breeders’ Stakes on October 1, the Grade 1 Canadian International and Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes on October 8.
Source: “Return of King’s Plate generates largest handle in Woodbine history” Woodbine Entertainment, August 22, 2023