Horse racing is the type of sport that has many fans around the world, but they are heavily saturated in certain areas. Horse racing in North America has been quite popular for hundreds of years. The long tradition of horse racing in this continent lead to the birth of incredible races like the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders Cup.
However, it seems like they are all coming from the United States, and Canada is not mentioned in the high-level competition of horse racing.
So, what is the state of horse racing in Canada? And is how the sport advanced in the country? Let’s find out.
History of Canadian Horse Racing
There is no doubt that horse racing comes from the United Kingdom, which is why any nation that had influence from Great Britain now has a rich horse racing culture. When it comes to Canada, its horse racing influence came from The United States.
Even though Canada is not on the map as a top destination for horse racing enthusiasts, they have quite a rich history.
The first official horse race goes back to 1767 when the prize purse of the first race was equivalent to $40 nowadays. This race was won by a horse named Modesty, which is a name that perfectly suits the horse racing scene in Canada at that time.
It did not take long for horse racing to catch on in different parts of Canada. First, it spread to Ontario, but the races were limited to military personnel only.
The first step forward in building horse racing as a sport was in 1837 when the first formal commission in Canada was created to oversee horse racing in the entire country.
Since then, we can see new races appearing in Toronto and other parts of the country and it was also the time when the most popular Queen’s Plate horse race was run for the first time. This race survived for many years and it is still up and running, making it the oldest continually-running horse race in North America.
It is even older than the Kentucky Derby, which is the holy grail of horse racing on this continent.
Types of Horse Races in Canada
Since horse racing is a sport with many sub-categories, each country has different types of races that are the most popular. In Canada, flat racing and harness racing dominate the horse racing scene.
Both types of races can be found throughout the year, and some horse racing venues even host both kinds of races.
Flat racing is the most popular type of race anywhere in the world, and it is the same story in Canada.
Most Popular Horse Races in Canada
Throughout the long history of horse racing in Canada, we can see many quite popular horse races that gather the attention of horse racing enthusiasts from all around the world. Some of the most popular ones are:
The Canadian Triple Crown
Just like the US, Canada has its own version of the Triple Crown races that are held every year. The Triple Crown championship in Canada started in 1959 and features a similar format to their neighboring country.
The Triple Crown races are constructed by these races:
- The Queen’s Plate(1 Million CAD)
- The Prince of Wales Stakes(400,000 CAD)
- The Breeder’s Stakes(500,000 CAD)
There are many other popular races in Canadian’s racing season, such as the Woodbine Mile which has a 1 million prize purse, Canadian International Stakes with 800,000 CAD, and Graded Stakes Races with 300,000 CAD.
Clearly, Canada has quite a rich history and tradition with horse racing. The best thing about the sport is that all forms of horse racing betting are allowed, which is a crucial part of the sport’s popularity. You can learn more about waging on horse racing here: edge.twinspires.com/racing/wagering/
One time even the Canadian government allowed slot machines to be placed on Canadian race tracks just to increase the popularity of the sport.
So, if you are a horse racing enthusiast and wondering if Canada is the perfect place for you? You won’t make a mistake going to some of these races during the racing season from April to December.
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