Ontario Racing announces new Ontario Sired Thoroughbred stakes series for 2021 at Woodbine and Fort Erie

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Ontario Racing announces new Ontario Sired Thoroughbred stakes series for 2021 at Woodbine and Fort Erie

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“It is crucial to maintain a strong and vibrant Ontario Sired stakes program,” said John Hayes, Independent Chair, Ontario Racing.

 TORONTO, March 18, 2021 – Ontario Racing and its Thoroughbred Improvement Program (TIP) Committee today announced the unveiling of the Ontario Sire Heritage Series, an exciting new eight-leg stakes series open to Ontario Sired 3-year-olds, to be run this year at Woodbine and Fort Erie racetracks.

With a total purse structure of $750,000, the Heritage Series will feature a total of four races – three opening legs and one final – for both 3-year-old colts and 3-year-old fillies that are sustained to the Ontario Sires Stakes program.

“It is crucial to maintain a strong and vibrant Ontario Sired stakes program,” said John Hayes, Independent Chair, Ontario Racing. “This exciting series offers owners and trainers a great opportunity to showcase their sophomore stars in races with significant purses.”

Commencing on July 30, 2021, and offering three $80,000 preliminary legs per race, per division, to be contested at various distances and over four surfaces – Woodbine’s Tapeta, E.P. Taylor Turf Course, and Inner Turf Course, and Fort Erie’s main dirt track – the Heritage Series will conclude with a pair of $100,000 finals for both divisions on November 19 at Woodbine Racetrack (see schedule below).

Bonuses totaling $70,000 ($35,000 for each division, details below) will be paid to the connections of the top three horses per division at the conclusion of the series.

“This new series will be a great complement to Woodbine’s world-class 2021 Thoroughbred racing calendar,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “In addition to the 10 Ontario Sired Stakes on the calendar, this new eight-leg series supports Ontario breeders, owners and racehorses while providing a new series for fans and bettors to follow.”

“Fort Erie is thrilled to play host to a pair of great events as part of the Heritage Series, said Tom Valiquette, CFO with Fort Erie Racetrack. “We are proud to highlight and celebrate Ontario Sired Thoroughbred talent, and help promote the significant contributions of breeders and owners to our industry.”

“The Heritage Series is a direct result of the Thoroughbred Improvement Program (TIP) Committee of Ontario Racing working diligently to provide local owners and breeders with opportunities to showcase their Ontario Sired horses,” said Sue Leslie, Ontario Racing board member, and HBPA President. “The series will no doubt draw great interest from horsepeople, while also highlighting Ontario Sired talent.”

The Heritage Series schedule is as follows:

Three-Year-Old Fillies

$80,000 – Georgian Bay Stakes – July 30, 2021 – Five Furlongs (Woodbine Inner Turf Course)

$80,000 – Rondeau Bay Stakes – September 14, 2021 – Six Furlongs (Fort Erie Main Track) $80,000 – Thunder Bay Stakes – October 22, 2021 – Seven Furlongs (Woodbine E.P. Taylor Turf Course)

$100,000 – Ashbridges Bay Stakes – November 19, 2021 – One Mile & One Sixteenth (Woodbine Tapeta)

Three-Year-Old Colts & Geldings

$80,000 – Lake Huron Stakes – July 30, 2021 – Five Furlongs (Woodbine Inner Turf Course)

$80,000 – Lake Erie Stakes – September 14, 2021 – Six Furlongs (Fort Erie Main Track)

$80,000 – Lake Superior Stakes – October 22, 2021 – Seven Furlongs (Woodbine E.P. Taylor Turf Course)

$100,000 – Lake Ontario Stakes – November 19, 2021 – One Mile & One Sixteenth (Woodbine Tapeta)

Ontario Sired Heritage Stakes Series Points Structure (For Bonus Awards Only)

Horses are not required to start in all four legs to be eligible.

Point System – 10 points – 1st, 7 points – 2nd, 5 points 3rd, 3 points – 4th, 2 points for 5th, 1 point for 6th – Last. (Points will be prorated in the event of a dead heat). 

Bonus points are revocable in the event of a disqualification.

Series bonus awards will be prorated in the event of a tie in points.

Series bonus awards are revocable in the event of a disqualification.

- Points are awarded to the individual horse

Breakdown of Bonuses ($70,000) For Most Points Accumulated Throughout Series

For Each Division

1st Place - $20,000

2nd Place - $10,000

3rd Place - $5,000

Total - $35,000

Bonus will be paid to the winning owner of record (for the top three horses that accumulate the most points throughout the series) on November 19, 2021.

New Sales Credit Program for races run at Woodbine Racetrack

In addition, Ontario Racing is pleased to announce that starting on Saturday, April 17, opening day of the 2021 Woodbine Thoroughbred season, owners of Ontario Sired and Ontario-bred horses will be eligible to receive credits (to be used at the 2021 CTHS Yearling Sale or Winter Mixed Sale) for designated races.

Under the program, the owner of an Ontario Sired or Ontario-bred winner of a claiming race with a purse listed between $15,000-$20,000 will receive a credit of $1,000. An Ontario Sired or Ontario-bred winner of claiming race of $14,000 or lower will earn a $750 credit. The program will be capped at $260,000 (CDN).

“This sales credit program is an excellent opportunity for new or established owners to receive a significant financial incentive to go towards the purchase of a Thoroughbred at the 2021 CTHS Yearling Sale or Winter Mixed Sale,” said David Anderson, Ontario Racing board member and prominent breeder. “This is another example of Ontario Racing’s dedication to advocating for and supporting horsepeople connected with Ontario Sired and Ontario-bred horses.”

The aforementioned credit amounts are transferable upon written request and subsequent approval by Ontario Racing.

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