No elims for Maple Leaf, Pacing Derby
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Woodbine Entertainment has announced the 2020 schedule for its industry-leading Standardbred stakes program at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
More than $20 million in stakes races will be contested over the Mohawk Park racing surface in 2020, including $12 million-plus in Woodbine administrated events.
The 2020 stakes season is headlined by a pair of $1 million events (Pepsi North America Cup and Mohawk Million).
The 37th Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacers is scheduled for Saturday, June 20, while the inaugural Mohawk Million for two-year-old trotters is slated for Saturday, Sept. 26.
Woodbine Mohawk Park will be the only Standardbred track in North America to host multiple million-dollar races in 2020.
The Pepsi North America Cup card (June 20) will again feature five additional marquee stakes to go with the nation’s most prestigious race for Standardbreds.
The $425,000 Fan Hanover for three-year-old pacing fillies, $370,000 Roses Are Red for pacing fillies and mares, $260,000 Goodtimes for three-year-old trotters, $250,000 Armbro Flight for trotting fillies and mares and $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational make up the stacked undercard. Total purses for the evening will exceed $2.5 million.
Mohawk Park will provide the setting for harness racing’s largest showcase of elite two-year-old talent on Saturday, September 26. The $1 million (USD) Mohawk Million, $850,000 Metro Pace and $550,000 Shes A Great Lady will feature the finest two-year-old trotters and pacers competing in the sport’s richest races for rookies.
The Mohawk Million for two-year-old trotters follows a buy-in formula, with nine of ten slots in the race available for purchase ($110,000).
The tenth and final spot in the Mohawk Million will be awarded to the winner of the $400,000 William Wellwood Memorial, which will be contested on Saturday, September 12. The earlier date for this year’s Wellwood provides a clear week prior to the Mohawk Million.
New in 2020, Woodbine Entertainment has changed the format of the $650,000 Maple Leaf Trot and the $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby to remove eliminations and instead proceed to directly to the rich final with the highest lifetime earners (limited to 10) competing on Saturday, Sept. 5.
The $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic and $350,000 Elegantimage follow the same format of highest earners competing for the second consecutive season. They are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19.
In total, the month of September will feature more than $7 million in stakes races.
Woodbine Mohawk Park will again play host to legs of the Miss Versatility and Graduate Series in 2020.
The Miss Versatility for older trotting mares takes place on Friday, May 29, while the Graduate Series for four-year-old pacers and trotters will be held on Saturday, June 6.
The province’s best will compete all-season at Mohawk Park building up to the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals and Grassroots Championships. The Grassroots Championships are scheduled for Saturday, October 3, while the Super Finals will be held on Saturday, October 17.
Woodbine will again distribute money to all finishers in major stakes finals during the 2020 season.
The winner of the finals will receive the traditional 50% of the total purse, while those finishing sixth through last will take home 1% of the purse. The horses finishing second through fifth will receive 50%-24%-16%-10% of the remaining purse.
Nominations for all Woodbine Standardbred Stakes close on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Woodbine continues to administrate stakes for Ontario Racetracks in 2020, including Grand River Raceway, Flamboro Downs, Clinton Raceway and Hanover Raceway.
Stakes payments for all Woodbine administrated events can be made payable to Woodbine Entertainment. Payments can be made through the Race Office, by mail or online.
To view the 2020 Woodbine Standardbred Stakes schedule, click here. (Woodbine Mohawk)