2019 Meet Gave Woodbine Thrills, Bittersweet Moments

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By Emily Shields

The marathon 2019 meet at Woodbine Racetrack, which aired every day on either TVG or TVG2, ended on Sunday, with Eurico Rosa Da Silva winning the final stakes race of the meet. Favored Pumpkin Rumble took the $125,000 Valedictory Stakes (G3) by more than five lengths.

It was Da Silva’s 19th stakes win at the meet, and his fifth consecutive year winning the jockey’s title. He now heads into retirement to spend time with his family, despite being seemingly in his prime. Da Silva was 18 wins ahead of second place rider Rafael Hernandez.

Trainer Norm McKnight led the trainer’s race once again, after having won it in 2017 and 2018 as well. Mark Casse, one of the top trainers in North America this year after winning the Preakness Stakes (G1) with War of Will, finished second.

The 2019 Queen’s Plate went to California shipper One Bad Boy, who scored as the third choice in a field of 14 over Avie’s Flatter. The Richard Baltas trainee finished third in the Prince of Wales Stakes across town at Fort Erie, and has not run since.

The $1.2 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) went to El Tormenta, a 44-1 shocker over favored filly Got Stormy. The race included shippers such as Raging Bull (Fr), Synchrony, and the English mare Awesometank. Got Stormy went on to run second in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and won the Matriarch Stakes (G1).

Desert Encounter (Ire) successfully defended his title in the Pattison Canadian International (G1), defeating Alounak (Fr) and favored Ziyad (GB) in the 1 ½ mile long contest. The David Simcock trainee is being readied for the 2020 Dubai Racing Carnival at Meydan.

The 2020 meet at Woodbine will begin April 18 and run through mid-December. The Queen’s Plate will be held on Saturday, June 27.

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