Source: Pandemic will result in ’21 Queen’s Plate race being pushed back until August
TORONTO — The COVID-19 pandemic will result in the Queen’s Plate being pushed back for a second straight year.
A source said Monday this year’s race will be run Sunday Aug. 22 instead of its traditional date of late June due to the novel coronavirus.
Last year’s race was originally scheduled for June 27 but Woodbine Entertainment later rescheduled its marquee race and opening event of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown to Sept. 12 before no spectators at Woodbine Racetrack.
In fact, no fans were allowed to all three legs of the Triple Crown, which includes the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Racetrack and the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine.
The source spoke on the condition of anonymity as Woodbine Entertainment has yet to announce its plans for this year’s Queen’s Plate.
Staging the Plate on a Sunday would be unique because it has traditionally been held on a Saturday. And while the Queen’s Plate is North America’s oldest continuously run event, it’s much more just a horse race as Woodbine stages a festival around it that includes outdoor concerts and numerous social functions.
Queen Elizabeth II is the patron of the Plate, having last attended in 2010. The race itself dates back to 1860.
The global pandemic forced the various events associated with the ’20 Queen’s Plate to be cancelled. But the hope is that by August, enough Canadians will have received a COVID-19 vaccine to allow some to attend this year’s race at Woodbine Racetrack.