Mike Singletary was a Hall of Famer on the football field, but duplicating that success while standing on the sideline has been difficult for the former 49ers head coach. The 61-year-old’s latest coaching struggles ended with him resigning as a high school head coach in Texas after leading Trinity Christian-Addison to a 1-21 record over…Ex-49ers coach Mike Singletary resigns high school job after one win in two years — Times-Standard
Formula E driver Daniel Abt was disqualified after finishing third in a virtual race after it turned out he had been cheating by using a stand-in driver. Like most sports, Formula E events had been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the organization turned to virtual races using some of its drivers. Saturday’s Formula…Formula E Driver Disqualified After Cheating in Virtual Race — Variety
The funk/rock band Earth, Wind & Fire sang about September and Ontario horse racing fans will also be singing the month’s praises this year. For the first time in the history of Woodbine Racetrack, The Queen’s Plate (Sept. 12) and the Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Sept. 19) are scheduled for September, on back-to-back weekends, […]Queen’s Plate and Ricoh Woodbine Mile to be run on back-to-back weekends in September — Toronto Sun
By Steve Buffery
For the first time in the history of Woodbine Racetrack, The Queen’s Plate (Sept. 12) and the Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Sept. 19) are scheduled for September, on back-to-back weekends, in fact — changes necessitated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Queen’s Plate, North America’s oldest continuously run horse race, was originally scheduled for June 27.
Woodbine Entertainment announced a revised 2020 stakes schedule on Wednesday. The thoroughbred season is now scheduled to open on June 6 and will run through Dec. 13.
The 2020 stakes program includes $13.8 million in purses across 75 stakes and features.
“It’s been an unprecedented year which has led to a unique stakes schedule that we are very excited about,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. “The summer stakes schedule will build the anticipation for a very busy and exciting fall at Woodbine Racetrack highlighted by the running of our two biggest stakes races on back-to-back Saturdays.”
However, with the promise of a 2020 Woodbine season also came some bad news on Wednesday. WE also announced that due to complications with international travel, the Pattison Canadian International (Grade 1) has been cancelled for the 2020 season.
Some highlights of this year’s Woodbine stakes schedule include:
— The Canadian Triple Crown will get underway with the 161st running of The Queen’s Plate on Sept. 12, followed by the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie racetrack on Tuesday, Sept. 29, and concluding on the turf at Woodbine Racetrack with the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes on Oct. 24.
— Designated as Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” races, the Ricoh Woodbine Mile will be followed by the Grade 1 Summer Stakes and the filly companion Grade 1 Natalma Stakes for two-year-olds on Sept. 20.
— The Woodbine Cares and Ontario Racing Stakes, new juvenile inner turf stakes that launched in 2019, will be contested on Sept. 19 with purses increased to $135,000 each.
— The $600,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (Grade 1), the $300,000 Northern Dancer (Grade 1) presented by Pattison and the $250,000 Nearctic Stakes (Grade 2) will be featured on Oct.18.
— Woodbine’s Ladies of the Lawn Series, which provides the winner with a $75,000 bonus, returns in 2020 with the first leg on June 27 with the $175,000 Nassau Stakes (Grade 2), followed by the $175,000 Dance Smartly Stakes (Grade 2) on Aug. 15, the $250,000 Canadian Stakes (Grade 2) on Sept. 12, before culminating with the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes. The inaugural winner of the 2019 Ladies of the Lawn Series was Starship Jubilee.
— The $500,000 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser, first leg of the Canadian Triple Tiara, headlines another major race card on Aug. 15 which will include the $150,000 Plate Trial, which is one of six Canadian-foaled classics to receive a purse boost for 2020.
— The Greenwood Stakes has been shifted to Aug. 1 and is one of three Ontario-bred stakes on the calendar with purses increased from $125,000 to $150,000.
— The other classics for horses foaled in Canada with purse increases, from $225,000 to $250,000, are the Bison City (Sept. 12), Cup & Saucer (Oct. 10), Wonder Where (Oct. 25), Princess Elizabeth (Oct. 31) and Coronation Futurity (Nov. 1).
— This year’s Yearling Sales Stakes set for Aug. 30 will feature four stakes including a pair of two-year-old events (Simcoe and Muskoka) with purse increases to $250,000 and a pair of three-year-old events (Elgin and Algoma) with purses of $135,000.
Sydney Wiese was on her way home March 13, summoned back to the U.S. from her duties in Spain’s women’s basketball league as the novel coronavirus began to spread. And, well, something just didn’t feel right. “I had a feeling, when I was traveling back from Spain, that I wasn’t 100 percent,” the Sparks’ guard…Alexander: Sparks’ Sydney Wiese has survived COVID-19 — Press Telegram
The Belmont Stakes will be run June 20 in New York without fans and serve as the opening leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown for the first time in the sport’s history. The New York Racing Association on Tuesday unveiled the rescheduled date for the Belmont, which will also be contested at a shorter distance…Belmont Stakes will lead off Triple Crown on June 20 without fans — Press Telegram
The Belmont Stakes will be run June 20 in New York without fans and serve as the opening leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown for the first time in the sport’s history.
The New York Racing Association on Tuesday unveiled the rescheduled date for the Belmont, which will also be contested at a shorter distance than usual. The 2020 Belmont will be 1 1/8 miles instead of the 1 1/2-mile “test of the champion” that has been the race’s trademark for almost a century.
“The Belmont Stakes is a New York institution that will provide world-class entertainment for sports fans during these challenging times,” NYRA president and CEO Dave O’Rourke said. “While this will certainly be a unique running of this historic race, we are grateful to be able to hold the Belmont Stakes in 2020.”
This is the first time the Belmont will lead off the Triple Crown ahead of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The Kentucky Derby was moved from May 2 to Sept. 5 and the Preakness from May 16 to Oct. 3 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Belmont was originally scheduled for June 6. But racing in New York halted in late March after a backstretch worker tested positive for COVID-19, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo didn’t give the green light to resume until Saturday.
Live racing is gradually ramping up operations across North America because tracks feel they can operate safely and still make money without fans on site because of online betting and TV revenue. More than $90 million was wagered off track last year on Belmont day, and NYRA gets a cut of that money along with revenue from NBC.
Horse racing officials have grappled with the complexities of a shifted Triple Crown season that doesn’t require the same of 3-year-olds in contention as it has in years past. The Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont are usually run during a six-week span in the spring.
“Everything’s going to be different this year, right?” trainer Mark Casse said. “If well-planned out, it can be just as exciting. Why not? I don’t know if it’s necessarily the time of year. It’s just the events, and you’re still going to have great events.”
The Belmont is only being run two weeks after it was scheduled, but the shorter distance changes the complexion of the race and the Triple Crown. It has been run at 1 1/2 miles each year dating to 1926 and last ran at 1 1/8 miles in 1894.
NYRA said the distance adjustment was made “to properly account for the schedule adjustments to the Triple Crown series and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training.”
Just 13 horses have won the Triple Crown, most recently Justify in 2018 and American Pharoah in 2015. –The Associated Press.
Rejoice, sports fans, their return to California may not be far off. Well, maybe. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state is eyeing the first week of June to begin to allow live pro sporting events, as well as “a number of other sectors” of the economy, “if we hold these trend lines.” But upon being…Coronavirus: Pro sports could return in California by June, Gov. Gavin Newsom says — Times-Standard
The Queen’s Plate will be served up on Saturday Sept.12. Read MoreHorse racing people pleased with news that Queen’s Plate will run on Sept.12 — Toronto Sun
The Queen’s Plate will be served up on Saturday Sept.12.
North America’s oldest continuously run horse race was originally scheduled to take place on June 27 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, with the Ontario government last week announcing a framework to gradually reopen the province, Woodbine Entertainment set a plan in motion to start thoroughbred race — without spectators — on June 6 at Woodbine Racetrack in Etobicoke (and June 5 for harness racing at Woodbine Mohawk in Milton).
The Victoria Day announcement that the $1 million Queen’s Plate will be run this year comes as welcome news for action-starved horse players, not to mention those in the racing industry.
“The history of The Queen’s Plate is so rich and the fact that it’s been held every year since the inaugural race in 1860 is remarkable,” said Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson. “We are honoured to be able to continue this rich history in face of adversity by hosting the race for the 161st consecutive year.”
As part of the preparations for The Queen’s Plate, the Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser and The Plate Trial will be held on Saturday, August 15. WE’s full thoroughbred stakes schedule is expected to be announced on May 20.
The Woodbine backstretch has remained open for essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and last week jockeys were allowed back on site to breeze horses. Timed training and gate training has also started at the track.
All the activities at the backstretch are being conducted with strict safety protocols in place, such as the wearing of face masks, social distancing and having everyone’s temperature taken when they arrive at the track.