Thursday, December 01, 2011

Woodbine’s 2011 Thoroughbred meet set to wrap

TORONTO, December 1 - The 2011 Woodbine thoroughbred racing season will take its spot in the history books after Sunday's 13-race card, which was drawn Thursday.

The 165th and final day of the eight-month meet, which has a first-race post time of 1:00 p.m., will feature a season-high 155 horses, including eight also-eligible runners.

For the serious horseplayers, both the Saturday and Sunday cards will host $100,000 guaranteed pools for both the early and late Pick-4 bets.

The Valedictory Stakes, for older horses, at a mile and three-quarters, is the spotlight event on the year's curtain-closing afternoon. It goes as race 10, a race that features reigning Breeders' Cup Marathon champion, Afleet Again and Eagle Poise.

Jockey Chantal Sutherland, who has made a name for herself both in Canada and the United States, will return to ride this weekend at Woodbine, including her Valedictory mount, Harrods Creek, trained by Bill Mott.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be coming back to Canada and to have the opportunity to ride again at Woodbine," said Sutherland, who partnered Game On Dude to a second-place finish to Drosselmeyer in the recent Breeders' Cup Classic. "I'm very proud to be Canadian."

The final horse put through the entry box this year was Variable Rate, a four-year-old filly, submitted by trainer Steve Attard. The bay was entered into race 13, which drew 16 runners, including two also-eligibles.

Sunday's weather forecast, according to Environment Canada, offers a high of seven degrees Celsius or 45 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale.

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