Celebrating the Queen’s Plate on June 27: Snapshots in History

June 28, 2016 | John P.

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Seagram, Joseph E., winners of King's Plate, 1891-1905, shown at Woodbine (later Greenwood) Race Track. Toronto, Ont

On June 27 and beyond, take a moment to celebrate the running of the Queen’s Plate horse race in Toronto. The Queen’s Plate is Canada’s oldest thoroughbred horse race (inaugural date: June 27, 1860 at the Carleton racetrack.) as well as the longest continuously run race in North America. The Queen’s Plate comprises the first of three races in the Canadian Triple Crown, the other two being the Prince of Wales Stakes and the Breeders’ Stakes.  Since 1957, the Queen’s Plate has had a distance of 1 14 miles (2.01 km).

The Queen’s Plate became the King’s Plate following the death of Queen Victoria and became the Queen’s Plate again following the death of King George VI and the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II onto the British throne. The reigning monarch is the patron of the event and last attended the running of the Queen’s Plate in July 2010.

The Queen’s Plate was held in different Ontario communities (such as Toronto, Guelph, St Catharines, Whitby, Kingston, Barrie, Woodstock, Picton, London, Hamilton and Ottawa) until it was held in Toronto permanently from 1883 onwards with royal permission.

Woodbine Racetrack (aka Greenwood Raceway) hosted the Queen’s Plate in 1876, 1881, and continuously from 1883 to 1955, after which the race moved to the newer Woodbine Racetrack in Etobicoke since 1956.

Avelino Gomez, Sandy Hawley, and Robin Platts tied for the jockeys with the most wins in the Queen’s Plate to date with four wins each. Harry Giddings Jr. and Roger Attfield tied for the trainers with the most wins in the Queen’s Plate to date with eight wins each.


Queen's plate trophy. Toronto Star June 18 1998


Consider the following title for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

The Plate 150 years of royal tradition from Don Juan to Square Eddie

The Plate, 2009


The eyes have it Roger Attfield had his eyes trained on yesterday's running of the Queen's Plate His horse, Izvestia, was a runaway winner in record style.


Food for a king Trainer Roger Attfield offers a carrot to Queen's Plate hopeful Shudanz.