TORONTO — Woodbine Entertainment says it won't yet decide on renaming the Queen's Plate following the death of Queen Elizabeth II out of respect for the grieving Royal Family.
The Toronto-based track operator is the host of the Queen's Plate, Canada's largest and oldest horse race. First run in 1860, the name of the Queen's Plate traditionally reflects the gender of Canada's reigning monarch, and was therefore called the King's Plate between 1901 and 1952.
Jamie Dykstra, a spokesman for Woodbine Entertainment, said on Thursday a decision will be made in the coming days on whether the trophy's name will be restored to the King's Plate in honour of King Charles III.
Jim Lawson, the organization's CEO, said Woodbine Entertainment is mourning the loss of Queen Elizabeth with "great sadness and respect."
"On behalf of Woodbine Entertainment, our Board of Directors, our horse racing community, and horse racing fans across our country, I send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, the Monarchy of Canada, and fans and supporters across the world on the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II,” said Lawson.
The Queen's Plate was first run in 1860 and was named after Queen Victoria after she gave her royal assent for "a plate to the value of 50 guineas" be awarded to the winner of the 1 1/4 mile race in Toronto.
It was renamed to the King's Plate in 1901 when Edward VII succeeded Victoria on the throne. It was renamed the Queen's Plate again in 1952 upon Elizabeth's ascension to the throne.
Woodbine Entertainment sent its traditional telegram to Queen Elizabeth following the 163rd running of the Queen's Plate on Aug. 21, informing her that a filly named Moira had won the race. In return, Buckingham Palace sent a symbolic 50 guineas to the owners of the winning horse.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2022.
The Canadian Press