Reflections: Kings Plate Renewed at Toronto King of England Endows Classic Oldest Race on This Continent Seagrams Performed Unique Feat, Daily Racing Form, 1944-05-26


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REFLECTIONS By Nelson Dunstan Kings Plate Renewed at Toronto King of England Endows Classic Oldest Race on This Continent Seagrams Performed Unique Feat TORONTO Ont May 25 The Kings Plate oldest continuously run race on the American continent will be contested at the historic Woodbine track on Saturday This is the blue ribband of the Canadian turf and it was the Earl of Min to former Governor General who said Nothing in my opin ¬ ion has done more good for Canadian horse racing than the Kings Plate run at T o r o n t o As one Kings Plate is run an ¬ nually at Blue Bonnets Montreal and the other at Woodbine Toronto the two are sometimes confused The original race at Blue Bonnets was first run in 1836 and it was this event to which His Majesty King William IV gave a gift of fifty guineas from his privy purse The King died in 1837 but his successor Queen Victoria continued the gift and in 1938 the race was known as Her Majestys Plate In 1859 the newly founded Toronto Turf Club through the GovernorGeneral petitioned the Queen to endow a Plate to be run at Toronto or such place in upper Canada as Her Majesty might appoint This she did so both upper and lower Canada now have a Kings Plate The first Toronto race was run in 1860 and since 1883 it has been contested at Woodbine by decree of the GovernorGeneral GovernorGeneralAt At the death of Queen Victoria King Edward VII continued the en ¬ dowment so from 1901 it has been named the Kings Plate The con ¬ ditions make it open to threeyear olds bred in Canada who are 4he property of a British subject resid ¬ ing in Canada It is restricted to horses who have never won a race either on the flat or across country other than one exclusively for two yearolds or the Trial Plate run on opening day of current meeting In Canada the birth of the modern turf is synonymous with that of the On ¬ tario Jockey Club which built the Woodbine track in 1876 The club was founded by T C Patterson whose initials T C P were well known to readers of racing and breeding journals Greatly improved in recent years the Woodbine track lies on the shores of Lake Ontario within city boundaries The meetings held there are among the great social events of the Dominion and in peace time they reach the peak with the runing of the Kings Plate PlateCanada Canada has had many famous horsemen but the first from the Dominion to attain success in the United States was William Hendrie In 1898 his colt Martimas won the Futurity at Sheepshead Bay earning 36610 This Colt had previously won over Canadian courses but was utterly neglected in the field of 22 Futurity starters As a threeyearold Martimas won the Canadian Derby at Fort Erie and as a fouryearold he won the Toronto Cup He then jour ¬ neyed to Saratoga to win the Spencer Hand ¬ icap He was placed in the stud at the famous Valley Farm of his owner and sent many winners of Canadian fixtures to the races Of these Shimonese was the most prominent She has been termed by many one of the best mares ever bred in Canada After the death of William Hendrie his son Col William Hendrie became a power in Canadian racing So too did George Hen ¬ drie owner of Great Britain which horse though bred in Tennessee was one of the best Canadianowned horses of all time Among the 16 races he won were the Toronto Cup Toronto Autumn Cup and Ontario Jockey Club Cup These are races which the great Kilmer gelding Extermina ¬ tor also won one of his feats being three successive victories in the Toronto Autumn Cup CupIn In the early 90s Joseph C Sea ¬ gram became interested in Canadian racing and at the beginning of that decade his black and yellow sash silks were carried by the winners of many important events In the Queens Plate the products of his stud farm at Waterloo established a record that has never been equalled First winning it in 1891 with the horse Victorious his colors were in front in eight successive renewals In 1899 William Hendries Butter Scotch defeated the Seagram entry Dalmoor but the following year Dai moor triumphed and in 1901 John Buskin won the tenth victory in 11 years for Seagram The supremacy of the Seagram colors over a period of 30 years did not end at his death for his sons E F N and T W Sea ¬ gram carried on Of all their horses one of the best undoubtedly was Young Kitty winner of the Kings Plate in 1928 She was one of the best racers to be foaled in Canada during the twentieth century

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