Ten Things You Should Know: Canadian International
By Kevin Martin, Hello Race Fans Contributing Editor
1) The Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International is run at the Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2) The race was run for the first time in 1938 at the Long Branch Racetrack, which was also located in Toronto. Long Branch closed in 1955, and the race has been run at Woodbine since 1956.
3) It has been run under a number of different names, including the Long Branch Championship, Canadian Championship Stakes, Canadian International Championship Stakes, Rothman’s International, and Canadian International. It got its current name, the Pattison Canadian International, in 2003.
4) The race is run at a distance of 1 1/2 miles on the turf. It has been run at distances as short as a 1 1/16 miles and as long as 1 5/8 miles. It has been at 1 1/2 miles since 1987. It was switched from dirt to turf in 1958.
5) Bunty Lawless is one of five horses to win the race twice (1938 and 1941). He was later named Canadian “Horse of the Half-Century” in 1951. In 2013 Joshua Tree became the first three-time winner (2010, 2012 and 2013).
6) Nine fillies or mares have won the Canadian International. The first was 7-year-old mare Cerise III in 1940 and the most recent was 2011 upset winner Sarah Lynx.
7) The filly All Along won the 1983 edition of the Canadian. She also won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France and the Washington D.C. International at Laurel Park in Maryland in 1983. Her outstanding season on the turf earned her that year’s Eclipse award for Horse of the Year.
8) Eight winners of the Canadian have also won the Eclipse award for outstanding turf horse: Secretariat (1973), Dahlia (1974), Snow Knight (1975), Youth (1976), Mac Diarmida (1978), All Along (1983), Singspiel (1996) and Chief Bearhart (1997). Sky Classic, winner of the 1991 Canadian, won the 1992 Eclipse for male turf horse.
9) In 1973, Secretariat won the final race of his career in the Canadian International. His win by 6 1/2 lengths is the largest winning margin in the race’s history.
10) Canadian jockey Ron Turcotte won the Canadian International twice (1964 and 1971). He would have been only the second jockey with three wins in the race if he had ridden Secretariat as he done in eighteen of the Triple Crown winner’s previous races. Turcotte was serving a suspension and was replaced by another Canadian native, jockey Eddie Maple, aboard Secretariat in the 1973 Canadian International.