The Queen’s Plate is Canada’s most storied horse racing event. And in recent years, thanks to clever marketing and renewed interest in all things royal, the annual summer event is drawing a new generation of fans looking to peacock in their millinery best.
The atmosphere around the paddocks at Woodbine Racetrack felt more like a festival than sporting event. The Rethink Breast Cancer team held its Rethink at the Races event with stations devoted to nails, illustrations and libations. The Social personalities Melissa Grelo, Cynthia Loyst, Lainey Lui and Jess Allen were back to host the Hats and Horseshoes event. There was the Fashion at the Races contest (with prizes for women and men provided by Vaughan Mills, Pink Tartan, Woodbine Racetrack), as well as a full blown post-race rock show with Hedley, Matthew Good and The Strumbellas.
And it was a hot July day. Temperatures lingered in the high 20s and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Here was an event where people could declare, “Hat head be damned!” and be thankful to have their manes shielded from the elements.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, it was a 15-1 pick named Sir Dudley Digges who surprised everyone by winning the race and its $1 million dollar purse.
See 33 pictures outside the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Race Track.
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