Woodbine's final Standardbred program contested

The era of harness racing at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario wrapped up Monday evening (April 9) after 24 years. A 10-race card was contested on the final night with the $26,520 Preferred Trot headlining the card.

Horsepeople gather outside the Woodbine paddock for a "farewell photo"

Parkhill Nonstop and Pat Hudon winning the final race at Woodbine.

The 6-year-old gelding Big Rich went coast-to-coast for his second consecutive Preferred score. The Richard Moreau trainee was steered to his third win of the season by Louis Philippe Roy.

Big Rich posted solid fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:23.4 before trotting home in :29.1 to win by 1-1/2 lengths. Moreauís other participant, B Yoyo, rallied to finished second, while longshot Cue Hall was third.

Owned by 9099 3833 Quebec Inc. and Frank Spagnolo, Big Rich has banked $58,082 in nine starts this season and Mondayís triumph was the 21st of his career, pushing him to $357,710 in career earnings. The clocking of 1:53 established a new career-mark for Big Rich. The Moreau trainee paid $3.80 to win.

Parkhill Nonstop and trainer/driver Pat Hudon became the answer to a trivia question when they won the final Standardbred race ever at Woodbine. The 4-year-old gelded trotter capitalized off a perfect two-hole steer from Hudon to win by 5-1/4 lengths in a career-best 1:57.

Parkhill Nonstop was one of the most familiar faces of the final Woodbine Standardbred meet. The Hudon trainee raced 18 times from Oct. 26 to April 9.

Earlier in the evening, horsepeople gathered outside the paddock for a final photo at the Toronto track.

Live Standardbred racing now moves to its new permanent home, Woodbine Mohawk Park, in Campbellville. The 2018 meet begins Thursday evening (April 12). Post time is 7:30 p.m.

by Mark McKelvie, WEG Communications