Canadian International Stakes: History & RECORDS

 

 

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​· The Canadian International Stakes has undergone several variations in footing, distance, location, and name since its inaugural running in 1938 at Long Branch.
· That year, the race, named The Long Branch Championship, was contested at one mile and one-sixteenth, and was open only to Canadian-bred three-year-olds.
· The following year, 1939, the race was named The Canadian Championship Stakes and conditions stated that horses had to be Canadian owned.  Conn Smythe's Sir Marlboro won the race that year, in a no-betting contest.
· In 1940, eligible horses had to be owned by residents of Canada, and the race was made open to all ages, including two-year-olds.  During the 1940's the conditions stated that horses had to be the bona fide property (not leased) of owners who had started at least one horse in Canada and had been a resident of Canada for at least one year prior to the race. It wasn't until 1954 that The Championship became a race for three-year-olds and upward, and a horse owner's residence restrictions were eliminated.
· The Championship was run at Long Branch from 1938-41, and from 1946-55.  From 1942-45, the race was moved to Dufferin Park.
· In 1953 and 1954, the race was extended an additional 1/16 mile, making it 1 1/8 miles.  In 1955, it was run at 1 3/16 miles.
· In 1956, the race was moved to Woodbine, the distance was changed to 1 5/8 miles, and the name was changed to The Canadian International Championship Stakes.
· In 1958, The Championship was contested on the turf for the first time.
· In 1961, the race was moved from the main turf course to the Marshall Turf Course.  The Marshall Turf Course was named in honour of Col. K. R. Marshall, former President of The Ontario Jockey Club, who won the 1961 Queen's Plate with Blue Light.  In 1994 The International was run on Woodbine's new E. P. Taylor Turf Course.
· Like most races, The International has enjoyed a tremendous boost in gross value. In 1969, it was increased from $50,000 to $60,000 added.  Three years later, the purse was upped to $75,000, becoming Canada's richest thoroughbred race.  And the following year, 1973, the year of Secretariat, The Championship was made a $125,000 event.
· In 1975, The Canadian International Championship was increased in value to $150,000 added.  In 1979, it was boosted to a guaranteed $200,000.

· In 1981, the race acquired a new name, Rothmans International.  In 1982, the purse was $400,000.  The Rothmans International carried a purse of $500,000 guaranteed in 1983.  In the years 1984 and 1985 the purse jumped to $600,000 guaranteed.  The purse jumped to a then record $700,000 in 1986.  In 1987 the purse was $750,000 guaranteed, and in 1988 the purse was $800,000, then $900,000 guaranteed in 1989. From 1990-1995 The Rothmans Ltd. International was $1 million guaranteed.
· The distance was changed to a mile and one-half in 1987.
· The classic race on grass reverted back to The Canadian International in 1996, after Rothmans ended its 15-year partnership with The Ontario Jockey Club.  The purse remained at $1 million guaranteed.
· In 1999, Emirates Airlines sponsored the newly-formed World Series Racing Championship, with the Canadian International as its fourth leg.  The purse was raised to a record $1.5 million.
· In 2000 and 2001, the International was the sixth leg of the Emirates World Series Racing Championship.
· In 2002, the Canadian International was the eighth leg of the World Series Racing Championship.  The series consisted of 14 races in 11 countries.
· In 2003, the race introduced a new sponsor, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, Canada’s largest outdoor advertising company. The 2016 edition is the 14th under the Pattison banner.
· For the 2005 renewal, the Pattison Canadian International purse was increased to $2 million and was the ninth leg (of 13) in the World Series Racing Championship.

· In 2011 and 2012, the PCI purse was readjusted to $1.5 million.  Beginning in 2013, the race was worth $1 million.​

 

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