The 83rd running of the $1-million Pattison Canadian International is going to have to wait a year.
A source told The Canadian Press that the race, which is Woodbine Racetrack’s top fall events, won’t be held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The source spoke on the condition of anonymity as Woodbine Entertainment has not formally made the announcement regarding the International.
Woodbine Entertainment is scheduled to release its revamped 2020 stakes schedule later Wednesday.
The pandemic forced Woodbine to postpone the April 18 start to its 2020 thoroughbred card.
Live thoroughbred racing will now begin June 6 without spectators.
The Pattison Canadian International was originally scheduled to be run Oct. 18 at Woodbine Racetrack.
According to the source, Pattison will be the presenting sponsor for the Grade 1 $300,000 Northern Dancer, a 1½-mile turf race that will be run Oct. 18 at Woodbine.
The International, also a 1½-mile turf event, has an impressive list of notable winners, including the legendary Secretariat.
The ‘73 American Triple Crown champion capped his illustrious racing career with a dominant 6½-length International victory at Woodbine.
Bunty Lawless – named Canada’s horse of the half century in 1951 – won in 1938 and 1941, while Dahlia became the first European-based horse to claim the International in 1974.
Dahlia, bred in the U.S. but raised in France, also became the first horse to win Grade 1 stakes events in England, France, Ireland, Canada and the U.S.
Since 1971, eight horses that have won the International have also capture Eclipse Awards as Champion turf horses that season.
The International annually attracts some of Europe’s top horses but the COVID-19 pandemic has made global travel challenging, to say the least.
Irish-bred Desert Encounter successfully defended his International title last year with a fourth straight victory over all.
Desert Encounter became the first horse since Joshua Tree (2012-13) to win consecutive International races.
Woodbine Entertainment still plans to run the Grade 1 $600,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes this year as traditionally the 1¼-mile turf event for fillies and mares has been held on the same card as the International.
Starship Jubilee, with Woodbine-based jockey Luis Contreras aboard, won last year’s race.