The Canadian International Stakes is a $1.5 million Grade I Canadian stakes race on Turf for thoroughbred racehorses three years of age and up held annually in October at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario.
Part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series, the winner of the 2008 Canadian International automatically qualifies for the Breeders' Cup Turf.
Since its creation in 1938 as "The Long Branch Championship", the race has undergone changes in the type of surface it is run on as well as its distance, location, and name. From 1939 to 1966 it was called the Canadian International Stakes and notably won in 1938 and 1941 by Bunty Lawless, the colt voted "Canadian Horse of the Half Century". The race name was modified slightly from 1966 to 1980 when it was known as the Canadian International Championship Stakes. From 1981 through to 1995 the race was known as the Rothmans International for its sponsor, the Canadian subsidiary of Rothmans International plc. Since 2003 it has been sponsored by Pattison Outdoor Advertising.
Inaugurated in 1938 on the dirt at Toronto's Long Branch Racetrack, except for consolidation during World War II it remained there until 1956 when the track closed its doors. Moved to Woodbine Racetrack, in 1958 it became a turf race.
- 1938-1941 : 1 1/16 miles at Long Branch Racetrack
- 1942-1945 : 1 1/16 miles at Dufferin Racetrack
- 1946-1952 : 1 1/16 miles at Long Branch Racetrack
- 1953-1954 : 1⅛ miles at Long Branch Racetrack
- 1955 1 3/16 miles at Long Branch Racetrack
- 1956-1957 : 1⅝ miles at Woodbine Racetrack
On turf at Woodbine Racetrack:
- 1958-1986 1⅝ miles
- 1987-1993 1½ miles (Out of Chute, inside of main track)
- 1994-present 1½ miles (One full circuit, outside of main track)
Since 1958, winners have come from breeding farms in Canada, the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France and Argentina. The Canadian International has been contested by many of the greatest horses, jockeys, and trainers in thoroughbred racing history from around the world. Its success as a North American race drawing an international field helped inspire the creation of the Breeders' Cup races in 1984 which were held at Woodbine in 1996.
Notably, in 1973 the Canadian International was the final race for Secretariat. His 6½ lengths victory is the widest winning margin in the race's history.
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