The Inception of the SBOA Stakes
It all started with a phone call. In 1997, Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh phoned Doug Nash, manager of Glengate Farms and SBOA director at the time. There were rumors that the Provincial Cup held in Windsor was going to be discontinued. McIntosh was concerned and hoped something could be done to prevent the loss of this significant race.
As a result of that conversation, discussions ensued with Windsor management to see if there would be a willingness to sign over the Provincial Cup race to the SBOA. However, due to renowned interest, Windsor Raceway decided to keep the Provincial Cup going.
During the late 1990’s, there was an extremely large discrepancy between the value of pacing fillies and pacing colts. It was clearly evident that finding the means to host a feature race with a significant purse attached to it could boost the value of pacing fillies and put money back into the hands of breeders. The SBOA recognizing this benefit, set out to find a way to make this happen.
A sub committee comprised of Doug Nash, Tom Milner and Keith Robinson was struck and the group set forth in hopes of securing a sponsor for the race. After productive discussions with potential major sponsors, approval was given by the Ontario Jockey Club (OJC) to support an SBOA Stakes race for three-year-old pacing fillies.
The first SBOA Stake for Ontario-sired three-year old pacing fillies was announced in January 1999 with eliminations of $25,000 held September 17th, 1999 and an estimated final of $160,000 held September 25th, 1999.
The following year, a $130,000 SBOA Stake for three-year old trotting fillies was announced which coincided with $130,000 SBOA Stake for three-year old pacing fillies on September 23rd, 2000 at Mohawk Raceway. The SBOA Stakes remain a popular and successful event with many of the winning fillies going on to become high quality productive broodmares.
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