Melnyk Retires From Racing

Published: June 11, 2014 05:57 pm EDT

Eugene Melnyk, one of North America’s most accomplished thoroughbred owners, officially announced his retirement from the sport of horse racing on Wednesday, June 11.

One of Melnyk’s final acts to close out his impressive 20 year career in the sport of horse racing will see his racing and breeding stock dispersed at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Sale taking place on July 14, 2014.

“As a young boy who grew up watching and admiring the horses at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, it still remains very overwhelming to know how privileged and fortunate I have been to be part of such a wonderful and close knit community of people who share my passion for horses and the sport of horse racing. None of my horse racing achievements would have been possible without my staff at Winding Oaks Farm and Melnyk Racing Stables, who all know how deeply grateful I am for their dedication and commitment to our horses,” said Eugene Melnyk. “While I will always remain a part of horse racing, I feel I have accomplished all that I set out to and now is a good time to step back from the sport. I came into this sport 20 years ago with plenty of dreams and I leave with a lifetime of memories.”

Melnyk’s commitment to thoroughbred horse racing took a major step forward following his purchase back in 2001 of the former Mockingbird Farm in Ocala, Florida. Melnyk renamed the legendary property Winding Oaks Farm and spent years to carefully restore the 1,000 acre estate back to its original glory as a world‐class thoroughbred training and breeding facility. Winding Oaks Farm became the new home to Melnyk Racing Stables which then allowed Melnyk to channel significant investments and resources into the sport.

One of the first major milestones for Melnyk Racing Stables was a 1998 victory by Archers Bay to capture the Queen’s Plate. Melnyk’s stable of horses would go on to capture an impressive total of 62 graded stakes win. His success on Canadian racetracks includes two‐time Canadian Champion Older Horse Marchfield; Roxy Gap, who won Champion Female Sprinter and Champion Older Female in Canada in 2012; Leigh Court, the Champion Canadian Three‐Year‐Old Filly of 2013; and Sealy Hill, who was most recently inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in August 2013. Melnyk holds the distinction of being the first owner to win the Triple Tiara, the Canadian Triple Crown for fillies. Melnyk has also won all three legs of the male Canadian Triple Crown with Archers Bay and Lodge Hill.

In the United States, Melnyk’s celebrated wins include the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Speightstown, who also earned a legendary Eclipse Award as Champion Sprinter in 2004; Stakes victor Flower Alley; Tweedside, heroine of the CCA Oaks; and other grade one winners Sealy Hill, Bishop Court Hill, Harmony Lodge, Host, Marley Vale and Pool Land. Other North American wins by Melnyk include the Prince of Wales Stakes, the Travers Stakes, the Jim Dandy Stakes and the Dwyer Stakes. Internationally, his horses have won two Barbados Gold Cups and participated in the prestigious Dubai World Cup.

Melnyk’s success on the racetrack paved the way for him to become one of the top breeders in North America. Most recently, Speightstown finished a close second on the Leading Sires list in 2013 and Flower Alley sired Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, I’ll Have Another, the Champion Three-Year-Old Colt of 2012.

Melnyk was honoured with a Sovereign Award as Canada’s outstanding breeder in 2009, as well as earning two Sovereign Awards as Outstanding Owner. In all, he and Melnyk Racing Stables garnered no less than 13 Sovereign Awards, Canada’s highest honours in thoroughbred racing. Melnyk was also voted National Owner of the Year by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association in 2005.

Among his many philanthropic contributions to the sport, Melnyk is most proud of his role as the founding donor of Anna House at Belmont Park. Named after Melnyk’s first daughter, Anna House opened in January 2003 as the first child care facility of its kind at a North American racetrack. Anna House is open 365 days of the year and provides backstretch families with access to a high quality, state-of-the-art child care center focused on enhancing the emotional, social and educational development of their children.

(Melnyk Racing Stables/Winding Oaks Farm)



Mr. Melyyk literally had $5.00 dollars to his name when he started out. I have known him and many who have had business dealings with him, and they all speak about a common thread when they dealt with him. He refused to get involved unless all parties could win!!

MR Leber...he wanted a casino in Kanata buy Scotiabank place/Canadian Tire Center.

There is nothing wrong with a casino being built downtown or Kanata, on the condition a world class teletheater, sports bar (like Real Sports near Skydome/rogers center or in ottawa) was built in the casino.
As it stands, RCR is the hardest of the three locations to access. More residents would still go to Lac Lemy than they would RCR. Proof? The currently go to lac lemy 2:1 DESPITE RCR having a really nice slot parlor now.

the stale thinking that the only way to benefit would be having the casino at the track is dated.

Thinking outside the box like Melnyk was COULD have benefitted RCR and the residents ten-fold.

1) the massive teletheater in a downtown casino that only showed Ontario harness, woodbine, Meadowlands, NYRA, churchill, Santa anita, gulfstream and Keenland, would attract those that watch sports in sports bars. The vegas sports book is packed with new young faces and the residual effect from showing sports would be the races getting otherwise unhad attention. This is how you get people into horse racing again. Betting wickets located under the monitors.... would be constantly in use. Imagine the huge crowds on Sens games? Habs and Leaf games? Superbowl? They don't go to the track for those events now, so they cant bet.... so you go to them.

2) of RCR, Kanata and downtown, RCR would require the most infrastructure updates. It would easily cost the most. Since horseman aint paying, of course they want it there. Not fair to ottawa citizens

3) currently, quebec is profiting from ontarians going to Lac Lemy to gamble and if a structure was built in the very busy touristy area downtown, there would be no need to go to QC, thus keeping the revenue in Ontario and that benefits the taxpayers.

There is nothing saying the slots had to close at RCR even if the casino is elsewhere. Its not hard to write up a SARP like deal between a casino located at a different location and RCR. Its close minded to think that an arrangement couldn't be made.

EUGENE thought outside the box. He always does. Its why he was succesful at all business he has ran or owned.

This is a classy gentleman,if i were promoting this sport, whatever it would take for Mr. Melnyk to remain active Mike Wassilyn will do. Furthermore heresy, destroys truth... have any one out there had dinner with Mr. Melnyk? Mr. Melnyk if you read this you have a friend in me. The class you showed supporting Luke Richardson during his weakest hours of his daughters death is your character. Thank you for making this world a better place. Mike (the ticket host from MAPLE LEAF GARDENS).

This is the same guy that wanted a downtown Ottawa casino and to put Rideau out of business.

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