Woodbine Entertainment recently made it clear that the racetracks might not work with individuals interested in attending live events, but the racehorses would have to be continuously cared for at the backstretch. As it was recently confirmed, the daily work with them is about to continue is considered essential and it would continue despite the novel coronavirus pandemic outspread across Ontario.
Ontario is among the Canadian provinces experiencing a relatively higher number of COVID-19 cases. As of April 1, the province has confirmed 426 new cases of the novel coronavirus. They swell the overall number of individuals contracting it to 2,392. A total of 3,135 individuals are still waiting for their test results to come back and reveal their health situation. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 68 individuals have lost their lives.
In these trying times, casino venues across the province remained close, as well as racetracks inviting large crowds of horse racing fans on a daily basis. Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Mohawk Park are two of those special places that would have to remain closed for fans indefinitely. However, it has been made clear in the past that the caregiving process happening on a daily basis would have to continue.
Jim Lawson, Chief Executive Officer of Woodbine Entertainment, made it clear that the horses are in need of care and training, as the horse people cannot leave them on their own devices. They have made a special request upon learning that the province is shutting down non-essential businesses. The Government has made it clear that they have permission to continue operation.
Woodbine Entertainment is also certain that all mandatory directions are being strictly followed. The backstretch is now accessible by essential employees and licensed personnel, ultimately limiting the number of individuals making their way there. The temperature of all people entering the racetrack is being monitored in real-time. A total of 33 barns across 200 acres are being used, allowing enough distance between the individuals.
The Queen’s Plate Postponed
Along with these measures, Woodbine Entertainment would now welcome only people directly taking care of each horse to the backstretch, as social distancing is still a measure that should be respected. It should be taken into account that Woodbine Entertainment has not reported any COVID-19 cases and the measures are precautious. In other news, the horse racing leader made an announcement regarding its 2020 racing season.
Mr. Lawson made it clear that the long-anticipated Queen’s Plate would have to be postponed indefinitely. The CA$1-million race was about to take place on June 27 at Woodbine Racetrack. The Thoroughbred racing event is a traditional one with more than 160 editions. This year was supposed to see its 161st live edition, once again welcoming a specific group of people involved in the local racing field.
The Queen’s Plate is also known as the oldest continuously running race in North America and its postponing comes after Woodbine Entertainment made it clear that the live racing season would have to be postponed. It was supposed to launch on April 18, but the growing COVID-19 outspread got in its way. Once the situation is clarified, the horse tracks would be ready to issue their new live schedule with stakes.