The upcoming 2021 Standardbred season stakes were announced last week in the recent Woodbine Entertainment statement. This season generated even more interest among betting enthusiasts with the possibility of reopening tracks for visitors. The upcoming season at Woodbine Mohawk Park will bring more than CA$20 million in betting stakes up for grabs for the horse racing community ahead of the 2021 season.
CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, Jim Lawson, claimed that they are keen to reopen tracks for live events with mandatory health and safety measures in place and that they are currently awaiting the green light for the reopening of Woodbine Mohawk Park for the public. Horse racing is currently suspended in Ontario due to unfortunate circumstances and is expected to return on February 10.
As per usual the season is expected to take place in May 2021, but whether or not there will be a delay remains to be seen. The two most exciting events that will attract major attention by the audiences, will undoubtedly be the multi-million Pepsi North America Cup and Mohawk Million races.
This year’s edition of the Pepsi North America Cup will be the 38th and its start is announced on June 19, making it a headliner for the Grand Circuit racing card. A week earlier, on June 12 the eliminations for the 1 million-race will take place. The Pepsi North American Cup card will other events such as the CA$450,000 Fan Hanover, the CA$330,000 Roses are Red, the CA$250,000 Armbro Flight, plus a few others.
Mohawk Million’s second edition is to be held in the upcoming season as well, scheduled for September 25, it is a CA$1 million for two-year-old trotters and it has a nine slot buy-in format. Each of the slots is available for purchase at CA$100,000, the last tenth slot will be decided with the winner of the CA$610,000 William Wellwood Memorial on September 11, the deadline for slot purchasing is February 15.
September 25 is also the date for the CA$850,000 Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers, CA$540,000 She’s A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies, and the CA$250,000 Milton for pacing mares. The month of September is loaded with rich stakes events each Saturday, starting with the $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot on September 4 and closing with Mohawk Million night on September 25. Full schedule for the 2021 Standardbred season is provided on Woodbine.com.
Possible delay for CA$1m Queen’s Plate
Due to the unprecedented situation for the horse racing industry, rumor has it that the CA$1 million Queen’s Plate may be rescheduled for August 22. However, there has not been an official statement from Woodbine Entertainment as of yet. Another rumor circling around is that the OLG Canadian Triple Crown could be delayed for August this year, but we are yet to receive an official confirmation.
Woodbine Ent. Frustration Over Suspension
In December 2020 Woodbine Entertainment saw a temporary suspension on their horse racing events while the NHL received the nod to restart operations from the provincial authorities. Such suspension certainly took its toll on the leading horse race operator in the Ontario region, which suffered losses after the cancellation of the remaining live events from the 2020 schedule.
Source:“Woodbine releases schedule for lucrative 2021 Standardbred stakes”, Woodbine Entertainment, January 21, 2021