It has been a difficult 2020 year for all businesses around the world, and the horse racing industry is not an exception. With all race tracks being closed down by local governments due to the unprecedented situation. Meaning that the industry has taken huge revenue losses hits. But there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel.
Woodbine Entertainment has been given the green light on February 8, 2021, by the Ontario’s government to reopen the Woodbine Mohawk Park, which is certainly a step in the right direction. The track will be officially reopened in order for horse people to renew training operations. Trainers will be able to get back in the tracks for training imminently.
The news has been welcomed by the horse people who are eager to resume training on the tracks amidst the ongoing lockdown. However, the reopening will only be partial as the track and paddock will be available to the staff, but the apron and the grandstand will remain suspended from operations until further directions.
The race track will be opened for training this week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings from 7 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. And next week will be rescheduled for Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. And as anticipated horse people will be allowed to renew training exercises on the venue under set by the government’s health and safety protocols, which aim to protect all returning personnel on the venue.
This reopening became possible due to the provincial’s authority plan to restart the economy. The lockdown conditions will be lifted for three Eastern Ontario regions on Thursday, and for the remaining regions as well with the exception of Toronto, Peel, and York which await their reopenings scheduled for February 16. Each region will be moved to the red tier in the government’s-colored tier framework.
Thankfully the racetrack is in the Halton region which will be momentarily moved to the Red tier meaning that lockdown is no longer required. Thus, allowing to horse people to resume training on the premises of the track. Registration will begin on Tuesday at 2 p.m., and each session will be divided into two segments with 40 slots each. But it remains to be decided whether spectators will be allowed to venue any time soon.
2021 Standardbred Schedule
The begging of the year saw Woodbine Entertainment’s announcement ahead of the Standardbred 2021 season’s schedule. The plan is for the season is to start in May 2021, but this remains to be decided due to the unprecedented circumstances and always changing conditions. However, players are excited for the possibility of up to CA$20 million up for grabs in the upcoming season at the Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Queen’s Plate Delayed?
According to reports, the 2021 Queen’s Plate event will be also delayed further down the down due to the unclear situation surrounding the country’s future. With August 22, 2021, emerging as a rumored date for the beginning of this year’s edition of the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Racetrack. The news has disappointed gambling enthusiasts who were looking forward to the event’s CA$1 million prize pool, but it seems that they might have to wait until the late summer.
Source: “Woodbine Mohawk Park to offer training starting Thursday”, Woodbine Entertainment, February 8, 2021