A few days ago, horse racing enthusiasts were pleasantly surprised with the renewal of training exercises in Woodbine Mohawk Park, and on February 9, 2021, Woodbine Entertainment’s officially announced stakes nominations for the upcoming 2021 Standardbred season at the beforementioned venue. The season will be taking place on different horse race tracks in the Ontario region.
The deadline for all event nominations is set to February 15, 2021, with different stakes for the different races. The day in question is also the last opportunity for purchasing a slot for the high-anticipated Mohawk Million event. All purses will differentiate according to the submitted nominations, with the exceptions of the Pepsi North America Cup and the Mohawk Million events.
As expected, the two most anticipated events will also be the ones with the highest purse available. The Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old-pace horses and the Mohawk Million with the 2-year-old- trots will be both with a pool of the staggering CA$1 million. Another big purse event will be the Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old trots as the name suggests, with a pool of CA$600,000.
Another race that is expected to attract serious interest is the Canadian Pacing Derby for open paces with CA$600,000 available too. Players will also have the opportunity to place their bets on the CA$600,000 Maple Leaf Trot Open, but it must be before the February 15 deadline. Two events with a smaller prizing pool of CA$250,000 will be the Goodtime for 3-year-old trots and the Milton for Filly and Mare pace.
The 2021 Standardbred season will offer plenty of variety with numerous races across the season being held at different Ontario horse track facilities. Another event that catches the eye is the CA$850,000 Metro Pace for 2-year-old paces. Then there are two events for 3-year-old Filly trots, the Casual Breeze with a pool of CA$180,000 and the Elegantimage with CA$375,000 respectively.
William Wellwood Memorial is considered also one of the most anticipated races due to its big prize pool of CA$610,000 for 2-year-old trots. It is also a huge attraction for audiences due to its additional reward for the winner, which grants them a slot for the Mohawk Million. The full program of the nominations is provided on Woodbine’s official website.
Most recently and on February 8, 2021, to be exact, Woodbine Entertainment announced that the Woodbine Mohawk Park will renew training. This became possible due to some lift of the lockdown restrictions set by the provincial government. Life audiences will not be allowed to visit the track, with only horse people and staff allowed on the premises. Naturally, all personnel must comply with the implemented health and safety protocols.
The current plan for the upcoming 2021 Standardbred season is expected to begin in May according to the CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Jim Lawson. With around CA$20 million available in betting rewards up for grabs by the horse racing enthusiasts. This becomes more and more likely with the official announcement of reopening of the Woodbine Mohawk Park for training. But due to the always changing and unstable circumstances, it remains to be seen whether this will be the case.
Source: “Woodbine stakes nominations due Monday”, Woodbine Entertainment, February 9, 2021