Latest news from Ontario sees the province moving up a tier in the government’s color framework, ergo some of the businesses can restart. This is the case with horse racing which can start over after the last few months of inactivity due to the implemented lockdown. After being closed down at the end of last year’s race tracks will be operational yet again.
Effective from February 16, 2021, the four race tracks in the Ontario region will be able to host horse races on their premises. However, this will be allowed only in accordance with the government’s strict set of health and safety protocols. After the earlier announcement of restarting training exercises, the restart of the races was also more than expected. But spectators are still not allowed on the premises.
Standardbred Race tracks
Rideau Carleton Raceway will host one of the first live harness races on February 16, at 6:30 p.m. after getting the green light from the AGCO, management of the facility is said to provide a training schedule shortly. Flamboro Downs came up with an official statement that the enterprise will hold a live racing event on February 21, at 6:55 p.m. Training schedule will also be provided imminently.
Western Fair District will also open doors after the region being shifted in the Red tier meaning that certain events can be held under mandatory health protocols. The first horse racing event will take place on February 16 but still no outside attendants. After that, the property will continue its regular schedule of races every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Woodbine Entertainment’s Woodbine Mohawk Park was also quick to announce its schedule with plans of opening on Thursday, February 18. This is also possible after the Halton Region has also been moved into the Red tier, meaning that races will be allowed but with no live audiences. Condition sheets for the initial card at the venue can be found on Standardbredcanada.ca.
The horse racing property will hold qualifiers on Thursday, February 18 at 9:30 a.m. and the entry box for qualifiers will close on February 17 at 10:30 a.m. Additionally, the gambling establishment will provide more information on the subject of schedule and betting options in the upcoming days. And when it comes to spectators it is still unclear whether they will be allowed any time soon.
2021 Standardbred Stakes
Earlier in February Woodbine Entertainment published its official 2021 Standardbred season’s stake nominations just ahead of the start of the new season. With February 15, 2021, is set as the last day for accepting nominations and slot purchases. All events will have hefty amounts up for grabs with the Pepsi North America Cup and Mohawk Million being the two most eye-catching and anticipated events.
Training Can Now Start
The beginning of February saw the first good news for the horse racing industry after Woodbine Mohawk Park received permission from the provincial government to restart training exercises. Horse people were finally allowed to attend their workplace after a few months of lockdown. Training will be performed in several sessions a day and under obligatory conditions in order to protect personnel.
Source: “Racing To Resume In Ontario”, Standardbred Canada, February 12, 2021