Horse racing fans can finally rejoice as horse races are about to make their official return in the province of Ontario. Milton’s Woodbine Mohawk Park has released information about its first set of qualifiers this week. Starting from this Thursday to Saturday, the track expects to have a total of 44 qualifiers in that time, with over 377 horses participating.
Live harness races have been just recently given the green light to recommence, as Ontario has started its new economic recovery plan as businesses are set to restart. Races were suspended at the start of April with the beginning of the new lockdown conditions and the issue of the new stay-at-home order which was later extended to May 20.
Racing Can Begin
The first set of qualifiers at the track is set for this Thursday, May 27. The qualifier will see pacing sophomores of each gender for a total of 14 racing sessions. Then onto the next one, North America Cup prospect Bulldog Hanover will make his first start after its colossal win in the Ontario Sires Stakes from last October. No Better Joy will also be there, with Nicky Comegna trainee that finished fourth in the Metro Pace.
The next qualifier also includes some very exciting names, as Ontario Sikes Stakes Final second-place Voelz Delight and third-place Best Keepsake will be taking part. The fillies will be up against Cyclone Sister, which is the winner of the Grassroots Final. Bet on Becky will also take part, after going three-for-three in the OSS events before breaking stride and ending on the bench.
On Friday, 15 qualifiers of trotters will be taking place at the oval. In the first sessions OSS Super Final champions – Fashion Frenzie in Qualifier 4 and Pemberton in Qualifier 7. Later in the day, HP Royal Theo will be making its first four-year-old debut in Qualifier 10. Then, there Grassroots winner Four Wheelin will face Autumn Series winner Bucky’s Angel.
Then on Saturday will be the last set of qualifiers. The day will see two millionaires Nirvana Seelster in Qualifier 3 and Nickle Bag in Qualifier 5. Other eye-catching names that will also compete will be Cousin Mary and Karma Seelster in Qualifier 6 Outlaw Gunpowder in Qualifier 11 and First Class Horse in Qualifier 12.
Applying for an Earlier Start
Last week, the Ontario provincial government announced its official business restart plan, which also included the relaunch of live harness races. Woodbine Entertainment is set to start its thoroughbred season at its Woodbine Racetrack is on June 18, and its standardbred season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 14. However, the company is considering applying for an earlier start as all horsepeople are already prepared and waiting.
Training Already Started
The track has been able to host training activity sessions from the start of the month as the venue received the nod to restart the exercises from May 6. Mandatory health and safety protocols are also in place, as the company is trying to prevent the spread of the unprecedented situation. The only thing left for the track is to start the live racing season soon.
Source: “Flood Of Mohawk Qualifiers Set”, Standardbred Canada, May 25, 2021