Last week, Ontario has greenlighted racing dates for the 2022 live racing season for both Standardbred and Thoroughbred events for a selection of provincial racetracks. On December 23, 2021, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, released its third and final round of approved race dates for the next year’s live harness season at the province.
The horse racing industry is hopeful that 2022 will not be delayed similarly to the 2020 and the 2020 ones, due to health and safety concerns stemming from the occurrence of the unprecedented situation. For example, the 2021 Thoroughbred season did not start until June 12, 2021, and it featured 99 dates instead of 133.
On December 23, 2021, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario or the AGCO published its final round of approved racing dates for the 2022 live racing season for track located in Ontario. With the help of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, the commission released dates confirmation for the following tracks Leamington Raceway, Woodbine Mohawk Park, and Woodbine Racetrack.
After the recent approval, the commission has greenlighted a total of 13 racing dates for Leamington Raceway, with post times of 1 p.m. Woodbine Mohawk Park will host a total of 223 racing days in 2022, with post times of 7:00 p.m., except 6:30 p.m., Sunday, June 19, 1:00 p.m., Monday, December 26. The Woodbine Racetrack will host 133 days of Thoroughbred dates.
Previously, on December 17, 2021, the commission released its second round of approved dates for the Dresden Raceway, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, and Rideau Carleton Raceway. Now, Dresden Raceway will feature 11 racing days, Flamboro Downs, a total of 132, Georgian Downs 39 dates, and the Rideau Carleton Raceway comes with a total of 73 days.
Two days earlier on December 15, 2021, the AGCO confirmed the first batch of racing dates. For example, the Raceway at Western Fair District will host over 128 racing days, the Fort Erie Racetrack will feature 40 dates, Ajax Downs 25, Grand River Raceway 48, Kawartha Downs will witness only 18 racing dates. Full details can be found on Standardbred Canada’s website.
Also, this December, Ontario’s horse racing leader Woodbine Entertainment, published its 2021 performance review for its Thoroughbred season at Woodbine Racetrack. During which, the company recorded an all-source handle of CA$505,348,339. The amount is the third-highest total in the history of the company’s Thoroughbred racing activities, which is mainly boosted from the foreign wagering handle of CA$420,666,755.
Next Year’s Queen’s Plate
Prior to that, on, December 1, 2021, Woodbine Entertainment provided an update on its next running of the prestigious Queen’s Plate event for three-year-old Thoroughbreds. The company announced that the next running of the CA$1 million-purse race, which will be the 163rd edition, will be taking place on Sunday, August 21, 2022. Once again, the company opts for a late August date.
Source: “Ontario Race Dates Set For 2022”, Standardbred Canada, December 23, 2021