Despite the unfavorable conditions surrounding the unprecedented situation and shortened live racing season, Woodbine Mohawk Park still managed to record a strong 2021 season. On January 11, 2022, Woodbine Entertainment published its 2021 financial report for the track, which accumulated an all-source handle of CA$324 million, which is the highest amount among any other Standardbred track in North America last year.
Due to the unprecedented situation and lockdowns imposed by the federal government of Canada, 2021 was again impacted by the virus. Initially, the Standardbred season at the track was set to feature 223 racing dates, however, it only hosted 157. The number is 21 less than the 178 contested racing cards in the also shortened 2020 live season.
For the 2021 season, Milton’s Woodbine Mohawk Park continued to dominate the Standardbred racing in North America as it reported an average nightly handle of CA$2 million for the second year in a row. Last year it amounted to exactly CA$2,063,938.67, which was an increase over the CA$40,749.86 increase from the 2020 season. The per-race handle for the 1,693 races in 2021, was CA$191,398.92.
CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, Jim Lawson, said that the steady increase of wagering in these times was a testament to the strength of the company’s brand and its Standardbred racing. He continued by saying that the team focuses on consistency and there are tons of positive signs that suggest even further success and growth even in 2022.
Also, in 2021, the foreign wagering handle for the track reached CA$235,451,948.26, while home market betting remained steady with CA$62,568,269.10. More highlights from the season include the CA$5.1 million handle for the Pepsi North America Cup card. Ass well the CA$3.1 million one from the Canadian Trotting Classic card, which helped the company push to CA$30 million weekend.
Woodbine Entertainment has also reported that in 2021, Early Pick-5 has been the largest nightly wager with an average pool of CA$123,000. This is an improvement over the 2020 Standardbred season, where it averaged CA$120,000. The Jackpot Hi-5 Mandatory payout on December 23, 2021, generated CA$1.4 million in new money, which contributed to the CA$4 million handle.
New Season on Track
At the end of September, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario released its third and last batch of confirmed racing dates. The regulator has approved the proposed racing dates for Woodbine Mohawk Park’s 2022 Standardbred season, which is now on course to feature 223 racing days. The new season started on January 1, 2022, and it hosts races every Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Thoroughbred Season Review
In addition to that, last month Woodbine Entertainment posted its 2021 season report for its Etobicoke racing facility Woodbine Racetrack. The Thoroughbred season ended on December 5, 2021, and the company reported an all-source handle of CA$505,348,339. This is the third-highest tally for the track’s history. It was mainly boosted by the track’s all-time high of foreign wagering handle of CA$420,666,755.
Source: “Woodbine Standardbreds post strong 2021 season”, Woodbine Entertainment, January 11, 2022