As another year and another exciting horse racing season in Ontario is coming to an end, it is time for provincial racetracks to begin preparations for the next one. This week, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, published its approved racing dates for the majority of race tracks in Ontario for both Standardbred and Thoroughbred races.
Racing dates for next year’s season are compiled by the AGCO in accordance with recommendations from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Ontario Racing. This year’s horse racing season was the first one with no delays or cancellations in a few years and provided that there are no complications in 2023, the season should also be contested in its entirety.
Approved Racing Dates
In its Registrar for the 2023 racing date schedule, AGCO revealed dates for numerous tracks from the province. Starting off with Standardbreds, Clinton Raceway will run a total of 15 days. Clinton Raceway is scheduled to have 15 racing days, while Dresden Raceway will run only 11 dates. Meanwhile, Flamboro Downs will be quite busy with 132 racing dates.
Georgian Downs is next with 39 days of racing, followed by Grand River Raceway with 48 days and Hiawatha Horse Park & Entertainment Centre with 21 days. Then there is Kawartha Downs with 18 racing cards, Leamington Raceway with 13 days, Rideau Carleton Raceway with 72 days, and The Raceway at Western Fair District with 128 dates in its calendar.
Meanwhile, Woodbine Entertainment’s Woodbine Mohawk Park is set to have the busiest schedule of all Ontario Standardbred and Thoroughbred racetracks. The Campbellville is slated to host 222 days of Standardbred racing events. Additionally, the only outstanding race track in the regulator’s registrar is Hanover Raceway. A further update will be issued regarding the track.
Additionally, the AGCO has also published 2023 racing date calendars for quarter horse and Thoroughbred tracks. First is Ajax Downs which will contest a total of 25 days of racing, followed by Fort Erie Racetrack which will conduct 40 days of races. Then last but not least Woodbine Racetrack with 133 days of racing events.
Recent Highlights from the Sector
Woodbine Racetrack is the largest Thoroughbred track in Ontario and the facility had a tremendous 2022 racing season. According to its operator and owner, Woodbine Entertainment, the track generated an all-source single-season handle of CA$621,782,346. This is by far the largest amount for the track in a single season, surpassing its 2018 record of CA$533 million.
In addition to its record-setting season, the horse racing group also announced that in 2023 The Queen’s Plate will be officially renamed to The King’s Plate. The rebranding comes in relation to the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II who was succeeded by King Charles III. Also, the operator plans to further honour the Queen in its 164th edition of the Thoroughbred race.
Source: “AGCO releases 2023 race dates” HarnessLink, December 21, 2022