Not long ago, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario issued the approved 2024 race dates calendars for several of Ontario’s horse racing tracks. These schedules have been approved with recommendations from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Ontario Racing, and the calendar promises another season of world-class racing.
AGCO is responsible for regulating the alcohol, gaming, horse racing and cannabis retail sectors in the Province of Ontario. The gambling and horse racing regulator is an Ontario provincial regulatory agency reporting directly to the Ministry of the Attorney General. It is a corporation under the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act, 2019.
Racing Dates are Now Published
With help from OLG and OR, AGCO has now announced the 2024 race date schedules for several Standardbred racetracks in Ontario. Starting with Clinton Raceway which is on course to host 15 days throughout 2024. Then Flamboro Downs will host the second most harness racing dates with 130 scheduled for the new year.
AGCO also confirmed that for 2024, Georgian Downs will host 39 Standardbred racing days, while Grand River Raceway will see a total of 48 dates contested throughout the year. Then there is Hanover Raceway with a modest 15 days for this year, followed by Hiawatha Horse Park & Entertainment Centre which is on track to run 21 days in 2024.
Dates have also been confirmed for Woodbine Entertainment’s, Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbellville, as the venue is slated to host the most racing dates out of all Standardbred tracks with 222 days. This is no surprise, as the track is the largest harness racing track in the province. It also boasts a slot parlour with over 1,000 machines run by Great Canadian Entertainment.
Still, dates for Dresden Raceway, Kawartha Downs, Leamington Raceway, Rideau Carleton Raceway and The Raceway at Western Fair District have not been approved. AGCO also issued the dates for quarter horse and Thoroughbred tracks. Woodbine Racetrack will host the most with 129 days, followed by Fort Erie Racetrack with 40 and Ajax Downs with 25.
Horse Cruelty Will Not Be Tolerated
Last month, AGCO also revealed its verdict to impose a two-year suspension on Standardbred trainer Anthony Beaton after he was previously accused of horse cruelty. In October, the regulator received intel that the trainer had engaged in conduct compromising equine safety and welfare, and after a thorough review decided to suspend his license temporarily.
The regulator’s investigation found that Mr. Beaton had excessively used a whip on a yearling he was training. Therefore, committing an act of cruelty and engaging in misconduct is a violation of the Rules of Standardbred Racing. The trainer’s horseperson license has been fully suspended for two years, from October 13, 2023, until October 12, 2025.
Source: “Race Dates Announced For 10 Ontario Tracks” Standardbred Canada, December 2023