The return of live horse racing in the Province of Ontario just got one step closer.
Earlier today, the Ontario government announced a framework to gradually reopen the Province in stages. Stage 1, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 19, allows for horse racing without spectators and physical distancing measures in place.
“This is great news for the sport of horse racing and the tens of thousands of people it employs throughout the Province,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “With this news, our plans to resume Standardbred racing at Mohawk Park on June 5 and Thoroughbred racing on June 6 at Woodbine remain on track. We appreciate the government’s recognition that we can operate spectator-free horse racing safely by following strict physical distancing protocols.
“I would also like to thank the entire horse racing community for their patience, understanding and commitment in following health guidelines during this time. In doing so, it has put the entire industry in the position to resume live horse racing in the coming weeks.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, harness racing at Mohawk Park was suspended on March 19, while the opening of Woodbine’s Thoroughbred season, originally scheduled for April 18, was postponed.