Woodbine Entertainment on Monday announced that live racing is back on track at Woodbine Mohawk Park and Woodbine Racetrack starting this weekend, as horse racing continues to be the first major sport to return to live competition in Canada.
“The horse racing industry supports tens of thousands of jobs throughout our province, making the return of live racing this weekend very meaningful for a lot of people,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “We have spent a significant amount of time and resources developing and implementing physical distancing protocols to protect against the spread of COVID-19. While we take great pride in being the first pro sport back competing in Canada, we also recognize that comes with a big responsibility. We are absolutely committed to operating our live racing with safety as the highest priority.”
Standardbred racing at Mohawk Park in Milton, Ontario resumes on Friday, June 5 at 7 p.m. and will run its normal summer schedule with live racing on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Mohawk Park’s harness racing season was suspended on March 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2020 Thoroughbred meet will open at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario on Saturday, June 6 at 1 p.m. The Thoroughbred schedule will run regularly four days a week, shifting to Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday**. All post times will be 1 p.m. except for Thursdays where post time will be 3:45 p.m. The 2020 Thoroughbred meet was originally scheduled to open on April 18 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both venues will continue to be closed to spectators and media due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent government regulations. Woodbine Entertainment has implemented strict physical distancing protocols at both racetracks to reduce the risk associated with the spread of COVID-19. Access to both racetracks is limited to essential personnel only.
Woodbine Entertainment has been safely operating its backstretch at Woodbine Racetrack as an essential service for the care and stabling of upwards of 1,400 racehorses during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also safely ran two nights of Standardbred racing at Mohawk Park with physical distancing protocols in place and without spectators before the Ontario Government closed non-essential businesses.