As a result of excess funds from past equine benefit programs led by Ontario Racing, excess surplus funds will be added to the amount of purse funds scheduled for this upcoming racing season once racing commences.
Additional purse amounts will remain in effect until unused excess purse funds are depleted either through rescheduled live days from June, prior to the recommencement of racing, or a combination of purse increases and/or added races to cards. Added funds will be reflected in the condition sheets at each respective racetrack. It is expected that tracks choosing to increase purses in lieu of adding races will see purse increases between 5 and 15 per cent.
“The addition of these purse funds to the live racing days moving forward provides Standardbred horsepeople, who have been severely impacted by the effects of the pandemic, with the opportunity to race for more money,” said John Hayes, independent chair of Ontario Racing. “We remain committed to supporting and promoting our horsepeople and horses now and in the future.”
At the outset of the pandemic last March, Ontario Racing created individual task forces, representative of all three breeds, to determine equine benefit payments for horsepeople affected by the interruption to live racing in the province due to COVID-19. As noted at the start of the programs, the funds available after the disbursement of equine benefit payments would go towards purses for live racing once racing resumed in the province of Ontario.
Woodbine Mohawk Park will return with live racing this Friday, June 11, at 7 p.m., as will Grand River Raceway, accompanied by a 6:30 p.m. post time. More of the province’s racetracks will resume live racing starting this weekend and early next week. Live racing at all racetracks will operate without any spectators due to government restrictions.