On Friday (Feb. 12), health officials in Ontario’s four regions with Standardbred racetracks that would normally conduct live harness racing this month announced a shift back into the colour-coded COVID-19 response framework.
As a result of the province-wide lockdown announced on Monday (Dec. 21) by the Government of Ontario, harness racing was suspended at Rideau Carleton Raceway, The Raceway at the Western Fair District and Woodbine Mohawk Park effective Saturday, Dec. 26 and previously at Flamboro Downs. The zones for all four tracks will move from grey effective Feb. 16, with Rideau Carleton’s Ottawa region moving to orange (restrict) and red (control) designations for Halton (home to Woodbine Mohawk Park), Hamilton (region for Flamboro Downs) and Middlesex (the health unit covering The Raceway at the Western Fair District).
Management with Western Fair indicated that official word on reopening will come on Saturday, February 13. Officials with Flamboro Downs, Rideau Carleton Raceway and Woodbine Mohawk Park have released the following statements.
Flamboro Downs To Race February 21
Management with Flamboro Downs have confirmed that the track will resume live racing on Sunday, Feb. 21 with a first race post time of 6:55 p.m.
Further details regarding availability for training will be announced in the coming days.
Rideau Carleton Raceway To Race February 16
Following today’s announcement from the Province, Rideau Carleton Raceway has been granted approval from the AGCO to move its opening race date from Sunday, Feb. 14 to Tuesday, Feb. 16th with a first post of 6:30 p.m.
“With so many dealing with the anxiety over their financial futures, we are so appreciative that despite deliberating in this unconventional environment our industry leaders committed to facilitating this approval in such an expeditious manner; salvaging this race date and means to make a living,” said RCR Racing Manager Peter Andrusek. “While the convenient approach would have been to simply continue with our approved calendar; Jonathan Zammit, Tina MacMillan, Brent Stone and Mike Wilson went above and beyond to ensure this accommodation. Special thanks also goes to NCRHHA director John MacMillan who worked tirelessly on behalf of our horsepeople to advocate for their cause.”
Please be advised that qualifiers have now been moved to Wednesday mornings with a first post of 10:00 a.m. starting February 17th as part of Rideau Carleton’s enhanced COVID-19 Protocols.
Woodbine Mohawk Park To Resume Live Racing on February 18
Following today’s designation of the Halton Region being placed in the ‘Red-Control’ zone by the Government of Ontario, Woodbine Entertainment has announced plans to resume live racing, without spectators, at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, February 18.
Halton Region will officially enter the ‘Red-Control’ zone as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, February 16. Live horse racing, without spectators, is permitted in all phases of the province’s current COVID-19 Response Framework except for ‘Grey-Lockdown’.
With the resumption of racing on February 18, Woodbine Mohawk Park will proceed with its regular schedule of live racing every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings starting at 7:00 p.m.
Condition sheets for the first several cards at Woodbine Mohawk Park are now posted at standardbredcanada.ca. The draw for Thursday’s card will take place Monday, February 15, with the entry box closing at its usual time of 10:30 a.m. The full draw schedule is listed below:
– Enter Monday for Thursday
– Enter Tuesday for Friday
– Enter Wednesday for Saturday
– Enter Thursday for Monday
Woodbine Mohawk Park will host qualifiers on Thursday, February 18 at 9:30 a.m. The entry box for qualifiers closes Wednesday, February 17 at 10:30 a.m.
As per the Government of Ontario’s restrictions, spectators are not permitted at Woodbine Mohawk Park at this time. Only those performing essential duties relating to the operating of live horse racing are currently permitted onsite. Woodbine Entertainment will provide an update to horse owners and the public over the coming days of opportunities to watch and wager.
Any horseperson coming to Woodbine Mohawk Park for training, qualifying or racing must complete the COVID-19 Daily Screening Form prior to arriving at the racetrack and must adhere to Woodbine Entertainment’s COVID-19 Racing Protocols at all times.
Any horseperson that has been outside of Ontario must provide the Director of Racing (Bill McLinchey, email@example.com) with proof of their return date and be in Ontario for 14 days before coming to Woodbine Mohawk Park for training, qualifying or live racing. Any individual outside of Ontario must also provide a negative COVID-19 test taken 10 days into their quarantine.