Live Horse Racing Shut Down In Ontario; Mohawk Park Suspended, Woodbine Opening In Question

Woodbine Entertainment has announced that live Standardbred racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park will be temporarily suspended following this Friday’s (April 2) card due to the Government of Ontario imposing a province-wide “emergency brake” of COVID-19 restrictions, effective Saturday, April 3 at 12:01 a.m.

Live horse racing, without spectators, is not currently permitted during the Government of Ontario’s ’emergency brake’ shutdown, which will be in place in for a minimum of four weeks.

Woodbine Entertainment continues to engage in discussions with the Provincial Government and Halton Region regarding the request to continue safely operating live racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park during this shutdown or a lockdown situation.

As part of these discussions, Woodbine continues to demonstrate its commitment to safety through its industry-leading COVID-19 Prevention Protocols and a safety record that includes not a single case of on-site transmission of the virus at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson indicated that while horse racing will pause on Saturday per provincial guidelines, local health authorities can give the green light for horse racing to resume in their region.

Live racing is schedule to be conducted Friday (April 2) prior to the shutdown. Post time is 7 p.m.

At Woodbine Racecourse, opening day is scheduled for April 17, 2021. The Woodbine backstretch is open and horses are able to train; it is afternoon racing which is currently restricted by the provincial government.

“We have made the argument all along that this is an outdoor activity and we wouldn’t be allowing spectators,” Lawson said earlier this month. “Our risk profile in the afternoon is the same as our risk profile in the morning. We should be able to run.”

The Thoroughbred opener could go ahead as scheduled with approval from Toronto Public Health, according to The Battlefords News-Optimist.

“In the coming days, we will continue to discuss our request with Toronto Public Health,” Lawson wrote in a statement to horsemen. “As we head into the long weekend, I am cautiously optimistic about the situation.

“I do fully appreciate the need for a definitive answer so you can plan and prepare accordingly. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can do be able to start our season on time.”

The post Live Horse Racing Shut Down In Ontario; Mohawk Park Suspended, Woodbine Opening In Question appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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