‘This Is About To Become A Crisis’: COVID Restrictions May Affect Woodbine’s Opening Day

Opening day at Woodbine Racecourse is scheduled for April 17, 2021. However, the Thoroughbred Daily News reports that the Ontario track is currently designated a coronavirus “Grey Zone,” where racing is among the activities that is not allowed. This is the same restriction that forced the track to close two weeks early at the end of 2020.

“I am very concerned and this is about to become a crisis for us,” Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson told the TDN. “It’s a crisis because soon there will be 2,000 people back there looking after these horses. If these people lose their jobs, there’s nothing else that they can do. Especially after I had heard from trainers that may not come back, I am trying to impress upon people that we are on the cusp of a very big problem that could do irreparable damage to us as a business. We will need some answers very soon as to whether or not we can make an Apr. 17 opener.”

The Woodbine backstretch is open and horses are able to train; it is the 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. “Our risk profile in the afternoon is the same as our risk profile in the morning. We should be able to run.”

Read more at the Thoroughbred Daily News.

The post ‘This Is About To Become A Crisis’: COVID Restrictions May Affect Woodbine’s Opening Day appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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