TORONTO — Finally, a little bit of good news for Ontario’s horse-racing industry.
The Ontario government announced Monday the province will enter into its COVID-19 reopening plan starting Friday. That’s slightly ahead of the target day of Monday.
As a result, Woodbine Entertainment revealed Monday standardbred and thoroughbred racing will go Friday without spectators at Woodbine Mohawk Park or Woodbine Racetrack, respectively.
Horse racing hasn’t been allowed in Ontario since the government declared a state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order April 7. The stay-at-home order expired Wednesday.
Standardbred racing will resume at 7 p.m. ET on Friday while the ’21 thoroughbred card will open with a 1:20 p.m. ET post time Saturday.
“Although our industry has been substantially impacted, I do very much remain confident in the future of horse racing in Ontario and look forward to getting back on track later this week,” Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson said in a statement.
“On behalf of Woodbine Entertainment, thank you to our horse people for their patience, professionalism, and resiliency they continue to demonstrate, especially in face of adversity.”
Standardbred racing will also be held Saturday night, starting at 7 p.m., then continue with the typical five race days per week starting Monday (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday).
The thoroughbred meet will continue Sunday (1:20 p.m. post time), followed by racing June 18-19-20 before the adoption of a typical four-day race week (Thursday through Sunday).