In the latest Woodbine Entertainment statement, the upcoming 2021 Standardbred season stakes were announced last week. With the opportunity to reopen tracks for visitors, this season generated even more interest among betting enthusiasts. Ahead of the 2021 season, the upcoming season at Woodbine Mohawk Park will carry more than CA$20 million in betting stakes for grabs for the horse racing community.
Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, said that they are ready to reopen the tracks for live events with compulsory health and safety measures in place and that they are currently awaiting the public reopening of Woodbine Mohawk Park with the green light. Horse racing is officially suspended in Ontario due to unfortunate circumstances and is scheduled to resume on February 10.
As planned, the season is scheduled to take place in May 2021, although it remains to be seen if there will be a delay or not. The multi-million Pepsi North America Cup and Mohawk Million races will probably be the two most exciting events that will attract considerable audience attention.
The Pepsi North America Cup will be the 38th edition this year and its start will be announced on June 19, making it a Grand Circuit racing card headliner. A week ago, on June 12 the eliminations for the 1 million-race will take place. Other events, such as the CA$450,000 Fan Hanover, the CA$330,000 Roses are Red, the CA$250,000 Armbro Flight, and a few others will be the Pepsi North American Cup card.
The second edition of Mohawk Million is also to be held in the coming season, scheduled for September 25, it is a CA$1 million for two-year-old trotters and has a buy-in format for nine slots. Each of the slots is available at CA$100,000 for purchase, the last tenth slot will be decided on September 11 with the winner of the CA$610,000 William Wellwood Memorial, the slot buying deadline is February 15.
September 25 is also the date for two-year-old pacers for the CA$850,000 Metro Pace, CA$540,000 for two-year-old pacing fillies for She’s A Great Lady, and for pacing mares for the CA$250,000 Milton. Every Saturday, the month of September is loaded with rich stakes events, starting with the $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot on September 4 and closing on September 25 with Mohawk Million night. On Woodbine.com, the full schedule for the 2021 Standardbred season is provided.
Because of the horse racing industry’s unprecedented condition, it is rumored that the CA$1 million Queen’s Plate could be rescheduled for August 22. However, as of now, there has not been an official Woodbine Entertainment announcement. Another rumor is that the OLG Canadian Triple Crown could be postponed by August this year, although an official confirmation has yet to be obtained.
Woodbine Entertainment saw a temporary suspension of their horse racing events in December 2020, although the NHL obtained the nod from the provincial authorities to resume operations. This suspension definitely took its toll on the Ontario region’s leading horse race operator, who suffered losses following the cancellation of the remaining live events from the 2020 schedule.