- AGCO made an announcement for both Thoroughbred and Standardbred events
- Queens Plate event will be held on August 21st
New Year, New Races
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario released the final round of approved horse racing dates for 2022. With the help of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, the dates were released for the Woodbine Racetrack, Woodbine Mohawk Park, and Leamington Raceway. Provincial live harness season was announced on December 23rd, for both Thoroughbred and Standardbred events.
As expected, due to health and safety concerns during the pandemics the horse racing industry is concerned that 2022 events will not be delayed like the last year, when the Thoroughbred season featured only 99 dates, not 133 as planned.
A total of 222 racing days will be hosted by Woodbine Mohawk Park, while The Woodbine Racetrack will feature 133, and Leamington Raceway will host 13 racing dates. On December 17th the second round of greenlighted dates was released by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission, concerning Rideau Carleton Raceway (73 days), Georgian Downs (39 dates), Flamboro Downs (132 dates), and Dresden Raceway (11 days).
Additionally, on December 15th the Alcohol and Gaming Commission released the first batch of horse racing dates for the Raceway at Western Fair District (128), Grand River Raceway (48), the Fort Erie Racetrack (40), Ajax Downs (25), and Kawartha Downs (18).
It is worth noting that Woodbine Entertainment, Ontario’s leading horse racing group, announced that the company had an all-source handle of a little over half-billion dollars for its Woodbine Racetrack Thorourhgbred season in 2021. This third-highest Thoroughbred total in the company’s existence was mainly fueled from abroad, with a wagering handle of over 400 million dollars. The company previously published an update on its next running of the Queen’s Plate event, and the one million-purse race will take place on Sunday, August 21st.
Source: “Ontario Race Dates Set For 2022”, Standardbred Canada, December 23rd, 2021.