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Mohawk To Race; Closed To Public

Published: March 14, 2020 1:24 pm ET

Last Comment: March 17, 2020 9:34 am ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the interest of the safety of customers, employees, horsepeople and the larger community, Woodbine Entertainment announced on Saturday, March 14 that it will be closing Woodbine Mohawk Park and Woodbine Racetrack to the general public for a minimum of two weeks.

Preparations to close both facilities to the general public are well underway and will be closed starting tomorrow, Sunday, March 15. Woodbine Entertainment will continue to monitor the situation closely and stay in contact with public health officials to determine when it is safe to fully reopen its operations and facilities to the public.

“We strongly believe that closing our racetracks to the public is the right thing to do for the well-being of our employees, customers and horsepeople,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. “We also recognize that we all have a role to play in slowing down the spread of this virus to protect the larger community. We will continue to work closely with public health officials and make decisions that are consistent with health and safety being our highest priority.”

The decision to close these facilities follows the recommendation of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams for the suspension of all large events and public gatherings due to COVID-19.

Woodbine Entertainment’s live harness racing at Mohawk Park will continue as scheduled but without spectators and only essential staff, licensed horsepeople and regulators permitted in the facility. As an additional precaution, Woodbine Entertainment is screening all horsepeople entering the paddock, which will also have highly restricted access for licensed personnel only.

Plans to open the Thoroughbred season remain scheduled for Saturday, April 18 but are subject to an ongoing assessment of the situation. Currently, the training facilities at Woodbine Racetrack will remain open with screening for all horsepeople entering the backstretch and restricted access to licensed personnel only.

Woodbine Entertainment does not operate the casinos in either of its properties. Currently, Elements Casino at Woodbine Mohawk Park and Casino Woodbine at Woodbine Racetrack remain open and any updates will be provided directly from the operators of the casinos.

Woodbine Mohawk Park issues notice to horsepeople

In light of the rising public concerns over limiting the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Woodbine Entertainment has followed government recommendations and will be closing Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Mohawk Park to guests as of Sunday, March 15.

Live racing will continue to operate at Woodbine Mohawk Park with only essential employees and restricted access to the paddock area until further notice.

Woodbine urges all horsepeople to review the following precautionary measures being implemented to maintain live racing.

  • Woodbine asks that all trainers bring only essential employees with them to the racetrack. Unless tending to their horses, owners will be unable to access the Paddock or Grandstand.

  • Woodbine asks that all horses, trainers, caretakers and drivers exit the paddock within 30 minutes of their race, if possible.

  • The Driver’s Room will have limited access and only be opened to drivers and trainers wishing to change into their driving suits. The lounge area and showers will be closed until further notice to minimize interactions.

  • The Paddock Kitchen will be closed until further notice. Horsepeople are encouraged to bring their own food and drinks for racing, training and qualifiers, as no services will be offered in the Grandstand.

  • Woodbine will not be able to cash Horsemen’s cheques during the Grandstand closure.

Woodbine thanks our horsepeople for their cooperation during this period and will provide updates regularly.

Horseplayers will still be able to watch and wager on Woodbine Mohawk Park through, select Champions Teletheatre locations or their local ADW.

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. First post time is 7:10 p.m.


March 17, 2020 - 9:34 amTo Woodbine Mohawk from

Mike Mobley SAID...

To Woodbine Mohawk from everyone here in the states: THANK YOU for continue to race. Every day, we have more and more cancellations and less and less entertainment diversions here. It's truly gratifying to know that Woodbine Mohawk is still one of them.

March 15, 2020 - 10:35 amGlad to see WEG taking

Cam McKnight SAID...

Glad to see WEG taking aggressive steps to control this situation. That said it seems there is a once in a lifetime opportunity for WEG and Canadian Racing.

All major sports leagues are shut down. Tune in to TSN or Sportsnet -- ALL REPLAYS, ... basically dead air.

If WEG could ramp up their nightly programming, include London, Flamboro, and even the western tracks, they could easily offer 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours of programming -- whatever the TV stations want/need. The programming is basically already in place. Just ramp it up, and offer it free of charge

With people locked-in, quarantined and no other sports programming available, this is an opportunity to EXPOSE thousands of new viewers to the sport in a POSITIVE light. People would appreciate the programming, and the sport would appreciate more viewers!

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