On Friday (April 17), Woodbine Entertainment issued its official statement on the postponement of the 2020 Pepsi North America Cup.
The news broke two days ago (April 15) during a 'Stronger Together' virtual session with Woodbine's CEO Jim Lawson, who stated "we will be postponing the NA Cup to a later date" when asked by Jason Portuondo.
"Woodbine Entertainment announced today that the 37th running of the Pepsi North America Cup will be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said the track in its statement. "While a new date has not been confirmed, Woodbine Entertainment intends to host the North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park, subject to recommendations and restrictions from government and health officials related to the ongoing COVID-19 situation."
The 2020 Pepsi North America Cup was slated to be contested on Saturday, June 20 on a card that typically features a number of lucrative stakes events like the Armbro Flight, Fan Hanover and Goodtimes.
“The Pepsi North America Cup is one of the most prominent and celebrated harness races is North America,” said Lawson in Friday's statement. “We appreciate that the race is part of a larger stakes schedule that is carefully managed by stakeholders across the continent. We intend to work as much as possible with other racing jurisdictions to reschedule the Pepsi North America Cup at the optimal time in 2020.”
Last month, Woodbine Entertainment announced that it would temporarily suspend live racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park starting March 20. The decision is consistent with the Government of Ontario’s orders to close all non-essential businesses to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Due to the temporarily suspended season, a revised stakes schedule is required and will be announced at the appropriate time.
(with files from Woodbine)