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Campbellville, ON — On Thursday afternoon (April 1), Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, issued an update to Standardbred industry participants regarding the province-wide shutdown imposed in Ontario. The update appears in its entirety below. Woodbine Mohawk Park Horsepeople, The Government of Ontario announced today that it is activating a Province-wide ‘emergency brake’ shutdown as a result of an alarming surge in case numbers and COVID-19 hospitalizations across the province. Currently, the measures included in the shutdown allow for training, but not live racing without spectators. In advance of today’s news of a Province-wide ‘emergency brake’ shutdown, I had a conversation with the Province this morning regarding our request to be permitted to safely operate live racing during the shutdown. The Province indicated its support for this request so long as the local health authority also approves. We are in contact with officials from the Halton Region, where Woodbine Mohawk Park is situated. Over the coming days we will continue to make our case with the region’s health authorities by demonstrating our commitment to safety, sharing our industry-leading COVID-19 Prevention Protocols, and reminding them that we have not had a single case of on-site transmission of the virus at Woodbine Mohawk Park. As of Saturday, April 3, we will be required to suspend racing until we receive the necessary permission from local health authorities to safely operate live racing during this shutdown. Please prepare accordingly but also rest assured that we are doing everything we can do be able to resume racing as quickly as possible. In the meantime, and in accordance with the measures of the shutdown, we will continue to offer training at Woodbine Mohawk Park. More details regarding this will be shared by the Race Office shortly. While you are at Woodbine Mohawk Park this weekend for live racing, please continue to be safe and follow all COVID-19 Prevention Protocols as you have done so well over the past year. Thanks, Jim Lawson

MILTON, ON - March 30, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to remind harness racing horsepeople of Thursday's deadline for nominations to several late-closing events at tracks across Ontario. Nominations are due Thursday (April 1) for the Ontario Sired Spring Series (Mohawk Park), City of London Series (Western Fair) and Mark Austin Memorial Pacing Series (Dresden Raceway). The Ontario Sired Spring Series at Woodbine Mohawk Park is for Ontario sired three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 in 2020. The Spring Series consists of two preliminary legs and a $40,000 added money final. The Spring Series for fillies starts on Thursday, April 15, while the Spring Series for colts and gelding starts on Friday, April 16. All four Spring Series events will conclude on Saturday, May 1. The nomination fee for the Ontario Sired Spring Series is $300. To view the nomination form for the Ontario Sired Spring Series, click here. The City of London Series at Western Fair is for Ontario sired four-year-olds and younger. The Ciry of London features an event for all divisions, male and female, pacers and trotters. Non-winners of $10,000 lifetime as of midnight February 28, 2021 are eligible. The City of London consists of eliminations and a final. The eliminations will go for a purse of $8,000 each and all finals will have $20,000 in added money. The finals for the City of London will take place on Friday, May 28, with eliminations the week prior. The nomination fee for the City of London is $200. To view the nomination form for the City of London, click here. The Mark Austin Memorial Pacing Series at Dresden Raceway is open to maiden pacers, non-winners of one race or $5,000 (F&M $6,000) lifetime as of midnight March 31, 2021. The series consists of two $5,000 preliminary legs and a $12,000 added money final. The Mark Austin Memorial Pacing Series starts on Sunday, June 6 and concludes on Sunday, June 20. The nomination fee for the Mark Austin Memorial Pacing Series is $100. To view the nomination form for the Mark Austin Memorial Pacing Series, click here. Full information for all stakes and other racing related items can be found by visiting www.Woodbine.com/Mohawk/Horsepeople/. Woodbine Entertainment encourages all horsepeople to submit payments online by visiting www.Woodbine.com/SBPayments. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than April 1, 2021 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

TORONTO, ON  - March 25, 2021 - Today, with a unanimous vote, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights amended Private Member's Bill C-218 to offer protection to the horse racing industry in Canada. Under the new proposed legislation, fixed odds wagering on horse racing would not be permitted. "This is great news for the horse racing industry and the tens of thousands of jobs it supports across Canada," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "On behalf of the industry, thank you to the Standing Committee for listening to our perspective and recognizing the need to protect horse racing from unintended consequences caused by the legalization of sports betting." PMB C-218 was introduced by MP Kevin Waugh to legalize Single-Event Sports Betting in Canada. The horse racing industry supports the principle of the Bill but led a significant cross-party advocacy effort to ensure Committee members understood the unintended consequences to the industry if protections were not included. As part of those efforts, horse racing hall of fame jockey Sandy Hawley and representatives from the Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association of Ontario, Racetracks of Canada, Quebec Jockey Club and Woodbine Entertainment appeared as witnesses over the past several weeks as the Standing Committee studied the proposed Bill. The Bill will now proceed to Third Reading in the House and, if passed, head to the Senate for review. "As the legislation process continues, our industry will remain active to ensure the protections remain in the Bill through the Senate process," Lawson added. "We also recognize that with this potential emergence of sports betting in the near future, our industry will face increased competition in the legal wagering market and must pursue additional sources of revenue to further protect our industry." As an established leader and trusted Canadian organization in regulated single-event sports betting in Canada, Woodbine Entertainment will continue to advocate for an opportunity to participate in sports betting in a meaningful. "We look forward to continuing to engage with government and other stakeholders to offer our expertise in regulated sports wagering as Canada prepares for this new and emerging sector," Lawson said. ""The opportunity for us to offer our leadership in this sector has the potential for sports betting to be a very positive development for the horse racing industry across the country." In addition to its efforts in sports betting, Woodbine Entertainment will continue to advocate for the legalization of Historical Horse Racing on behalf of the industry. by Jamie Dykstra, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON - March 22, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced a mandatory payout will be offered on the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 this Saturday (March 27) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover for this Saturday's mandatory payout is $262,454.05. The Jackpot Hi-5 wager was frozen following last Saturday's (March 20) card in preparation for this weekend's mandatory payout. The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order. A horseplayer can only win the entire jackpot if they hold the only winning ticket for that evening's wager. If there are multiple winning tickets, half the pool is paid out, while the other half is added to the carryover. This Saturday's mandatory payout will see the entire carryover, plus new money wagered, paid out to all those that correctly select the top-five finishers in order. The Jackpot Hi-5 has a $0.20 minimum and a 15 per cent takeout. The Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout race will be the final-race on this Saturday's card. The draw for Saturday's card takes place Wednesday. Live racing continues every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, March 16, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment is pleased to announce a partnership with Diamond Creek Farm as a year-round sponsor of Standardbred racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The partnership highlights Woodbine Entertainment's commitment to world class racing and provides Diamond Creek Farm with a presence throughout the entire racing season and at all of Woodbine's signature Standardbred events. Established in 2005 by Adam Bowden, Diamond Creek Farm has become one the leading and most influential breeding operations in harness racing. With an initial focus on regal bloodlines and producing top quality horses for the sales ring and racetrack, Diamond Creek Farm has produced numerous champions and assembled an elite stallion roster. Diamond Creek Farm recently announced the addition of three-time Breeders Crown champion trotter Gimpanzee to its stallion lineup. The Dan Patch Award winning trotter won his second of three Breeders Crown titles at Woodbine Mohawk Park in 2019. Gimpanzee joins Dan Patch Award winning pacer Bettors Wish as new additions for the 2021 breeding season at Diamond Creek Farm. The entire "all-star" stallion roster for Diamond Creek Farm features winners of Woodbine Mohawk Park's most prestigious races, including the Pepsi North America Cup, Maple Leaf Trot and Canadian Trotting Classic. The full stallion roster for Diamond Creek Farm is listed below: Always B Miki Bettor's Wish Captain Crunch Crazy Wow Downbytheseaside Father Patrick Gimpanzee Marseille Southwind Frank Sweet Lou Diamond Creek Farm has operations based in Pennsylvania and Kentucky. For more information, visit www.DiamondCreekFarm.com. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment        

Toronto, ON - March 9, 2021 - On behalf of the Canadian horse racing industry, Woodbine Entertainment, Racetracks of Canada, Quebec Jockey Club and the Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association Of Ontario (HBPA), would like to thank the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights for the opportunity to be witnesses today as part of its study of Bill C-218, an act to amend the Criminal Code that would legalize single-event sports betting in Canada. "We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to represent the horse racing industry today as Bill C-218 continues to be studied," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "After participating in today's discussion, we remain confident that the Government appreciates the importance of the horse racing industry, recognizes its substantial economic impact, and understands the need for it to be protected from any unintended consequences from the legalization of sports betting in Canada." During the committee meeting, Racetracks of Canada President Bill Ford, Quebec Jockey Club Director Murielle Thomassin, HBPA President Sue Leslie and Lawson reiterated support for Private Members Bill C-218 but requested that it adopt language to protect the industry and the 50,000 jobs it supports across Canada by prohibiting fixed odds wagering on horse racing. In recognition that sports betting will likely reduce horse racing's share of the wagering market in Canada, and in response to the ongoing financial impacts of COVID-19 on the industry, Ford also requested the Government consider legalizing Historical Horse Racing - a pari-mutuel gaming product where individuals can place a wager on the outcome of races that have occurred in the past. Before the individual locks in a wager, information presented is anonymized in a way that prevents the player from identifying which historic race they are betting on. "Historical Horse racing is currently prohibited by the Criminal Code, despite it being a proven and legal product in many jurisdictions in North America," Ford said. Revenue from Historical Horse Racing would be particularly beneficial to the smaller tracks that only run seasonally for a few weeks a year. "Overall, we continue to be optimistic about receiving the protection our industry deserves and remain hopeful we will be provided with an opportunity to participate in sports betting in a meaningful way," Lawson said. by Jamie Dykstra, for Woodbine Entertainment        

Milton, ON — Woodbine Entertainment today released the list of eligible horses for its 2021 major stakes, including the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup. Harness racing’s richest race for 3-year-old pacers received 72 nominations, holding steady to last year’s number of 77. Dan Patch Award winner Perfect Sting leads the group of eligible horses for the 38th Pepsi North America Cup. The undefeated son of Always B Miki won last year’s Breeders Crown (in a dead-heat) and Kentucky Sires Stakes final for trainer Joe Holloway and owners Brittany Farms and Val D’or Farms. O’Brien Award winner Lawless Shadow for trainer Dr. Ian Moore and Ontario Sires Stakes champion Bulldog Hanover for trainer Jack Darling headline the local contingent. Other notables to be nominated include Breeders Crown co-champion Summa Cum Laude, Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion Southwind Gendry, Governor’s Cup winner Always A Miki, Metro Pace winner Exploit and New York Sires Stakes standout American Courage. The 38th Pepsi North America Cup is scheduled for Saturday (June 19) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Woodbine Entertainment’s lucrative stakes program is highlighted by a star-studded month of September, featuring the Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Pacing Derby, Canadian Trotting Classic, Metro Pace and Mohawk Million. Superstar trotting mare Atlanta captured last year’s Maple Leaf Trot and is again nominated to this year’s event. Her rival Manchego is also nominated as part of 38 eligible trotters. Hambletonian champion Ramona Hill, Breeders Crown champion Amigo Volo and Ontario Sires Stakes champion Pemberton join the older ranks in 2021 and are all eligible to the Maple Leaf Trot. Canadian Horse of the Year Century Farroh headlines the group of 46 older pacers nominated to the Canadian Pacing Derby. Last year’s upset winner Dorsoduro Hanover is again nominated along with 4-year-old standouts Tattoo Artist, Warrawee Vital and Cattlewash. The Canadian Trotting Classic will be the next chapter in a story started during last September’s William Wellwood Memorial and Mohawk Million, as Wellwood winner On A Streak and Million champion Venerate lead the group of 63 nominated sophomore trotters. Woodbine’s signature 2-year-old events attracted 172 nominees for the Metro Pace, 142 for the She’s A Great Lady, 160 for the Peaceful Way and 199 for the Wellwood Memorial. The winner of the Wellwood Memorial will receive a slot in the Mohawk Million on Saturday (Sept. 25). To view the full list of eligible horses for all 2021 major stakes, click here. A sustaining payment for all 2021 major stakes is due March 15. Full information regarding stakes payments and eligible horses can be found here. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON - March 4, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment today proudly revealed the names of the slot owners for the second edition of the Mohawk Million for two-year-old trotters on Saturday, September 25 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A total of nine slots were available for purchase at the cost of $100,000 (CAD) each for entry in the $1-million (CAD) Mohawk Million. The deadline to purchase a slot passed on February 15 with all slots sold. The tenth and final slot will be awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial on September 11. The slot owners for the 2021 Mohawk Million are listed below: Brad Grant Crawford Farms Determination (two slots) EquineX (two slots) Gino Toscani (two slots) Steve Heimbecker The owners of the slots are not required to declare a two-year-old trotter for the race until entry time and the slot is an entity that may be sold, traded or subject to lease. Each slot owner was required to submit $50,000 per slot by the February 15 deadline. The remaining $50,000 is due by June 1. The Mohawk Million will take place along with the $850,000 Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers on September 25, putting the sport's two richest races for freshmen on the same card. The $540,000 Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies will also take place on the Mohawk Million card, which will feature total purses of more than $2.6 million. Fans can track the march to the Mohawk Million by following @WoodbineSB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The official hashtag of harness racing's richest race for two-year-olds is #MohawkMillion. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment            

TORONTO, March 1, 2021 - As of today, more than two million households in Canada now have access to live horse racing 24 hours a day for the entire month of March. Ontario Racing, in partnership with Woodbine Entertainment, announced today that it is presenting a free preview of HPItv throughout the month of March for Bell Television subscribers. "As part of our mandate to promote our sport, Ontario Racing is proud to present this free preview as a fantastic opportunity for both casual and dedicated fans to experience world-class horse racing from across the globe, including outstanding live racing coverage from racetracks across Ontario," said John Hayes, Independent Chair, Ontario Racing. "Viewers will also be able to access professional handicapping tips, in-depth race analysis, and get the chance to see some of the sport's top stars, both equine and human, vie for victory at racetracks throughout North America and beyond." Since 2005, HPItv, which is owned and operated by Woodbine Entertainment, has delivered thrilling, worldwide horse racing action to fans in the comfort of their homes or through their preferred mobile device. The March free preview on Bell features three premium racing channels, each with its own unique programing, that combine to showcase a multitude of races daily from across the world. "Horse racing is an exciting sport and we are confident that if we continue to provide opportunities to make our sport more accessible, especially while fans cannot attend racetracks in person, interest in our sport will only grow," said Christina Litz, Vice President, Business Development and Revenue, Woodbine Entertainment. "Last year we launched Racing Night Live on TSN and saw hundreds of thousands of new fans engage with horse racing. This free preview of HPItv is another strategy to grow our sport and we are proud to partner with Ontario Racing on this initiative for fans." Seasoned handicappers and new fans to racing will have the chance to watch and wager on world-class live racing currently being held throughout Ontario: Woodbine Mohawk Park, The Raceway at Western Fair District, Rideau Carleton Raceway and Flamboro Downs. "The Raceway at Western Fair District is thrilled to learn of the free preview of HPItv for the month of March, sponsored by Ontario Racing," said Rob Lumsden, Director of Raceway & Grandstand, The Raceway at ​Western Fair District. "Whether you're a first-time player or seasoned handicapper this is a great opportunity to get into the action, attract new fans and to continue to grow the fan base of harness racing in Ontario." HPItv features up to four tracks of live racing on a single screen from 6:30 a.m. (ET) to 2 a.m. (ET), daily. Many of the world's most prestigious racetracks including Woodbine Racetrack (Canada), Churchill Downs (U.S.), Santa Anita (U.S.), Saratoga (U.S.), Epsom Downs (U.K.), Ascot Racecourse (U.K.), Flemington Racecourse (Australia), Meydan Racecourse (Dubai), Sha Tin Racecourse (Hong Kong), Tokyo Racecourse (Japan), as well as other venues in South Africa, Europe, Asia and beyond, are featured on HPItv. Additionally, HPItv is home to the sport's most prestigious events including the Kentucky Derby (U.S.), Breeders' Cup (U.S.A.), Epsom Derby (U.K.) and Canada's iconic Queen's Plate, slated for August 22 this year at Woodbine Racetrack. As premium channels, the HPItv package is typically only available to subscribers, however the free preview is available to all Bell Television users from March 1 to March 31 on channels 477 to 480 on satellite and channels 475 to 478 on Bell Fibe TV. Fans who wish to enhance their experience can complement their viewing by signing up for HPIbet.com. HPIbet is Canada's leading horse racing wagering site and is a safe, secure and convenient way to ensure users don't miss a moment of the action or an opportunity to place a bet. by Jamie Dykstra, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - February 23, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced rescheduled dates for several harness racing winter series at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The recent shutdown of live racing in Ontario has forced the delayed start of four series and the delay of two series finals. The Family Day Trotting Series and Wine & Roses Trotting Series will now start on Monday, March 8. The Blizzard Pacing Series will start on Thursday, March 11, while the Snowshoe Pacing Series will start the following evening on Friday, March 12. All four series will feature two preliminary legs and a $30,000 added money final. The finals of the Valedictory Pacing Series and Niagara Pacing Series, originally scheduled for Boxing Day, will now take place after the completion of the Blizzard and Snowshoe Series. The date of those finals will be confirmed in the coming week. The list of eligible horses for the series starting in March are available below: FAMILY DAY TROTTING SERIES - ELIGIBLES WINE AND ROSES TROTTING SERIES - ELIGIBLES SNOWSHOE PACING SERIES - ELIGIBLES BLIZZARD PACING SERIES - ELIGIBLES by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Toronto, ON - February 18, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment reiterated its support for the legalization of single event sports wagering and is confident the horse racing industry, and the more than 50,000 jobs it supports across the country, will be protected. "We continue to be very supportive of the legalization of sports betting and are confident that through the legislative process the Government will protect the industry that supports tens of thousands of jobs, generates significant economic activity, and is a way of life for thousands of Canadian families," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. In November, Woodbine Entertainment stated its support for Bill C-13, a proposed bill introduced by the Federal Government to legalize single event sports wagering that contemplated the potential for unintended consequences to the horse racing industry by including language to protect it. Subsequently, Private Members Bill C-218, an act to amend the Criminal Code of Conduct regarding sports betting, was voted on and passed overwhelmingly at second reading in the House of Commons on February 17. Woodbine Entertainment is confident that Private Members Bill C-218 will also adopt language through the legislative process to protect the long-term sustainability of the horse racing industry. "Sports betting in Canada is a significant opportunity for the Canadian economy and equally exciting for sports bettors," Lawson added. "We remain highly focused on ensuring the horse racing industry not only is protected but has an opportunity to participate in it in a meaningful way." Woodbine Entertainment has legally operated single event wagering through a pari-mutuel model in a highly government-regulated industry for many decades. "Throughout our future discussions with government authorities, we look forward to demonstrating how we can play a meaningful role in the execution of the legalization of sports betting that leverages our industry-leading experience and technology in single event wagering, while also offering a solution that would ensure any profits derived from sports betting remain in our provincial economy," Lawson said. Operating without share capital, Woodbine Entertainment's sole mission as an organization is to sustain the Ontario horse racing industry and the tens of thousands of jobs it supports. by Jamie Dykstra, for  Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - February 18, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced that all slots for the 2021 Mohawk Million have officially been sold and the $1 million race for two-year-old trotters will be contested on Saturday, September 25 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The deadline to purchase one of nine slots in the Mohawk Million was February 15 and Woodbine has received purchase contracts to fill all slots. A $50,000 (CAD) payment was required by the February 15 deadline and all the slot purchasers will now have until June 1 to submit the remaining $50,000 (CAD) of the $100,000 slot fee. "We are very excited to announce that the second edition of the Mohawk Million is officially moving forward," said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. "The Mohawk Million is a race that impacts many avenues of our industry and brings notoriety to our sport. "On behalf of our entire team at Woodbine, I'd like to extend a special thank you to the owners that have purchased slots and are helping support a race that raises the prominence of our world class sport. I'd also like to acknowledge and thank Jessica Buckley, Bill McLinchey and our entire team for persevering in pulling this event together in spite of these challenging times." The names of the nine slot owners for the 2021 Mohawk Million will be unveiled by the end of the month. Woodbine Mohawk Park continues to compile a list of all the horses nominated to its 2021 stakes from the recent February 15 deadline. The tenth and final slot in the Mohawk Million will be awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial on Saturday, September 11. The Mohawk Million card on September 25 will be Canada's richest night of racing for 2021 with over $2.6 million in purses. The rising stars of harness racing will be the focus of Mohawk Million night, as the $850,000 Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers and $540,000 Shes A Great Lady are part of the rich evening. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment          

MILTON, ON -  February 9, 2021 - Less than a week remains to submit nominations for Woodbine Entertainment's 2021 Standardbred harness racing stakes program at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Nominations close Monday, February 15, 2021 for all major events at Woodbine Mohawk Park and stakes at various tracks across Ontario. The February 15 date is also the deadline to purchase a slot in the Mohawk Million. All events closing on February 15 are listed below. All purses are estimates, except for the $1 million guaranteed purses for the Pepsi North America Cup and Mohawk Million. Pepsi North America Cup (3-Year-Old Pace) - $1 Million Mohawk Million (2-Year-Old Trot) - $1 Million Armbro Flight (Filly & Mare Trot) - $250,000 Canadian Pacing Derby (Open Pace) - $600,000 Canadian Trotting Classic (3-Year-Old Trot) - $600,000 Casual Breeze (3-Year-Old Filly Trot) - $180,000 Elegantimage (3-Year-Old Filly Trot) - $375,000 Eternal Camnation (2-Year-Old Filly Pace) - $240,000 Fan Hanover (3-Year-Old Filly Pace) - $450,000 Goodtimes (3-Year-Old Trot) - $250,000 Maple Leaf Trot (Open Trot) - $600,000 Metro Pace (2-Year-Old Pace) - $850,000 Milton (Filly & Mare Pace) - $250,000 Nassagaweya (2-Year-Old Pace) - $220,000 Peaceful Way (2-Year-Old Filly Trot) - $400,000 Roses Are Red (Filly & Mare Pace) - $330,000 Shes A Great Lady (2-Year-Old Filly Pace) - $540,000 Somebeachsomewhere (3-Year-Old Pace) - $190,000 William Wellwood Memorial (2-Year-Old Trot) - $610,000 Note: The winner of the William Wellwood Memorial receives a slot in the Mohawk Million. To download the 2021 Woodbine Standardbred Stakes Booklet, click here. Woodbine Entertainment also handles the administration of stakes races contested at various tracks across Ontario. Nominations close February 15 for the following events: Grand River Raceway Battle of Waterloo (Ontario Sired 2-Year-Old Pace) - $240,000 Battle of the Belles (Ontario Sired 2-Year-Old Filly Pace) - $160,000 Flamboro Downs Confederation Cup (4-Year-Old Pace) - $185,000 Hanover Raceway Balanced Image (Ontario Sired 2-Year-Old Trot) - $40,000 Dream Of Glory (Ontario Sired 3-Year-Old Trot) - $50,000 Clinton Raceway Kin Pace (Ontario Sired 3-Year-Old Filly Pace) - $50,000 Sustaining payments are also due February 15 for the following events at Woodbine Mohawk Park: 2021 Simcoe Filly Stakes (Foals of 2018) 2021 Simcoe Open Stakes (Foals of 2018) 2021 SBOA (Ontario Sired 3-Year-Old Filly Pace and Trot) Full information for all stakes and other racing related items can be found by visiting www.Woodbine.com/Mohawk/Horsepeople/. Woodbine Entertainment encourages all horsepeople to submit payments online by visiting www.Woodbine.com/SBPayments. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than February 15, 2021 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

Longtime harness racing fan, Mike Taney of Toronto, wants his harness racing back in action in Ontario. He has been a major advocate these past weeks, calling upon industry officials and government representatives to allow racing to resume. Tanev knows what he is talking about, having both his sons, Branden and Chris Tanev, playing in the NHL, which is active during the current pandemic. "The province has allowed the NHL to play because the NHL has strict protocols in place," Tanev explained. "Like player testing on a daily basis, which the teams are paying for. If horse racing followed the exact same protocols that the NHL is doing then there should be no reason that horse racing should be allowed. "I think we got a little good news today," Tanev said. "Jim Lawson, the CEO of Woodbine Entertainment sent out a positive letter about racing getting underway maybe by the end of February. Now, we understand that the Ontario Government could announce Monday that it is lifting some of the restrictions and that might include racing." Racing has been shutdown in Ontario since December. "I have been a proponent to bring back racing for the past three weeks," Tanev added. "Talking with Jim Lawson and Bill O'Donnell with the horsemen, trying to get everyone to get to the Government officials to arrange with the health ministers to have the same Covid-19 protocols as the NHL is doing and allow racing to resume. "The NHL did what they had to do," Tanev said. "And they used their lawyers and got permission to compete. Harness racing is willing to do the same and we need to push hard to get racing back again. "I'm not beating up on anyone," Tanev explained. "But if racing restrictions are not lifted, then we are not getting to the right people and have to try harder. "I think the return for racing is predicated on the Thoroughbreds," Tanev said. "They need to be on the grounds at Woodbine by the end of February and be able to work out. So, putting two and two together I think that by the 18th or 22nd of February we will be able to have harness racing return in Ontario. "We are keeping our fingers crossed," Tanev laughed. "Nobody knows which way the announcements will go on Monday. Tanev first caught the racing bug more than 40 years ago. "A buddy of mine who I use to play baseball with, Randy McCormick, back in the 1970's for East York team, told me he was going to the track one night and if I wanted to go with him. I said sure. "It was funny," Tanev recalled. "I had $20 in the pocket, I'm at the track, don't know anything about it. I think I bet a horse to win and an exactor and I won. I turned to Randy and asked him how long has this been going on. Now it's been nearly 44 years and I still love it." By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink  

Standardbred Canada reports that on Friday (Feb. 5) Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson issued an update on a variety of topics, including the safe resumption of horse racing in Ontario, equine benefit payments, the 2021 Mohawk Million, training at Woodbine Mohawk Park and sports betting. The update from Lawson is available below. Ontario Horse People, I hope you are well and staying safe. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since the pandemic started in Canada. It certainly has presented many challenges, but these difficult times have also brought us closer together as an industry which bodes well for the future of horse racing in Ontario. When this all started, I said that we would come out of this stronger and I still firmly believe that we will. We are obviously continuing to face challenges due to the pandemic, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully there will be an update next week from the Ontario Government about its plans to reopen parts of the economy including when horse racing will be permitted to safely resume. In the meantime, I wanted to provide you with some important updates. Advocating for the Safe Resumption of Horse Racing We continue to advocate for the safe resumption of horse racing. We also truly appreciate all of the horsepeople who have taken the time to reach out to their local MPP to do the same. Our collective voices are always much stronger than just one voice. It’s not too late to reach out to your local MPP. Ontario Racing has easy to use tools and templates that have been shared with the respective horse people associations. Here are links to information that COSA posted and the HBPA posted. Our advocacy efforts continue to ensure the government understands our industry and has confidence in our ability to operate safely. When they do start to re-open parts of the economy, we hope our efforts position us well to be included in the first phase much like what happened in June of last year. As soon as we receive an official update on when we will be permitted to resume racing, we will be sure to notify you. Equine Benefit Payments As a result of industry partners working together, Standardbred and Thoroughbred horsepeople in Ontario now have the opportunity access equine benefit payments if they meet the specific requirements. These benefit payments are being funded by the purses from the Long-Term Funding Agreement that were originally allocated to the cancelled races as a result of the imposed government restrictions. We certainly hope that live racing is permitted to safely resume soon, but in the meantime, we are pleased that there is some financial support for horsepeople in Ontario. For more information on the Equine Benefit Payments for Standardbred horses, please click here. For more information on the Equine Benefit Payments for Thoroughbred horses, please click here. Opening of the Backstretch at Woodbine Racetrack As previously communicated, we are planning on opening the 2021 Thoroughbred Meet on Saturday, April 17, subject to the latest government restrictions. To prepare for the opening of the season, we intend to open the Woodbine backstretch on Wednesday, February 24. Trainers will be permitted to work horses and have official works recorded. As was the case last year, it will remain absolutely critical that everyone follows the COVID-19 Prevention Protocols that are in place. Thank you in advance for your ongoing understanding and cooperation in this regard. Should there be any changes to the schedule, we will inform you as soon as possible. Here are the key dates: Monday, February 22 – Backstretch re-opens for set-up Wednesday, February 24 – Horses begin shipping in Thursday, February 25 – Sand Ring and Training Track open (weather permitting) March – Main Track opens (weather permitting, and date TBC based on spring thaw) Saturday, April 17 – Opening Day Training at Woodbine Mohawk Park We appreciate that some horsepeople are requesting we open Woodbine Mohawk Park’s track for training purposes which we intend to do in advance of when we are permitted to safely resume racing. I am hoping that we will open the track for training very soon and certainly no later than February 25. Stakes Schedules Over the last couple of weeks, we announced the stakes schedule for Standardbred Racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park and Thoroughbred Racing at Woodbine Racetrack. Both schedules are subject to the latest government restrictions, but we are very excited about the stakes programs we put together. Mohawk Million Last year’s inaugural Mohawk Million was a huge success thanks to the slot owners and everyone who contributed to it. This event has the potential to build a legacy in our sport that can have a large impact on all parts of our industry, including our racetrack, owners, breeders, sales and fans. I hope our industry rallies together again to make it happen in 2021 so we can build on the momentum we started last fall. Please be reminded the deadline to purchase a slot in the Mohawk Million is quickly approaching on Monday, February 15. The race is for two-year-old trotters and follows a “buy-in” formula with nine slots available for purchase, each priced at $100,000 CAD. The million-dollar race is scheduled for Saturday, September 25. Any requests for information or purchases of a slot can be directed to Bill McLinchey, Director of Standardbred Racing, at bmclinchey@woodbine.com. Sports Betting Last December, the Federal government introduced single event sports betting legislation, which was announced by Federal Justice Minister, David Lametti. As part of the proposed bill, the horse racing industry is protected by language that would prevent any fixed odds wagering on horse racing, which is a big win for our industry. However, there is a lot of heavy lifting required to ensure our industry is not only protected from this significant change in the sports betting market in Canada, but to benefit from it so horse racing continues to be a beloved sport at the centre of an industry that supports more than 50,000 jobs nationwide. As part of this approach, we have consistently stated publicly that the horse racing industry is supportive of the legalization of sports betting so long as we are provided an opportunity to participate in a meaningful way. In fact, we believe that our industry is well-positioned to be a key partner to deliver sports betting to Ontarians should it be legalized. We have decades of experience in being a trusted provider of legalized sports betting. We could also provide the government with an opportunity to leverage our technology and physical locations through Ontario racetracks and the Champions Teletheatres. Further, we would also provide the government with a partner that does not have shareholders and can re-invest the profits from sports betting right back into the economy through the provincial horse racing industry. Working with Ontario Racing, we are having positive discussions with government officials and will continue to represent the interests of horse racing throughout this process. We will provide you with updates as required. On behalf of Woodbine Entertainment, thank you for the resiliency you have shown throughout the pandemic. We are excited to return to racing and hope to share news on that front in the coming weeks. Sincerely, Jim Lawson

MILTON, December 11, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced a mandatory payout for the harness racing Jackpot Hi-5 will be offered on Saturday, December 19 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. With the carryover currently sitting at $293,196.71, horseplayers will have two more opportunities to try and hit the Jackpot Hi-5 ahead of the mandatory payout, as the wager and carryover will be frozen following this Saturday's (December 12) card in preparation for the mandatory payout on December 19. Woodbine Entertainment has offered a Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout ahead of the holidays in each of the last several years. The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order. A horseplayer can only win the entire jackpot if they hold the only winning ticket for that evening's wager. If there are multiple winning tickets, half the pool is paid out, while the other half is added to the carryover. The entire carryover will be paid out, plus new money wagered, during the mandatory payout on December 19. The Jackpot Hi-5 has a $0.20 minimum and a 15 per cent takeout. Post time for live racing on Friday and Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park is 7 p.m. Mark McKelvie

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