Woodbine officially cancels remainder of meet

Woodbine officially cancels remainder of meet
Photo: Michael Burns

Woodbine Race Course in Ontario, Canada has officially canceled the remainder of its meet. The track had suspended racing Sunday as part of a new provincial COVID-19 lockdown. Officials had held out hope they would be able to resume racing prior to the meet's scheduled closing on Dec. 13.

The tweet below is from Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson, who had been in discussions with the government to try and finish the meet.

Woodbine is slated to resume racing in April. 

From Woodbine Entertainment:

"Despite efforts to gain approval from the Government of Ontario to safely complete the 2020 Thoroughbred meet, we have made the decision to officially cancel the remainder of the season.

“While I am extremely disappointed we are not able to complete the 2020 Thoroughbred meet, what we achieved this year in face of significant adversity is quite remarkable,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “I have been around horse racing my entire life and I can proudly say that I have never seen the industry come together as it did throughout this year.

“Together, we were able to develop, implement and follow strict COVID-19 Prevention Protocols that allowed us to be the first sport to return to competition in Canada since the shutdowns in March,” said Lawson. “We safely resumed racing in early June and ran almost 100 racing cards, more than 900 races, and the majority of our stakes schedule, including the 161st running of The Queen’s Plate.

“We hope the Government of Ontario has gained a better understanding of our business and appreciation of our safety record in operating live racing without spectators.”

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