Woodbine Racetrack is back in business and will kick off its 2021 Racing Meet this weekend, after what's been a lengthy hiatus due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
It's a pleasant surprise, as Woodbine stated they entered their "Roadmap to Reopen" initiative earlier than expected.
Official opening time is Saturday, June 12th, with a Post Time of 1:20 PM EDT, and then again on Sunday at 1:20 PM EDT.
Then, racing continues the following Friday-Saturday-Sunday (June 18-20) before continuing to its usual, four-week schedule of racing (Thursday through Sunday).
To make up for lost racing, Woodbine intends to put together bigger programs during the first two weeks back in operation.
"While it has been a very frustrating period, I would like to thank the Government of Ontario for the recent attention it has given the horse racing industry," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment.
"In particular, I would like to thank Premier Doug Ford for his understanding and interest in the plight of the horse racing industry that has been so greatly impacted by the global pandemic and ensuing government restrictions."
Due to government restrictions, fans will still not yet be permitted to come watch the racing live.
"Although our industry has been substantially impacted, I do very much remain confident in the future of horse racing in Ontario and look forward to getting back on track later this week," Lawson added.
"On behalf of Woodbine Entertainment, thank you to our horse people for their patience, professionalism, and resiliency they continue to demonstrate, especially in face of adversity."
Updates on the track's major races:
The Queen's Plate will retain its original date for Sunday, August 22.
The Woodbine Mile, Canadian International will be contested Saturday, September 18th.
The Natalma and Summer Stakes each get boosted purses and will run Sunday, September 19th.
The E.P. Taylor Stakes and Nearctic Stakes remain scheduled for Sunday, October 17th, to be contested on the E.P. Taylor turf course.
The Woodbine Oaks and Plate Trial, both key prep races for the Queen's Plate, have been rescheduled for Sunday, August 1st.
The Canadian Triple Crown legs are still intact with one another: Queen's Plate (Aug. 22); Prince of Wales (Sept. 14); Breeder's Stakes (Oct. 3rd).