On April 29, 2022, Woodbine Entertainment announced that it plans on holding an improved version of its new Free for All class for its Woodbine Mohawk Park. The new competition is set to have a purse for each week’s top-class calculated at CA$6,500 per horse on the field. Therefore, there is a possibility of a CA$65,000 purse, if the race gets to 10 participants.
Woodbine Mohawk Park is set to have a thrilling Standardbred season, as previously, the company announced that it will host events with over CA$21 million in stakes. And for the first time, since 2019, the start of the season was not delayed due to the unprecedented situation and its surrounding health and safety restrictions, such as capacity limits and social distancing.
Keeping Horses Busy
Woodbine Standardbred Race Secretary, Tony O’Sullivan, has stated that the horse racing leader wants to reassure local owners and trainers that its priority is to have local top-level horses as often as possible. As the stakes schedule is getting busy in May, he said that the company is optimistic that the enhanced Free for All will be enticing for shipping horses from the U.S.
According to the corporation, the new Free for All will have two variants, one for pacers and one for trotters. The events for pacers will be scheduled for May 7, 14, 21, 2022, as well as June 4, 2022. While the company informs that the Free for All for trotters will be held on May 9, 16, 23, and 30, 2022.
Some of the upcoming stakes that horse racing fans will be looking forward to watching and maybe wager in Ontario this summer feature the Charles Juravinski Memorial Cup. The competition which was previously known as the Confederation Cup is scheduled for May 22, 2022, at Flamboro Downs. There is also the Camluck Classic on May 27, 2022, at The Raceway at Western Fair District.
In addition to that, the leader has also reminded that Woodbine Mohawk Park’s Grand Circuit stakes will kick off on the first weekend of June 2022. The first race of the stakes will be the Graduate Series for four-year-olds and the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes for three-year-old pacers. Live racing at the track is hosted every Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with a post time of 7 p.m.
At the start of April, Woodbine Entertainment also announced a collaboration with Alberta’s Century Mile to join the East and the West. Now the winner of the Edmonton track’s Grade 3 Canadian Derby will be awarded an entry to the Grade 3 Ontario Derby. If the horse wins both of the competitions then he will be eligible for an additional CA$50,000 bonus money.
However, future plans of the company do not end here, as recently the horse racing leader of Ontario announced plans to build a soccer stadium with a training facility. According to the company, the venue will be located on 38,000 square foot of its Toronto land, and it will abide by all required FIFA standards. It should be completed in 2023.
Source: “Woodbine announces enhanced Free For All”, Woodbine Entertainment, April 29, 2022