A standardbred racing double-header will run on Wednesday at Woodbine Mohawk Park as its final event of the season before COVID-19 restrictions shut down the track.
Woodbine Entertainment made the announcement on Monday night as "an effort to provide horse people with additional racing opportunities prior to the mandated shutdown," that will kick in on Boxing Day.
Ontario will go into lockdown on Saturday in an effort to bring soaring COVID-19 cases under control, a move the province announced earlier Monday.
The lockdown will shutter all non-essential businesses, ban indoor gatherings, close restaurant dining rooms, and see all schools move classes online for the first week of the new year. It also means Ontarians are advised to stay home as much as possible.
The restrictions will remain in place for southern Ontario until Jan. 23, but will lift for northern Ontario — where there are fewer cases — on Jan. 9.
As a result of the suspension of racing, Woodbine Mohawk Park will be closed and not available for training as of Thursday.
"While we are disappointed that we must temporarily suspend live racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, we continue to be supportive of the government's efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic," said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment.
"The safety of our employees, horse people, customers and communities will always be our highest priority. As we have demonstrated throughout the pandemic, we will continue to be leaders in health and safety and look forward to when we can safely resume live racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park that supports thousands of people in the region who depend on it."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published December 21, 2020.