Canada

Assiniboia Downs First to Open Canada

Assiniboia Downs will be the first track in Canada to resume live racing with no spectators Monday night. They will run Monday through Wednesday with first post at 7:30 p.m. The track is offering $20 in free wagers when players launch their accounts. Players can sign up for an account at HPIbet.com or by phoning 204-885-3330 ext. 225. The track, in fact, is guaranteeing a $10,000 pick-4 pool.

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Virtual Sovereign Awards Ceremony May 19

Canada's version of the Eclipse Awards, the Sovereign Awards is set to be held during a virtual ceremony Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. Eastern time. The ceremony will be streamed live at www.woodbine.com and HPItv Canada. A digital program will be available for download at the Jockey Club of Canada website. The Sovereign Awards, which recognize the nation's best across 12 equine and five human categories, was originally slated for Apr. 16, but officials were forced to postpone the program due to the coronavirus pandemic. Media Sovereign Awards in the...

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Woodbine Sets Tentative Schedule for Re-Opening

Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson told the Toronto Sun that he anticipates racing will resume at the Ontario track in approximately six weeks. "With the optimism that we all need to share, we anticipate that we are approximately six weeks away from resuming live racing (under the strict conditions being developed with the AGCO) if the Provincial Declaration of Emergency is lifted and parts of the economy are permitted to gradually re-open following government and health officials' guidelines," Lawson told the Sun. "I will continue to provide updates in the coming...

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Ontario Purses For Canceled Races Made Available to Horse Owners

Ontario purse funds from races already canceled or expected to be canceled in April and May because of COVID-19 restrictions will be redistributed to the owners of Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and Quarter Horses in the form of a monthly stipend that requires an application process, the Ontario Racing task force announced late Thursday. "These funds were already committed to the industry through the funding agreement for live horse racing between Ontario Racing and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG)," an Ontario Racing press release stated. "In order to be eligible...

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Sovereign Awards Postponed

The 45th annual Sovereign Awards ceremonies, scheduled for Apr. 20 in northwest suburban Toronto, has been postponed indefinitely in response to the coronavirus crisis, The Jockey Club of Canada announced Monday. "The health and safety of our finalists, our guests and their families is of the utmost importance and we feel this is a necessary precaution in the current situation," a release said. "We would like to assure all our stakeholders that we will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves and will provide regular updates throughout. "Once an...

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Woodbine Increases Purses for Overnight, Ontario Bonus Programs

Woodbine Entertainment is increasing purses for its overnight and Ontario bonus programs effective for this year's Thoroughbred season which begins Saturday, Apr. 18, the company announced Tuesday. "Woodbine is committed to attracting and retaining top quality horses in support of a strong racing program," said Jessica Buckley, Senior Vice President of Thoroughbred and Standardbred Racing for Woodbine Entertainment. "We are pleased to offer enhanced overnight purses for some conditions as well as significant bonus increases for the Ontario Sired and Ontario Bred programs that will benefit the local horse racing...

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Ontario Racing’s Mare Purchase Program Concludes

Ontario Racing's Mare Purchase Program (MPP), designed to bolster the province's breeding and racing industry through its Thoroughbred Horse Improvement Program (TIP), has concluded with a total of 123 new broodmares added to the breeding program and 76 of those pledged to breed back to Ontario stallions. Through the end of the OBS Winter Mixed sale Jan. 29, a total of 24 in-foal broodmares were purchased at various public auctions with 16 expected to be bred back to a registered Ontario sire during the 2020-21 breedingseason and eligible for the...

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Fipke To Receive E.P. Taylor Award of Merit

Owner Charles E. Fipke, who will be represented by his homebred Seeking the Soul (Perfect Soul {Ire}) in the GI Pegasus World Cup S., will receive the E.P. Taylor Award of Merit at the 2019 Sovereign Award ceremony to be held Thursday, Apr. 16, at Universal Eventspace in Vaughn, Ontario. Selected by Jockey Club of Canada stewards, the E.P. Taylor Award of Merit is given to those who have accomplished outstanding individual achievements and have made a significant contribution to the Thoroughbred industry in Canada. For nearly four decades, Fipke...

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Koch Appointed Stronach Senior Racing VP

The Stronach Group has announced that industry executive Steve Koch has been appointed Senior Vice President of Racing for The Stronach Group. "We are thrilled to have Steve join our team at this pivotal moment in our sport," said Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of The Stronach Group. "Steve has a proven track record as an executive committed to safety and integrity in racing that is fully in line with our company's priority to put horse and rider safety at the forefront." Koch will work in tandem with the company's...

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