Woodbine Entertainment

Portuondo Leaving Woodbine

Jason Portuondo, the longtime on-air simulcast host at Woodbine Entertainment, will be leaving the organization after the June 26 show. Portuondo, who has been with Woodbine since 2014, has accepted a role with the AGCO as a Racing Official. "Jason has been a big part of our racing product over the years and represented our brand, our sport, and our industry with professionalism, enthusiasm, and integrity," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "Although we will certainly miss Porty, it's comforting to know he will remain in our industry, and we...

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100 Nominated to '22 Canadian Triple Crown

One hundred of the top Canadian-bred 3-year-old Thoroughbreds have been nominated to the 2022 Canadian Triple Crown. Woodbine Entertainment released the nominations for the three-race series, which consists of the Aug. 21 Queen's Plate, Sept. 13 Prince of Wales S. and culminates with the Oct. 2 Breeders' S. The total number of nominees is down from last year's high of 125, but up from only 92 in 2020. Among the top nominees to the series are: Messier (Empire Maker), Ironstone (Mr Speaker), God of Love (Cupid), The Minkster (English Channel),...

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TAA Auction Raises over $35,000

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance's Off to the Races online auction, which closed Feb. 10, raised $35,125. From Jan. 28 to Feb. 10 the public had the opportunity to bid on experience packages on 12 major race days in 2022 and 2023. Each experience package offered a unique itinerary of horse racing-related bucket list activities and tickets to the specified race day(s). In total, 23 donors contributed to the 12 experience packages offered in the TAA's Off to the Races auction: 1/ST, America's Best Racing, Anne's Washington Inn, Breeders' Cup Ltd.,...

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Tim Lawson Named Woodbine's Director of Thoroughbred Racing

Woodbine Entertainment has named Tim Lawson, Woodbine's former manager of racing development and stabling operations, as the new Director of Thoroughbred Racing. He had also previously served as assistant racing secretary for both Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing at the Toronto-area track. Lawson, the son of Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson, interned for Keeneland Sales and Racing before working in various positions at Century Downs, including as racing secretary, and as a project manager for Century Mile. Both Century Downs and Century Mile are located in Alberta. Lawson's new role will begin...

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Live Horse Racing Coming to DAZN Canada

Woodbine Entertainment and sports streaming platform DAZN Canada announced the new four-part live Thoroughbred racing series DAZN Day at the Races. Hosted by Woodbine Entertainment's Jason Portuondo, DAZN Day at the Races will kick off Saturday, June 26th at 3 p.m. ET and feature racing from Woodbine Racetrack as well as Belmont, Delaware Park and Churchill Downs. "We are thrilled to partner with DAZN Canada to offer this new live horse racing series to their customers across the country," said Michael Copeland, Chief Commercial Officer, Woodbine Entertainment. "Racing has such...

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Copeland Named Woodbine CCO

Woodbine Entertainment has appointed experienced sports executive Michael Copeland as its Chief Commercial Officer. Copeland assumes his role with Woodbine Entertainment May 10. Copeland founded and led his own consulting business focused on issues of growth and transformation in sports and entertainment. Prior to that, Copeland was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Argonauts (2015 to 2018), who under his leadership won a Grey Cup championship in 2017. Before joining the Argos, Copeland was the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Football League for nearly 10...

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Woodbine to Host Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

Woodbine Entertainment will host a pop-up COVID-19 Vaccine clinic at Woodbine Racetrack, which is located in a 'hot spot', beginning Wednesday at 10 a.m. for the Rexdale Community. The vaccine clinic, which is supported by the North Etobicoke Community Cluster Partners, will operate for a minimum of three days and is open to individuals 18 years and older in 2021 and living in 'hot spot' communities in M9V and M9W. "We are very proud and grateful to be able to host this much needed pop-up clinic at Woodbine Racetrack for...

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With Ontario Extending Stay-at-Home Order, Woodbine Opening Up in the Air

The Ontario government announced earlier this week that a province-wide COVID-19-related lockdown has been extended to at least May 20, dashing hopes that Woodbine will be able to open for business any time soon. The meet was supposed to begin Apr. 17. "There is a crisis right now in the Toronto area and we're right in the middle of it," said Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson. "They are running out of intensive care beds and the numbers are not going down. The good news is that more vaccines are coming in...

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Canada's Parliament Passes Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act

Canada's Private Members Bill C-218, which amends the Criminal Code of Conduct regarding sports betting, was passed in the House of Commons Wednesday, Feb. 17. It will now continue to the Justice Committee, the Senate, and the Governor-General. A similar bill, C-13, introduced by the federal government to legalize single-event sports wagering while including language to protect the horse racing industry, is scheduled for a second reading Friday. Both are widely expected to pass and pave the way for Canadians to participate in single sports betting, while also adopting language...

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Woodbine Entertainment Adds Three to Board of Directors

Woodbine Entertainment appointed Mr. Michael Lay, Mr. Mark Saunders and Ms. Ann Straatman to its Board of Directors. "Woodbine is proud to announce the appointment of three new members to our Board of Directors," said Christine Magee, Chair, Woodbine Entertainment Board of Directors. "The Board is excited to work with such outstanding leaders to help fulfil Woodbine's mission to grow the sport of horse racing in Ontario while making a positive impact on the communities that we operate in." Mr. Michael Lay is a Managing Partner and Co-Head of ONCAP,...

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Woodbine Changes Post Times for Rest of Meet

Woodbine Entertainment announced Friday that post times for the rest of the meet will be altered. Beginning Sunday, Nov. 8, first post at the Ontario oval will be at 2:25 p.m. on Thursdays, 4:45 p.m. on Fridays, and 1:25 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Live Thoroughbred racing for the season will conclude Sunday, Dec. 13. Visit Woodbine.com for more information.

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Magee Appointed Chair of Woodbine Entertainment Board of Directors

Christine Magee has been appointed the chair of Woodbine Entertainment's Board of Directors, effective immediately. "We are thrilled to have someone with Christine's business acumen, experience and leadership be the Chair of our Board of Directors while we continue to grow the sport of horse racing, support and sustain the entire industry in this province, and fulfill our vision of being the top horse racing destination in North America," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "As we continue to advance our plans to diversify our business model to sustain the...

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