OTTAWA — Rideau Carleton Raceway says its Standardbred racing season will be watched exclusively via simulcast as seats at the track remain empty amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ontario Horse Racing Industry has been gearing up to restart ever since the Ontario government’s May 14th announcement allowing sporting events to occur without spectators. So far, the track has hosted one qualifier with another slated 11 a.m. tomorrow, June 3, in advance of the official kickoff June 7.
“We are very happy to be able to bring back track team members to prepare for the qualifiers and the June 7th race day,” says Peter Andrusek, Racing Manager. “I want to especially thank the National Capital Region Harness Horse Association, Ontario Racing, OLG and the AGCO for their support during these difficult times and their efforts to have racing reopened.”
The races will live-stream on HorsePlayerInteractive TV (HPI TV) at hpibet.com and HorsePlayerInteractive.com.
The June 7th purse is $65,000.
“This is some much needed positive news in a time of such uncertainty,” says Raceway Director Andy Wright. “We are happy to be racing again, allowing the horsemen to resume their competitions and provide entertainment for our loyal guests. In these unprecedented times it is a promising indication to see the tradition of horse racing resume in our community.”
Following the June 7th race, Rideau Carleton Raceway will resume weekly racing Thursdays (4 p.m. post time) and Sundays (6:30 p.m. post time).
For Raceway employees returning to their jobs, all health and safety protocols outlined by public health agencies will be followed throughout the recall process and in the workplace, according to the operators.
Rideau Carleton Casino, part of the same facility, remains closed until the Ontario government determines a reopening date.
Races have been held at the site since 1962.