AGCO, an acronym for the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario, has published all the race dates for 2024 of Ontario’s horse racing tracks. The calendar comes with a commitment to providing the most entertaining experience to fans. It has been drafted in association with the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation.
From Canadian sportsbook news, the schedule begins with Clinton Raceway, a 15-day horse racing event that has been spread across 2024. It will be followed by the Flamboro Downs, with 130 days scheduled for the year. Georgian Downs and Grand River Raceway will host 39 and 48 racing dates throughout the year, respectively.
Approval for the dates of Kawartha Downs, Dresden Raceway, Rideau Carleton Raceway, Leamington Raceway, and The Raceway at Western Fair District is awaited. AGCO is yet to finalize dates for those race tracks.
Woodbine Mohawk Park is sure to host the most horse racing dates, with 222 days, the maximum for the Standardbred tracks. The line-up of more than a thousand machines run by Great Canadian Entertainment makes Woodbine one of the best venues to host the event. Fort Erie Racetrack and Ajax Downs are on the list too, with 40 and 25 dates in the same order.
The development comes days after AGCO passed a rule to suspend the license of Anthony Beaton, a Standardbred trainer. The suspension is valid for 2 years, coming to light after an investigation by AGCO found them guilty of engaging in conduct that compromised equine welfare and safety. Their license was immediately suspended until a final outcome was determined.
This goes on to highlight that while AGCO is in favor of promoting horse racing with dates spread throughout 2024, it will, in some manner, tolerate cruelty toward horses.
Beaton was suspended only after he was found guilty of using an excessively long whip on a yearling. That constituted an act of cruelty and misconduct. The license suspension for Beaton is until October 12, 2025, with the window starting on October 13, 2023.
Another move that AGCO has made in recent times is bringing back breathalyzer testing. It has been brought back under Safety Sensitive Positions and is applicable to all the participants in horse racing. Others include jockeys, drivers, track maintenance personnel, and valets. The objective is to ensure safety in horse racing.
Dates for the event are not public as AGCO works to finalize dates for more racetracks. They are expected to be published in the days to come so that fans are well-equipped with information about their favorite event well in advance.
It is recommended to not indulge in any activity that has been restricted by AGCO, especially for participants. Fans now have a schedule ahead of them to look forward to. The Commission is most likely to announce additional dates. While a tentative timeline is unavailable, residents can expect an announcement to be made as soon as possible.