06/13/2017 1:46PM

Mohawk to conduct year-round harness racing


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Woodbine Entertainment announced on Tuesday it will invest over $10 million in its Mohawk Racetrack so it can used for Standardbred racing year round. Woodbine Racetrack, which currently races Standardbreds in winter, will race only Thoroughbreds.

Mohawk, in Milton, west of Toronto, currently runs Standardbreds from April through October. When Mohawk conducts all of Woodbine Entertainment's Standardbred racing, Woodbine Racetrack will be able to convert its seven-furlong harness track into a second turf course. Woodbine staged turf racing on that infield track prior to 1994, when the harness track was put in and turf racing was moved to a new 12-furlong course that still encircles the one-mile main track. 

Woodbine Entertainment will winterize Mohawk's grandstand, race paddock, and maintenance facilities, and install new windows across the Terrace Dining Room. Suites and other customer amenities will be added.

Construction will begin this fall and is scheduled to be completed by the spring of 2018. The final Standardbred meet at Woodbine will be conducted this winter.

Plans for Mohawk were announced at Tuesday’s post-position draw for the North America Cup. Woodbine Entertainment also unveiled a new logo, and has renamed Mohawk Racetrack Woodbine at Mohawk Park.

“The future is very bright for standardbred racing,” said Jim Lawson, the CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. “With the long-term gaming lease in place, and with Ontario Lottery and Gaming expected to name a new gaming service provider soon, it’s a very exciting time to be a racing fan involved in the sport. Standardbred horsepeople are a significant part of the fabric of this community, and will soon be able to race 12 months of the year here.”