Woodbine Entertainment today unveiled the tentative schedule for the 2021 stakes season at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
More than $20 million in stakes races, including over $12 million in Woodbine administrated events, will be contested at Woodbine Mohawk Park in 2021.
“While we continue to advocate for the safe return of live Standardbred Racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, we are preparing for an exciting 2021 Standardbred meet,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “With a proven track record and industry-leading health and safety protocols already in place, we are confident that when it is safe and permitted to resume horse racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park, we will be well positioned to restart the industry and the thousands of jobs it supports.”
Currently, horse racing (without spectators) is not permitted until at least February 10 in Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions. However, Woodbine Entertainment has published this 2021 stakes schedule (subject to the latest government restrictions) to provide horse people with the information required to prepare for the season.
Typically kicking off in May, the 2021 Woodbine Mohawk Park stakes season is headlined by the million-dollar Pepsi North America Cup and Mohawk Million races.
The 38th Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacers will take place on Saturday, June 19 and is the headline event on a stacked Grand Circuit card of racing. The eliminations for the $1 million contest take place a week prior on Saturday, June 12.
The Pepsi North America Cup card will also include the $450,000 Fan Hanover (three-year-old pacing fillies), $330,000 Roses Are Red (pacing mares), $250,000 Armbro Flight (trotting mares), $250,000 Goodtimes (three-year-old trotters) and $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup (invitational pace).
The second edition of the Mohawk Million is scheduled for Saturday, September 25. The $1 million race for two-year-old trotters continues to follow a “buy-in” format with nine slots available for purchase.
Each slot available for purchase in the Mohawk Million is priced at $100,000 (CAD). The tenth and final slot will be awarded to the winner of the $610,000 William Wellwood Memorial on Saturday, September 11. The deadline to purchase a slot is February 15, 2021.
The Mohawk Million card on September 25 is scheduled to be the richest card of the season. The lineup for the night also includes the prestigious $850,000 Metro Pace (two-year-old pacers), $540,000 Shes A Great Lady (two-year-old pacing fillies) and $250,000 Milton (pacing mares).
The month of September is loaded with rich stakes events each Saturday, starting with the $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot on September 4 and closing with Mohawk Million night on September 25.
The $610,000 Wellwood Memorial (two-year-old trotters) and $400,000 Peaceful Way (two-year-old trotting fillies) take place on September 11, while the $600,000 Canadian Trotting Classic (three-year-old trotters) and $375,000 Elegantimage (three-year-old trotting fillies) are scheduled for September 18.
The traditional Champlain and Simcoe Stakes are sprinkled throughout the end of August and early September.
Other notable Grand Circuit races include the Somebeachsomewhere (three-year-old pacers) on Saturday, June 5, Nassagaweya (two-year-old pacers) and Eternal Camnation (two-year-old pacing fillies) on Saturday, August 28, and Casual Breeze (three-year-old trotting fillies) on Friday, September 3.
Woodbine Mohawk Park will also host a leg of the Miss Versatility (trotting mares) on Friday, May 28, and Graduate Series (four-year-olds) on Saturday, June 5. Both events are administrated by The Meadowlands.
The Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals and Grassroots Championships will again be held at Woodbine Mohawk Park in 2021. Final dates for the Ontario Sires Stakes season will be released at a later date.
Nominations for all Woodbine Standardbred Stakes close on Monday, February 15. Conditions and payment details can be found in the 2021 Woodbine Stakes Booklet.
Woodbine continues to administrate stakes for Ontario Racetracks in 2021, including Grand River Raceway, Flamboro Downs, Clinton Raceway and Hanover Raceway.
Stakes payments for all Woodbine administrated events can be made payable to Woodbine Entertainment. Payments can be made through the Race Office, by mail or online.
The entire 2021 stakes schedule for Woodbine Mohawk Park is available here.
PHOTO: Tall Dark Stranger and driver Yannick Gingras winning the 2020 Pepsi North America Cup. This year's edition of Canada's most prestigious harness race will be contested on Saturday, June 19. (New Image Media)
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