This week, Woodbine Entertainment announced its decision to boost claiming prices at three Ontario racetracks. It is in an attempt to bolster the value of Canadian-based horses and the change will be coming to Woodbine Mohawk Park, Flamboro Downs and The Raceway at Western Fair District. The new increase in prices will come into effect on December 1, 2023.
Woodbine Entertainment is Ontario’s leading operator for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing as it owns and operates Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto and Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbellville. With almost 150 years of experience in the business, the group is using its expertise and history to build a better future for the sport and attract a new age of fans.
New Claiming Prices Coming December 1
In its latest press, the horse racing operator revealed that the upcoming changes will apply to all three aforementioned racetracks in Ontario. As per the new rules, all conditioned claimers in CA$15,000 to CA$18,000 races will become CA$20,000 claimers. Meanwhile, the lowest claiming price will be boosted from CA$7,000 to CA$8,000 now.
Woodbine Mohawk Park will implement the following changes – non-winners CA$2,000 Last 3 – optional CA$15,000 claiming will be now optional CA$20,000 claiming. Non-winner CA$4,0000 last 5 – optional CA20,000 will become optional CA$25,000 claiming. Also, non-winners of CA$8,000 last 5’s optional CA$45,000 claiming will be now increased to CA$50,000 optional.
However, that is not all, as non-winners of CA$14,000 last five – optional CA$65,000 claiming will be upped to optional CA$70,000 claiming. Non-winners CA$20,000 last – optional CA$80,000 will be optional CA$90,000 claiming. The new rules for Woodbine Mohawk Park will not arrive on December 1, claiming CA$12,000-CA$16,000 will be adjusted to CA$14,000-CA$18,000.
In addition to that, claiming CA$17,000 to CA$22,000 will be bolstered to CA$19,000 to CA$24,000, also claiming CA$17,000 to CA$22,000 becomes CA$19,000 to CA$24,000. According to the horse racing operator, mares CA$8,000 to CA$10,000 will be increased to CA$10,000-CA$12,000. And last but not least, mares claiming CA$12,000 to CA$15,000 will be CA$14,000 to CA$18,000.
King’s Plate Brings Record Volume But…
Earlier this year, Woodbine Entertainment saw its prestigious The King’s Plate card produce the largest betting handle in the history of Woodbine Racetrack. For the weekend that track recorded a wagering volume of CA$18,127,049.67. This was assisted by the operator’s launch of its pari-mutuel wagering with bet365, which was the first private iGaming brand to offer it legally in Ontario.
However, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency has recently reported that the introduction of single-event betting in Canada could be an issue for horse racing. The agency is funded with 0.8% on each pari-mutuel bet placed on horse racing in the country. Therefore, its business model is heavily reliant on gambling activity which has been in decline for the last several years.
Source: McKelvie, Mark “Woodbine to increase claiming prices” HarnessLink, November 1, 2023