2019 Season Gets Underway on April 20
Toronto, On – April 8, 2019 – Woodbine Entertainment and the Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association Of Ontario (HBPA) jointly announced today that both parties have ratified the new four-year agreement that was agreed to in principle in December, 2018.
The new deal, which runs through the 2022 season, increases guaranteed purses by $18 million and commits an additional $4 million in capital improvements for Thoroughbred racing at Woodbine Racetrack over the course of the agreement. This significant increase brings the total purse pay out to $71 million for the 2019 season, further establishing Woodbine as a top Thoroughbred racetrack in North America for total purses paid per year.
“Woodbine Entertainment is committed to sustaining and growing horse racing in Ontario and this new agreement that includes a significant increase in purses is a demonstration of that commitment,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. “We look forward to working collaboratively with the HBPA and our horsepeople to grow the sport we all love. We have a lot of heavy lifting ahead of us, but finalizing this deal was a critical step in positioning all of us for future collective success.”
“On behalf of our members, the HBPA looks forward to Woodbine Entertainment’s increase in purses as it provides financial clarity for the next four years and recognizes the hard work, passion and significant investment made by our horsepeople,” said Sue Leslie, President of the HBPA. “With the new deal now finalized, we are committed to work closely with Woodbine Entertainment and our members to build on this momentum and have a great 2019 season.”
The 2019 Thoroughbred Season at Woodbine Racetrack gets underway on Saturday, April 20. Highlights for the 133-race-date season includes a $16 million stakes schedule that features the 160th running of the Queen’s Plate and a 25% purse increase for the Ricoh Woodbine Mile, making it a $1 million race. The 2019 meet will also feature the grand opening of the new inner turf track later this Spring.