AGCO releases 2024 horse racing schedule for Ontario

Group also has new policies regarding medication

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has finalized the 2024 race dates for horse racing tracks across the province, following input from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Ontario Racing.

Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbellville is set to lead with 222 racing days, the highest among Standardbred tracks. Clinton Raceway is slated for 15 days, Flamboro Downs will host 130 days, and Georgian Downs is set for 39 race days in 2024. Other tracks, such as Grand River Raceway, Hanover Raceway and Hiawatha Horse Park & Entertainment Centre, have also been allocated between 15-48 race days each.

Furthermore, in line with their commitment to equine safety and integrity in racing, the AGCO has implemented restrictions on certain medications for horses participating in qualifiers or workouts. As of Jan. 1, these animals may be tested for and must not test positive for substances such as corticosteroids, analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or local anesthetics.

These regulations aim to ensure that horses compete only when fit to do so, thereby reducing the risk of injury or fatality. Violations of these rules will result in penalties and disqualification, with the AGCO providing guidance documents to clarify the new requirements for licensees.

The regulatory body has also made rule additions to both Standardbred and Thoroughbred Rules of Racing, specifying a minimum $500 monetary penalty and disqualification for any horse testing positive for restricted substances. These steps are part of AGCO’s ongoing efforts to maintain the highest standards of horse racing in Ontario.

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