Edited Woodbine Release — The 2021 Thoroughbred meet kicked off on Saturday afternoon with an opening day record handle of $6.9 million at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario.
With the start of the 2021 campaign delayed nearly two months due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing provincial restrictions, horseplayers were clearly eager for the return of live racing at Woodbine Racetrack, taking advantage of strong field sizes to wager a total of $6,912,477 on the season-opening 11-race card.
The $6.9 million handle broke the previous opening day handle record of $5.5 million in 2020, which was also a delayed opening day due to the pandemic.
Woodbine’s extensive wagering menu saw horseplayers flood the featured multi-leg wagers on opening day. A total of $147,660 was wagered on the Early Pick-4, $160,339 on the Late Pick-4, and $128,908 on the Early Pick-5.
The afternoon’s eighth race (14-horse, mile, maiden allowance on the E.P. Taylor turf course) generated the largest single-race handle of the day at $1.1 million.
The average per race handle was $628,407.
The 2021 meet continues Sunday with a 13-race card, with a 1:20 p.m. post time. Following opening weekend, live (spectator-free) racing resumes Friday at Woodbine and continues through the weekend. The regular schedule of live racing four-days-a-week will start on Thursday, June 24.