Dresden Raceway opening reined in for fans

Dresden Raceway 2017 season finale. August 6, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Gary Patterson).

There are new safety protocols and procedures at Dresden Raceway to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when the track opens at the end of May.

Dresden Raceway will have nine live race cards starting June 7 and running through August 3 with a new post time of 1 p.m. But spectators won’t be allowed at the track because of the pandemic. Fans will be able to watch the races streamed live at www.dresdenraceway.ca. Live viewing and wagering will be available on the HPI Network. The raceway will also be hosting qualifiers on May 31 starting at noon.

Raceway spokesperson Gary Patterson said the only people allowed to enter are those who have a horse that is racing. People will have to wear a non-surgical mask and get screened before entering the backstretch. The screening involves a temperature check and everyone on the grounds must maintain physical distancing of two metres.

Patterson said only one person per horse is allowed in with some exceptions made for those with multiple horses. Everybody entering the backstretch must be licenced by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and nobody under 16 is allowed to enter the raceway.

Patterson said those not following the rules will be asked to leave. He added the rules may change in the future by either being loosened or tightened, depending on government and health unit instructions.

“We are grateful to MPP Monte McNaughton, Mayor Darrin Canniff and Ward 4 Councillor Jamie McGrail for everything they’ve done to help get us back to racing,” said Patterson.