There may have been a delay; however, that delay is officially over.
The horse racing season begins tonight at Assiniboia Downs just outside of Winnipeg in Headingley; however, no fans will be allowed in the stands.
"We are very excited to get going and get off the ground," said Darren Dunn, Chief Executive Officer. "It's great to be a part of helping restart the economy in our province. Manitobans have done a wonderful job of flattening the curve throughout the past couple of months."
Assiniboia Downs will also be making history when post time comes tonight as they'll be the first track in Canada to host live racing this season. Several tracks south of the border have already been hosting races; however, Assiniboia Downs will be the first in Canada.
Only essential staff will be on-site and they will all be wearing masks while respecting social distancing to continue flattening the curve, something that Manitobans have done a great job at.
Dunn also realizes there will be a significant hit to the books this summer. All 140 of their VLT's remain closed, they'll lose all food and beverage sales on-site, there will be no facility rentals and other revenue-generating streams.
"It's going to be a different year, there is no doubt about that," continued Dunn. "We know it may not be easy, but to be honest, we're just very excited that racing can take place this summer."
Racing in a normal year took place on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights. There would also be the odd Sunday or Monday holiday afternoon thrown in as well. This year, racing will be on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with post-time starting at 7:30. There will also now be six races instead of the normal seven.
Betting, it's a big thing when it comes to horse racing and although you can't do that live in person at the track, you can still get in on the action. All you have to do is create an account here and you can watch all the races live and bet on them as well.
So at the end of the day, there will be no fans in the stands and there will be one less race. However, live sports are officially back and Assiniboia Downs has you covered all summer long.