Thoroughbred Racing Returns to Fort Erie
Category : News
Mon 13/05/2013 - 05:16 EDT
All but given up on last fall, southern Ontario thoroughbred racing fans are breathing a sigh of relief over the fact live racing will be held at Fort Erie Racetrack this summer. Although there will be a reduction in race dates – from 76 in 2012 to 50 for 2013 – the fact the track will open at all comes as welcome news to the horse racing community, as well as the entire Niagara Region, as it’s estimated the track contributes $151 million to the local economy every year.
Ontario Government provides one-year funding
Faced with declining revenues, along with cuts to government funding through other forms of gambling revenue, operators of the Fort Erie track had made the decision to close the facility for live racing. However, a deal was reached last month between the operators and the Ontario provincial government that has allowed for an injection of “transition funding” to allow the track to operate this season while new ownership and/or investment opportunities are pursued.
Fort Erie is the home of the Prince of Wales Stakes
Training at the Fort Erie track is scheduled to begin April 26, and the first race card will run on May 26, 2013. Racing will be held on Sundays and Mondays with a 1:15 PM ET post time, and Tuesdays with post time at 4:15 PM ET. Although the 2013 Fort Erie stakes schedule hasn’t been released yet, the track is most well known for hosting the Grade I $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. It’s time to let the ponies run!
Players trying to look beyond prohibitive favorite Tepin in the September 17 Woodbine Mile will surely have their work cut out for them as the superstar mare tackles seven rivals on the grass.
The second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown goes Tuesday night from Fort Erie race track, where Sir Dudley Digges will try to take another step toward Canadian racing history.
On Sunday, Woodbine will host the $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes, Canada’s most prestigious race. Restricted to horses foaled in Canada, the classic mile and a quarter contest has drawn a field of thirteen three-year-olds.
A spectacular card of graded stakes action has been assembled for Saturday at Belmont Park and the $1 million Ogden Phipps is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races of the day. The Grade 1 event for fillies and mares will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth.