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Fort Erie Race Track
Considered one of North America's most beautiful racing facilities, Fort Erie Race Track was opened on June 16th, 1897. E.P. Taylor took over the track in 1952, using the facility to expand the influence of Canadian thoroughbred racing. Fort Erie became the home of the Prince of Wales Stakes, which forms the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, which E.P. Taylor developed in 1959. The great Northern Dancer earned his first win as a two-year-old at this venue.
Fort Erie Track Information
This track features a sandy loam dirt course that is one mile in length, 75 feet wide, with a home stretch that measures 1,060 feet from last turn to finish. The inner turf course is seven furlongs long with a finishing stretch of 930 feet.
Major Races and Events
The most prestigious event at the Fort Erie Race Track is the Prince of Wales stakes. The Rainbow Connection Stakes is another large event at this track while the Puss ‘N Boots Cup pays tribute to one of the funniest and most famous thoroughbred incidents in Canada, when the horse of that name suddenly decided to take a dip in an infield pond mid-race, and while on a five-length lead.
The Prince of Wales Stakes began in 1929 at the former Thorncliffe Park Raceway, moving to Fort Erie in 1959. This competition is the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown developed by E.P. Taylor, racing three-year-old Canadian horses at a distance of 1 3/16 miles on the dirt track. The purse for this prestigious race is $500,000 and the race record was set in 1994 by Bruce’s Mill with a time of 1:53.20.
Rainbow Connection Stakes
With a guaranteed minimum purse of $75,000, the Rainbow Connection Stakes features the second biggest prize money offered at Fort Erie Race Track. These stakes are for fillies and mares sired in Ontario, aged three years and older. The Rainbow Connection Stakes is a 5 furlong sprint on the turf track.
Puss ‘N Boots Cup
The Puss ‘N Boots Cup is for thoroughbreds aged three years and older, running a distance of 1 1/16 miles on the turf course. The minimum guaranteed purse for this event is $30,000. This race celebrates the infamous dip that Puss N’ Boots took in an infield lake over 50 years ago. Winning jockeys continue the tradition of enjoying a swim after the race, instead of during the home stretch.