Historic Fort Erie Race Track Celebrates its 115th Year
The day is getting closer. The 115th thoroughbred racing season at Fort Erie Race Track is only a couple of weekends away. Opening day at the picturesque track is Sunday, May 6 and the racetrack management and staff are excited for the great year ahead. With some new promotions, events, local musical talent at the “Tiki Bar”, and as always exciting live racing at the border oval, 2012 will be a year of celebration!
115 years of live racing, what an incredible feat, the history of Fort Erie Race Track brings back memories to last a lifetime. From the beginning when Ellesmere won the very first race on June 16, 1897 and EP Taylor introduced the Canadian Triple Crown in 1959, granting “The Fort” the second leg, The Prince of Wales Stakes. Even the great Northern Dancer won his first race here in 1963.
In fact, many champions have competed here including, Dance Smartly, Izvestia, With Approval and the latest triple crown winner Wando just to name a few.
The track will be displaying memorabilia from the rich 115-year history of horse racing at Fort Erie Race Track on opening day and throughout the racing season. There will be many events throughout the year, which will make a day at the races fun for the whole family. Not only is there the excitement of cheering on your favorite horse or getting your bet home, the track will also offer special events and promotion days.
On the day prior to the opening, Sat May 5th, is of course the Kentucky Derby Day. To celebrate, at the Tiki Bar “Rhyme N Reason Bluegrass Band” will be performing live, and as always pari-mutual betting on the Derby and many other tracks.
Sunday May 6th, opening day at The Fort, will be a button giveaway promotion as well an exciting card of racing! Sunday May 13th, Mothers Day, has free autographs and photos from local jockeys and as tradition goes a little something special for the mothers in attendance.
With racing every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from May 6 – Oct 30, the season will be competitive as always and if last year was any indication the race within the races will be tight as well. Last year the leading jockey was Chris Griffith, but it was very close as the top three riders by wins were within five of each other and it came down to the last weekend for Griffith to secure the award. Kirk Johnson and Real Simard were second and third in the standings and this trio of riders are planning on another big season as they all have been riding at Woodbine this spring and are fit and ready to compete once again to earn top spot in the jockey standings.
The Hustle and Bustle of the racetrack is back in Fort Erie! The winter ghost town is starting to hit stride and people/race trackers are coming from all over the continent. Restaurants and other businesses are appreciating the added population to the Fort Erie community and everyone is praying for the government to come to their senses. The racetrack does need some assistance as it had for many years with the slots arrangement, and the town needs the racetrack as it had for the past 115 years. Hopefully the track can straighten out the thoughts of the government to continue on to 116 years and beyond. But this year is the time for Fort Erie Race Track to shine, just as it has for years and years before, because it has to – its back is to the wall. It needs to regain its promise of an entertaining place to play, and even better place to work.
…and that is the last word.