Kentucky Derby Result and Opening Day at The Fort Erie Race Track
“I’ll Have Another” (I’m pretty sure that’s a cookie slogan), won the Kentucky Derby in impressive fashion! It seems like the winner of the Derby always has an amazing story behind them and this year is no different. Mario Gutierrez from Hasting Race Course in Vancouver was aboard the colt for his first ever Grade 1 victory. Add to that, the owners of the horse are from Windsor, Ontario. Canadian connections getting it done at the Derby are great to see, but now it’s time to tackle Bodemeister once again at the Preakness to see if he can become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed did it way back in 1978!
The fans of Fort Erie Race Track were out in full force on Sunday with one of the busiest (non-Prince of Wales) days I have seen in years. It was a great day for the races with the sun out and a fast track making for a great day of entertainment and gambling.
The day’s spotlight shone brightly on a couple of veteran jockeys, and a trainer who is in his 3rd or 4th year of training. Martin Ramirez and Kirk Johnson each won a pair of races and Regina Sealock also won two races on the card. I’m sure the long time Fort Erie jockette was excited to start 2012 off on the right foot after what she says was a disappointing 2011.
One of trainers Regina won for was Gary Chudobiak who also stepped into the winners circle twice. Although Gary has not had his trainer’s license for very long he has been a long time owner at Fort Erie.
It was a bitter-sweet day at the Fort and with these proud long-time family members of the Fort Erie Race Track winning made it seemed like it was almost a sign from above to our government. Although everyone was excited for opening day, there was a tingle in the air, a quiet little buzz you would hear every so often – “Was, or could this really be, the last Opening Day at this fantastic race track?” The Border Oval, 115 years of live thoroughbred racing, home to thousands of employees and a second home to even more racing fans is still in jeopardy of ceasing to exist.
Our government needs to understand this; the trackers have invested their lives into this industry. An industry which they are single-handedly destroying. The first blow was already hit when the slots at Fort Erie are shut down, and many people are out of a job. The ripple effect is a definite possibility if something doesn’t change, as the first few hundred are now unemployed. In this world where unemployment is at all time high levels the government is about to put thousands of more out of work if they can’t work with the racetracks. The town of Fort Erie and the race track administrators are doing everything they can to save these jobs and are presently trying to privatize the slots in order to keep live racing. Perhaps a solution is imminent.
Besides that little bit of buzz in the air, racing was exciting and some of the winners were well touted and good bets! A horse from Tampa Bay won paying a respectable $40. Horses who got their starts at Woodbine also had a particularly good day winning in several races. The feature race of the day was won by Molinaro Warrior, and this horse absolutely loves the Fort Erie dirt and is bound to be tough every start at the track this year. Definitely keep an eye on him!
Another horse with a very impressive win was Nick Gonzalez’s, Worth A Punt. What impressed me the most was his sprinting ability. Keep a look-out for this guy next time in the entries as he will likely stretch-out. After that performance he will very likely win right back.
If you are interested, check out the track’s official page, www.forterieracing.com/racing/live/news to stay on top of what’s going on.
…and that is the last word.