Horses arriving in Fort Erie for 2017 racing season
Submitted photo – Witchs Bourbon owned and trained by Kevin Buttigieg has arrived at Fort Erie Race Track to get ready for the 2017 race season.
With opening day less than eight weeks away, owners and trainers have started shipping horses in to Fort Erie Race Track’s backstretch to get an early start on spring training. Horses started arriving on Sunday, April 9, which is three weeks earlier than previous years.
“Opening up the backstretch early this year has a lot of benefits for our horse people and their horses,” said Harry Eder, coordinator of horsemen’s relations at Fort Erie Race Track. “It means that horses that are shipping in after a winter of racing in the United States can come directly to our stables. It also means that horses that haven’t been racing all winter can get an earlier start on their spring training.”
The main track will open up on Saturday, April 29. In the meantime, many trainers will be taking advantage of the Race Track’s new Odyssey Horse Exerciser, which was installed during the offseason.
“This exerciser is one of the best pieces of training equipment in the industry for horses, allowing them to get the essential exercise they need for their physical health and wellbeing,” said Eder.
The upcoming season marks the 120th year of racing at the border over, which ran its first race on June 16, 1897. Opening day is Tuesday, May 30 at the popular 4:20 twilight post time, followed by the start of the free Tiki Bar summer concert series, featuring Xprime. Fort Erie will host 40 live days from May 30 to Oct. 17.
“It’s looking like it will be another good year for Fort Erie,” Eder continued. “There are new stables that will be coming this season as well, which will help to increase our horse population and add new faces to the backside.”
New this year is a change in race days and post times. Live racing will run on Tuesdays at 4:20 pm and Sundays at 1:20 pm in June and July. In August, racing will change to Saturdays and Tuesdays at 4:20 pm, followed by a free Tiki Bar concert after the races. Post time will move to 1:20 pm on Saturdays and Tuesdays in September and October.
“We are looking forward to Saturday racing, especially our Saturday twilight days in August, said Tom Valiquette, chief operating officer of the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium. “We want people to experience the excitement that horseracing has to offer, and hope Saturday racing and our free Tiki Bar concerts will make our venue more appealing to a new crowd.”
Racing fans can look forward to the return of many popular promotions this season, including the farmers market, twilight concert series, circle the course fundraiser and the 82nd running of the Prince of Wales Stakes, scheduled for Tuesday, July 25.
Parking and admission are always free at Fort Erie Race Track. For more information visit www.forterieracing.com.
Source – Fort Erie Race Track press release