Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium (FELRC) announced that they have applied to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to add two additional race days to Fort Erie’s racing calendar. The additional days will be added at the end of the season on October 25 and 26, increasing the total number of race days to 42, up from the approved 40 days.
Purses for the two added race dates will be in addition to those initially planned. FELRC’s application to the AGCO has the support of Ontario Racing, Ontario Racing Management, the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the Jockeys’ Benefit Association of Canada, Racing Forensics, and the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation.
“Two more race days will greatly help Fort Erie’s resident horse people and will also help to attract more trainers and horses to Fort Erie’s backstretch,” said Claude Pilato, chair of FELRC’s Board of Directors.
As spring approaches, Fort Erie Race Track is preparing for the upcoming racing season. Horse people will enjoy several improvements made since last fall, including a full-scale drainage system and new sprinkler system on the turf track. These systems will ensure better control over the turf surface, resulting in safer racing conditions. Improvements have also been made in the backstretch, including new evestroughs on many of the barns, and more fill in the stalls.
At this time, it is unknown if fans will be able to attend live racing as the season begins due to COVID-19, but Fort Erie has been preparing to welcome back fans this season when it is safe to do so. When COVID-19 direction allows for the return of fans, they will see a number of customer-oriented improvements to the venue, including a renovated Prince of Wales dining room, new air conditioning system and roof on the clubhouse, and new paddock fencing. Staff remain busy undertaking many more improvements to the facility, which will be completed throughout the summer. COVID-19 safety tools have also been put in place such as plexiglass dividers and hand sanitation stations to help protect staff and fans.
Fort Erie’s season is scheduled to run primarily Mondays and Tuesdays beginning at 1 p.m. from June 1 through to October 26. Twilight racing will run Tuesdays throughout the summer, with a 4 p.m. first race post time.
For more information about the upcoming season, and updates regarding fan attendance on race days, visit www.forterieracing.com.