Fort Erie Race Track had another positive year, which saw an increase in wagering both on and off track. Overall there was a seven percent increase in wagering, and a five percent increase in on-track attendance. Fans flocked to Fort Erie for many exciting events this season, such as the wiener dog and basset hound races, the annual Puss N Boots cup, and the Prince of Wales Stakes, Fort Erie’s signature racing event.
Many improvements were made to the venue this year, which were all well received by fans. Amongst a number of changes, the most notable were the new tote system, the new infield screen and upgrade to high definition broadcast, new TVs, and upgrades to the Turfside Dining Room.
“Now that Fort Erie Race Track is part of the Ontario Racing Alliance, we have seen many positive changes to the industry which have allowed us to make improvements to our venue and the overall customer experience,” said Tom Valiquette, chief operating and financial officer of the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium. “We had another great year at Fort Erie and have received a lot of positive feedback from both new and seasoned customers. We look forward to continuing this positive trend in years to come.”
Jockey Krista Carignan maintained the title of leading rider for the second year in a row with 51 wins at Fort Erie. Melanie Pinto was second with 41 wins, and was also awarded Outstanding Rider. The top five jockeys were rounded out by, Helen Vanek, Kirk Johnson and Pierre Mailhot. The 2019 leading trainer went to John Simms, and Six Brothers Stable took home the title of Leading Owner.
Horse of the Year went to Sniper, owned by Colleen Beaumier and trained by Preston Ferris. The ten-year-old thoroughbred was retired healthy to the farm this year to be a riding horse, after 58 career starts and $428,077 in earnings. He won five of his six starts this season, including his final race, the Bob Summers Memorial Cup on August 13 at Fort Erie.
Although live racing has ended for the season, Fort Erie Race Track’s Racebook remains open seven days a week for simulcast wagering. The venue features free monthly handicapping challenges in the offseason, beginning November 23.
For more information about Fort Erie Race Track, visit www.forterieracing.com.