Turfside Dining Room
Training Begins for the 2016 Racing Season in Fort Erie
FORT ERIE (May 2, 2016) - Cool temperatures and a radiant sunrise greeted the Fort Erie racing colony on Saturday morning for the first day of training at the Fort Erie Race Track. Trainers are gearing up for opening day on Tuesday, May 31, which will mark the track’s 119th season of racing.
More than 100 horses were stabled on the grounds after horses started to ship in on Thursday, April 28. Jackie Eder, Fort Erie’s racing secretary, was pleased by the early results and noted that most of the horses on the grounds were fit and ready to race. “Knowing that there will be racing at Fort Erie has instilled a high level of confidence on the part of Fort Erie owners and trainers,” said Eder. “As a result, trainers are now keeping their horses racing and fit during the winter.”
Trainers such as Kevin Buttigieg, Paula Loescher and Nick Mileni shipped down to Mahoning Downs in Ohio and Penn National in Pennsylvania to race over the winter. Trainers John Simms, Steve Cathcart and Michael Blake used Tampa Bay Downs as their winter training center, while Nick Gonzalez had ten horses at the marquee winter meeting at Gulfstream in Florida.
Drew Cady, who is in charge of the dirt and turf courses in Fort Erie, has the main track in excellent condition, sparking a number of compliments from exercise riders. Chris Griffith compared his first workout as “galloping on a cloud,” while exercise rider Sarah Collicut and jockey Melanie Pinto praised the consistency and cushion of the track, calling it the best racing surface anywhere. Cady commented that the turf course was also in great shape due to the mild winter. The hope is to run as many turf races as possible throughout the summer.
Live racing will kick off on Tuesday, May 31 with the return of the popular 4:15 twilight post time, followed by the entertaining Tiki Bar Summer Concert Series. Fort Erie will host 40 race dates from May 31 to Oct. 18 on Tuesdays and Sundays.
The track’s events schedule features the return of popular promotions such as the Farmers Market, Breakfast Club, Circle the Course for Cancer Research and C.O.P.E., and the 81st running of the Prince of Wales Stakes on July 26.
For more information, please contact:
Manager of Marketing & Media Relations
Fort Erie Race Track
905-871-3200 ext. 3209