FORT ERIE, May 19, 2020 – Fort Erie Race Track announced today that the 2020 racing season will return on Tuesday, June 2 at 1:20 p.m. The live racing calendar will have a revised schedule this season, running on Mondays and Tuesdays at 1:20 p.m. through to October 13. The grandstand will be empty during racing for the first time in its 123-year history, as racing in Ontario resumes without spectators.
“Since we will be required to race without fans to start out the year, we decided to move live racing to Monday and Tuesday at 1:20 p.m. in order to reduce our competition in the simulcast market and maximize our revenue from simulcast wagering,” said Tom Valiquette, chief operating and financial officer of the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium.
Fort Erie also announced a new date for the Prince of Wales Stakes. The $400,000 race will take place with an autumn backdrop on Tuesday, September 29. The event features Canada’s finest three-year-old thoroughbreds, running 1 mile and 3/16 on Fort Erie’s dirt track.
The race is the second jewel in the Canadian Triple Crown, between the Queen’s Plate, and the Breeders’ Stakes, both held at Woodbine Racetrack.
Woodbine announced yesterday that the 161st Queen’s Plate will take place on Saturday, September 12. The date for the Breeders’ Stakes is expected to be announced tomorrow.
“With or without fans, the Prince of Wales Stakes and the Canadian Triple Crown are important to Canadian thoroughbred racing, and we are committed to continuing this historic tradition this year, despite current challenges,” said Valiquette.
The Province of Ontario gave horse racing approval to begin without spectators in stage 1 of their framework to reopen the Province. Fort Erie Race Track has been working closely with Ontario Racing, the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, as well as all governing agencies for racing in Ontario in order to put strict safety policies in place and reduce the impact of COVID-19.
Fort Erie will continue to follow provincial guidelines regarding spectators attending events. Fans who are looking to watch the races can do so online at www.forterieracing.com/streaming-and-replays. Wagering on horse racing in Ontario will only be available through www.HPIbet.com.