Opening Day – Fort Erie Race Track Press Release

Fort Erie, ON May 28, 2024 Fort Erie Racetrack Jockey Sofia Vives guides Bellaspina to victory in the 5 Furl. $30,000 Guarateed Summer Solstice Cup for owner Bellwoods Farm and trainer George Newland Michael Burns Photography

Opening Day wagering hits $1.9 million at Fort Erie Race Track

Rainy weather cuts race card short

Opening Day at Fort Erie Race Track brought plenty of excitement to the historic border oval with some tight photo finish races and nearly $2 million in wagering.

The day’s signature race, the $30,000 Summer Solstice Cup, was a nail biter, with jockey Sofia Vives holding onto a very slim lead for most of the race until the final swing for home where she let Bellaspina open up and charge to a healthy lead through the finish line. It was a cracking start to the season for Vives, who has been a dominant force in Fort Erie since last year when she was awarded the Best Young Apprentice award from the Jockey Club of Canada.

“Going into this race, I rode this mare a couple times already,” said Vives. “Today in the paddock she was eager to go, and in the gate she was eager to go, so I thought that we should break on top and secure position, and we did just that, then at the sixteenth when we cleared in front, we went for home.”

Wagering on the Summer Solstice Cup topped $250,000 to help the day’s race card reach $1.9 million in total wagering on the day, which was an 11 per cent increase over last year’s Opening Day races.

Rainy weather and dark clouds rolled in through the evening which meant the final race of the day had to be cancelled for safety reasons as it became too dark to run. The race will be added to the track’s next card, on June 4.

The track’s next big event will be on June 16 for its special Sunday racing on Father’s Day. That day’s card will feature the track’s two new $30,000 stakes races, the Longrun Thoroughbred Retirement Stakes and the Longrun Thoroughbred After Care Stakes, alongside the first Farmer’s Market of the season and a variety of food trucks.

For a complete list of Fort Erie Race Track’s upcoming events, and a full live racing schedule visit

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