Fort Erie racing gets out of the gate with record crowd
It was a record day on track, as Fort Erie Race Track kicked off its 121st racing season on Tuesday, May 29. More than 5,000 people filled the grandstand for the season opener and free concert by The Caverners.
“We wanted to do more on our opening day to attract new faces and start our season off on a high note, and it worked,” said Tom Valiquette, chief operating and financial officer of the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium. “Our crowd was significantly larger than we typically see on opening day. On-track wagering was up 60% over last year, the highest wagering on a non-Prince of Wales Day that we’ve had since FELRC took over operation of the track in 2010.” Total wagering for the nine-race card topped off at $1.1 million.
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I know that there were two full bus loads of Hazel Park race fans that made the trip over to Fort Erie. I believe that FE invited displaced HP horses to come there to race, much as Emerald Downs did. The early season crowds will diminish a bit, but it's nice to see them having success. It's a very nice and friendly little track. I miss Hazel Park!
"One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent." H.L. Mencken