Fort Erie Race Track opens its 116th season of racing today, and its signature race of the season will be on the move this year.
The Prince of Wales Stakes, the second leg in Canada’s Triple Crown, will be held on Tuesday, July 30. That’s a change from the traditional Sunday afternoon running of the race. Canada’s top 3-year-olds will run a mile and 3/16. The event has been held at the track since 1959.
Fort Erie will stage its first race on Tuesdays at 4:15 p.m., and the Prince of Wales will go off at about 7:30 p.m. Track organizers hope that the changed starting date and time will increase interest and attendance in the race.
The Prince of Wales will face less simulcast competition across the country with a Tuesday night running. In addition, there is less competition for media coverage on a Tuesday, and bridge traffic for fans from the United States should be reduced by the move.
After today’s opening, the track will wait until June 2 to resume its 50-day schedule. Races generally will be held on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays through Sept. 24. However, Fort Erie will be dark on June 3 and 10. Post time for the first race will be at 1:15 p.m. except for Tuesdays from June through the end of August, when racing begins at 4:15 p.m.
Fans will receive a free “Alive and Kicking” T-shirt when they purchase a racing program today. Fort Erie will host a Farmers’ Market on many Sundays during the racing season, starting on June 2.
The schedule of stakes races for the year will be announced at a later day. However, Monday, Sept. 2, is “Puss N Boots Day.” According to tradition, the winning connections of that race jump into the infield pond.