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Fort Erie racing gets out of the gate with record crowd

FORT ERIE, May 30, 2018 - 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.

Flashy Margaritta was the first horse to cross the finish line for trainer Anthony Adamo with Kirk Johnson in the saddle, returning $2.90 on a win ticket.

“I’ve been getting on this horse since the spring. We’ve been training for this race for over a month, and everything worked out the way we wanted,” said Johnson after the first race. Johnson has been the leading jockey at Fort Erie for the last five years and ended opening day with two wins overall. Jockeys MarkLee Buchanan, Christopher Husbands, Jeffrey Alderson, Juan Crawford, Sunny Singh, Helen Vanek and Krista Carignan all ended the day with one win each.

“It’s great to be back,” commented trainer Anthony Adamo. “Win or lose, it’s great to be back for another season. We just claimed a nice horse, and we are looking to claim a couple more and support Fort Erie.”

The track will offer 40 race dates during the 2018 meet on Tuesdays and Sundays through to October 16. Next race day is Tuesday, June 5 at 4:20 p.m. with a free concert by Avenue Inn after the races. Sunday racing and the farmers market return on Sunday, June 10, with the first race at 1:20 p.m.

Fort Erie’s signature event, the Prince of Wales Stakes will be held on Tuesday, July 24.

Parking and admission are always free at the family-friendly venue.

For more information on live racing dates and special events, visit


Antonietta Culic
Manager of Marketing & Media Relations
Fort Erie Race Track
Office: 905-871-3200 ext. 3209
Cell: 289-321-2179