Turfside Dining Room
Spring training 2023
Horses hit the dirt for opening day of spring training at Fort Erie Race Track
With temperatures hovering just about zero as the sun came up for the first day of spring training on Easter Sunday, neither the horses or their trainers seemed to mind the cold much.
“It could be worse,” said trainer Gary Chudobiak as he fed carrots to his horse. “There could have been a foot of snow out there, so I’m not complaining.”
A veteran trainer in the Fort Erie Race Track’s backstretch, Chudobiak had just one horse, Quick Reload, out for training when the historic border oval dusted off the dirt track for training on April 9, but he expects to have five more by the time opening day rolls around in May.
In total, there were more than 113 horses registered and shipped into the backstretch over the long weekend, with more coming in daily.
“Despite all the obstacles that always seem to get thrown at us, the horsepeople here, and the management team, they’re great, and they always seem to find a way around those barriers, so I know it’s going to be another great season,” said Chudobiak.
The Fort Erie Race Track has 40 race dates to round out its 126th season, with live racing action kicking off May 23. Alongside the races, opening day will have food trucks whipping up delicious meals for the crowd, purchase of a program comes with a free T-shirt, and a free concert from The Figure Four will close out the fun after the final race.
Throughout the season, all the usual attractions will be making a comeback, including six market days featuring local artisans and crafters, seven free concerts, a wiener dog race day on July 16, a basset hound race day on August 13, and the Prince of Wales Stakes on Sept. 12.
For more information, including a full list of race dates and events, visit www.forterieracing.com