Fort Erie Race Track may have been closed to fans this year, but the 123rd racing season at the border oval for Thoroughbreds was still one for the record books. Despite the massive impact of COVID-19 and the many obstacles it presented, Fort Erie Race Track was able to safely operate 39 race days while remaining COVID-free.
Thoroughbreds pictured thundering for home at the Fort Erie Race Track.
“This season we had a backstretch community with close to 500 essential horsepeople, and more than 100 active staff members, and we were able to complete our meet safely and without any positive COVID-19 cases,” said Tom Valiquette, chief operating and financial officer of the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium. “It was crucial that we were able to operate this season, and I want to thank all of our community members for working together safely and following our COVID-19 protocols. Through the efforts of every one of our team members, we were able to put on another successful season during one of the most challenging years in our history.”
Despite being closed to fans, Fort Erie saw a record year for wagering in 2020, with $40.2 million wagered (over the course of 39 race dates), up from $29.9 million in 2019 (over the course of 40 days). Fifteen of Fort Erie's 2020 race dates also saw the track attract over $1 million in wagering.
Looking towards 2021, Fort Erie has again applied for 40 race days, and is looking to operate primarily on Mondays and Tuesdays, beginning June 1 through to October 19. At this time, Fort Erie’s Racebook will continue to remain closed due to COVID-19.
For more information on Fort Erie's 2020 meet, click here.
(With files from Fort Erie Race Track)