Racing fans, horse people and equine athletes are set for the gate to open on Sunday, May 6th marking the historic track’s 115th season of live racing.  A 10 race card will feature close to 100 Thoroughbreds who will be chomping at the bit awaiting the call for “rider’s up” from the Fort’s paddock judge Harry Eder.  Approximately 25 different jockeys will compete during the opening day card with the exception of last year’s leading rider Chris Griffith who has moved his tack to Woodbine.  Kirk Johnson, last year’s runner up for top jock is poised and ready for 2012 to be his year to dominate The Fort.  Johnson will ride all 10 races on opening day.
“I am really looking forward to Sunday,” said Johnson. “I am determined to be the leading rider this season.  My plan is to win as many as I can on opening day and keep it going from there.”
As a pre racing special event, the track will host a Kentucky Derby Tiki Bar BBQ on Saturday afternoon during the live simulcast of the “Run for the Roses” from Churchill Downs.  Fans are invited to a $15.00 unlimited buffet from 3pm to 6pm complete with a live concert by the Rhyme N Reason bluegrass band from 3:30pm to 5:30pm.  The feeling of the Kentucky Derby will be alive and well in Fort Erie with Derby post time set for 6:24pm.  Fans can watch and wager on their favourite tracks from across North America in the RaceBook and the clubhouse with doors opening at 10am. 
This season of racing is jammed packed with fun filled events for the whole family.  In keeping with the historical theme for the season, opening day will be memorabilia day.  Racing fans are encouraged to bring in their Fort Erie Race Track memorabilia (photos, jockey’s boots, silks, items of interest) to be evaluated by racing/collectable experts. A number of special items will be selected to be borrowed and displayed on track in glass cases in the Clubhouse
The track has planned 58 events over the course of the 81 day season.  New to this year’s list of promotions will be the three day Outdoor Show on May 20, 21 and 22.  The free event will feature; hot tubs, campers, golf equipment, boats and much more.  Also new this season will be a three day Food Festival to be held on July 29, 30 and 31st.  Popular events such as the Breakfast Club, Farmers Market and the Twilight Summer Concert Series will also return.  Horns from Hell, a popular local band, will kick off the Twilight party on Tuesday, June 5th.
On Sunday, May 13th Fort Erie Race Track will put on a lovely Mother’s Day buffet in the Prince of Wales Dining Room.  Patrons are encouraged to reserve your table as this is a very popular day.  Please call 905-871-3200 ext. 3617 for more information on dining.  Jockeys will also be on hand from 11:30am until 12:30pm to sign autographs for racing fans outside of the clubhouse. 
Check out for details on upcoming events and racing dates.