The Fort Erie Race Track opens for business once again today.
The facility’s future seemed uncertain at times over the winter, but the new season arrives today with the first of 37 race dates. The post time is 4:15 p.m. It is season 117 for the facility.
Hats will be given to patrons at today’s race card, which will be followed by a free summer concert by the band Brass Monkey. The musical performance is part of the Tiki Bar Summer Concert Series.
The track reached an agreement with the Province of Ontario in the past few weeks to stay open for 2014. The Ontario Racing Commission approved the race schedule on Friday. The loss of slot machine revenue makes the track’s long-term future a bit cloudy.
The track will be open on Sundays at 2 p.m. and on Tuesdays at 4:15 p.m. through the end of August. Then Tuesdays’ starting time will move to 2 p.m. for the rest of the season, with the last date set for Sept. 30. The highlight of the schedule will come on July 29, when the Prince of Wales Stakes will be staged, the second jewel in Canada’s Triple Crown series.