04/17/2013 1:15PM

Fort Erie seeks to run Prince of Wales Stakes on a Tuesday


Fort Erie Racetrack, which will begin its 50-day meeting May 26, has made an application to the Ontario Racing Commission to run the Prince of Wales Stakes on a Tuesday rather than the Sunday that has been the norm for many years.

The proposed date would be July 30, according to Jim Thibert, chief executive officer of the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium.

Fort Erie’s Tuesday cards will begin at 4:15 p.m., and the Prince of Wales, which is the second leg of the Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, would be run at approximately 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“It’s going to be interesting, that it’s not on a Sunday,” Thibert said. “But if we don’t do something different, we can never improve.

“We think that we’ve got a more adult audience on the Tuesday nights. We think that there’s less competition in the marketplace out there, and it will be exciting.”

Thibert also noted that holding the Prince of Wales on a Tuesday should make the race more accessible to top riders and for having out-of-town horsepeople in attendance.

“On Sundays, the jockeys are tied up, and training staff are in competition at Woodbine and elsewhere,” Thibert said. “Now, there going to be pretty much freed up on a Tuesday.

“We’re going to have a fabulous time for the horsepeople as well as for our patrons and bettors.”

The Ontario commission recently approved Fort Erie’s dates request, with Sunday racing only scheduled for the first week, Tuesdays added June 4, and Monday racing starting June 17. The Thoroughbred meeting would wind up Sept. 24.

Post time for Sundays and Mondays would be 1:15 p.m., and Tuesday post time will move to 1 p.m. in September.