03/04/2004 1:00AM

Four new stakes for Canadian-breds

Email

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A major revamping of the stakes schedule, comprising 24 races worth a total of $2.1 million, is on tap for this year's Fort Erie meeting.

The highlight of the stakes schedule, which was released Thursday, is the introduction of four $100,000 stakes for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds and upwards.

Those new stakes are the Canada Day, a six-furlong race for colts and geldings, July 1; the Daryl Wells Sr. Memorial, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares, July 4; and the Ernie Samuel Memorial, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares, plus the International Turf Cup, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for colts and geldings, both on July 18.

The Ernie Samuel Memorial and the International Turf Cup will be the new supporting features to the $500,000 Prince of Wales, the 1 3/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds which is the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

Fort Erie also is the home of the $250,000 Labatt Bison City, the 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies which is the second leg of the Canadian Triple Tiara.

Fort Erie is also reintroducing its "in-house" stakes program, with 12 races worth $40,000 apiece. In addition, ech of the races offer bonuses of up to $20,000 for Canadian-breds, courtesy of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's Thoroughbred Improvement Program.

The "in-house" stakes are restricted to horses who have made a specified number of starts at Fort Erie within a designated time frame.

Tom Gostlin, Fort Erie's racing secretary, said the restrictions were lifted last year so the stakes could qualify for black-type status but that decision has been reversed.

"Those races were designed for our owners here," said Gostlin. "That was the idea; to be able to give them back to our people, keep the money here."

The races in question will no longer offer black-type and the names and conditions of several have been altered.

The Fort Erie meeting, which has been abbreviated to 81 days this year, will begin May 1 and end Sept. 6. The early closing will accommodate the construction of a new main track.

2004 Fort Erie stakes schedule

DATEEVENTCONDITIONSDISTANCEPURSE
Sun., June 6 EXPEDITE PLUS3YO & Up C/G5 Furlongs $40,000
Sun., June 13 ADENA SPRINGS MATCHMAKER 3YO & Up F/M 5 Furlongs (T) 50,000
Sun., June 20 ROSE CITY 3YO & Up F/M 6 Furlongs 40,000
Sun., June 27 NIAGARA FALLS3YO & Up C/G 6 Furlongs 40,000
Thurs., July 1 CANADA DAY 3YO & Up C/G * 6 Furlongs 100,000
Sun., July 4 LABATT BISON CITY 3YO F *1 1/16 Miles 250,000
  DARYL WELLS SR. MEMORIAL 3YO & Up F/M *6 Furlongs 100,000
Sat., July 10 H. A. HINDMARSH 3YO & Up F/M 1 1/16 Miles 75,000
Sun., July 11 H. J. ADDISON JR. 3YO & Up C/G 1 1/16 Miles 75,000
Sun., July 18PRINCE OF WALES 3YO *1 3/16 Miles 500,000
Sun., July 18 ERNIE SAMUEL MEMORIAL 3YO & Up F/M *1 1/16 Miles (T) 100,000
 INTERNATIONAL TURF CUP 3YO & Up C/G * 1 1/16 Miles (T) 100,000

* Restricted to Candian -breds

DATEEVENTCONDITIONSDISTANCEPURSE
Sun., July 25 RAINBOW CONNECTION 3YO & Up F/M*5 Furlongs (T) $125,000
Sun., July 25 PARNITHA 3YO & Up C/G 5 Furlongs (T) 40,000
Mon., Aug. 2 CIVIC HOLIDAY 3YO & Up C/G 1 1/16 Miles 40,000
 BORDER CUP 3YO & Up F/M 1 1/16 Miles 40,000
Sun., Aug. 8 GOLDEN HORSESHOE 3YO & Up F/M Abt 7 F (T) 40,000
Sun., Aug. 15 BLAZING SEVENS 3YO & Up C/G Abt 7 F (T) 40,000
Sun., Aug. 22 QUEEN CITY 3YO & Up F/M 6 Furlongs 40,000
Sun., Aug. 29 GARDEN CITY 3YO & Up C/G 6 Furlongs 40,000
Sat., Sept. 4 JUVENILE 2YO F 6 Furlongs 75,000
Sun., Sept. 5 JUVENILE 2YO C/G 6 Furlongs 75,000
Mon., Sept. 6 CENTRE STAGE ANNE 3YO & Up F/M 1 1/16 Miles (T) 40,000
 PUSS N BOOTS 3YO & Up C/G 1 1/16 Miles (T) 40,000

* Restricted to Ontario-sired