June 15, 2021 – The 124-year-old border oval kicked off the
racing season on Tuesday with a tremendous card featuring two Cup races,
the Sprint into Summer and the Summer Solstice Cup. The opening day card
saw $1.2 million in wagering.
The first race on opening day went to Souper Deputy for trainer Julie
Mathes and jockey Chris Husbands. He returned $3.20 to his backers. The
leading trainer at last year’s meet, Mathes was happy to be back in the
winner’s circle on opening day.
“My husband, myself and our team at the barn are very elated. We’ve put
a very long hard winter into the horses, and we are very happy to see it
paying off. It was a great way to start the season,” said Mathes.
Jockey Chris Husbands rode two winners on opening day, while jockey
Pierre Mailhot rode three winners on the card. Mailhot captured the
Sprint into Summer Cup aboard Gunzig Stinger. Trained and owned by
Claudia Rabstein, the four-year-old son of Signature Red battled back
from a stretch duel with Red Mercury to win the $30,000 Cup race. The
other feature race on the card, the Summer Solstice Cup was clinched by
Lost Corsage. Owned by Jeanne Ryan, the four-year-old filly romped home
victorious under the setting sun with veteran rider Kirk Johnson aboard.
For trainer Daniel Wills, Lost Corsage exceeded his expectations in the
“It wasn’t the original expectation. We bought her from John
Charalambous at the end of the year and he said that she would do really
good at Fort Erie and she was blossoming. Kirk worked her from the gate
and said if you run her in the Cup she’ll win. It wasn’t the plan
originally, but I just went along with what he’s got to say, and we took
a shot and got lucky.”
Breezing the filly in the morning, Kirk Johnson felt very confident
about his ride going into the race. “The way she breezed and how much
horse I had – it just gave me chills. You know you just get that feeling
as a rider.”
Fort Erie’s racing season includes 39 days, running Mondays at 1 p.m.
and Tuesdays at 4 p.m. until Labour Day. From September 6 onwards, post
time will be at 1 p.m. for both days.
Racing will continue without spectators, however fans can watch a live
HD stream online at https://www.forterieracing.com/streaming-and-replays
Fans can also watch the replay show on YourTV channel 700, Friday nights
at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 12:30 p.m.
Photo: Lost Corsage crossing the finish line in the Summer Solstice Cup. Michael Burns Photography