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Fort Erie 2013: Alive and Kicking

Hi everyone. Back in 1980, in the closing seconds of the Olympic hockey game between the United States and Russia, in which the U.S. stunned the powerful Soviet team who had won nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament since 1954, announcer Al Michaels asked, "Do you believe in miracles? YES!"...And all of us old enough to recall that moment, remember the joyous feeling.

 

I reference that opening because of the recent announcement that Fort Erie Race Track reached a deal with the Ontario government for transition funding to ensure another season of racing will return in 2013.  Many thanks go out to the countless number of people involved in getting the deal completed days before the March 31st, 2013 deadline. The now 116-year old facility will have 50 thoroughbred race dates, with opening day set for Sunday, May 26th. The pact also ensures the Prince of Wales Stakes, will once again be held at the "Grand Old Lady." The date for the 2nd leg of the Canadian Triple Crown is still to be determined.

 

At the close of 2012 racing season, two words best described the future of Fort Erie racing, gloom and doom. With all but the final nail in the coffin, the situation was downright ugly. Many of my close friends and associates that practice their specialties and make their livelihoods at Fort Erie were in upheaval, facing the possibility of moving out to another venue or worse yet, finding employment in another line of work. I just couldn't imagine any single one of them that call the backstretch their home, being happy doing something other than working with the horses on a daily basis. This group of fine individuals are the best at what they do. Yes, they can showcase their talents at any racetrack, but many of them have called Fort Erie home for decades and didn't want to leave. Now, this tightly knit contingent don't have to. They can continue making an honest living inside the confides of a place that has 115 years of fine racing tradition, and whose slogan for the upcoming 2013 season is: Alive and Kicking.

 

So, if Al Michaels, or anyone for that matter, should come up to me and ask, "Nick, do you believe in miracles?" My answer, without conviction, will be "When it comes to live racing in 2013 (and hopefully beyond,) at my favorite place on the planet....YES." 

 

What the Nation is saying about Fort Erie 2013: Alive and Kicking...

I have a photo I bought from Sports Illustrated (copst big bucks) that hung in my office fro years. Eruzione's winning goal over the Russian team
I had to miss what I thought was the last day forever last year when Hurricane Sandy closed it and I missed my favorite race of the year the two mile Tour de Fort...orr is it 2 1/16th?
That's very happy news. Can't help but wish Hollywood Park stays open longer than this year, too.
I had goosebumps when I watched that game. "Do you believe in miracles!?!?!?!..... YES!".... Happy to hear this news.
I believe in Miracles
Great news, racing is having a good year in 2013.
FANTASTIC!!!

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Hi, my name is Nick Costa a.k.a. Trackman. As for my "nickname" of Trackman, it came about the following way: When people, either friends or family would inquire as to where I was going, my reply was always the same, "I'm going to the track man." I was born and raised in Niagara Falls, New York, about a 30 minute drive from the racetrack, in Fort Erie, Canada.  I was five years old the first time I attended the races. My father, who was a regular at the track, took me to Fort Erie. My first recollections were of just running up and down the stairs to and from our grandstand seats and the walking ring. Of course, after viewing the horses, I would run back up the stairs, and tell my father who to bet. He would look at me quizzically, and then proceed to place a $2 dollar wager on my selection for me. Through the years, with continuous trips to Fort Erie, and also to Woodbine and the now defunct Greenwood, my father would take the time to explain all the information in the Daily Racing Form. After I learned the basics of handicapping, I never met a racing Form I didn't like. If I had spent as much time on my studies as I did reading the Form, I probably could be sitting on the Supreme Court. Those early horse playing days have  lasted into my adulthood, as I still play the races today on a regular basis. But now I have added a couple of new dimensions. First, I officially became a licensed thoroughbred race horse owner back in 2000, fulfilling a dream come true. Fort Erie, where I mostly play the races and race my horses, is still my favorite track. It's my home track, where I fell in love with everything about the sport. In addition to the tracks mentioned that I visited with my father, I have graced the grounds of Churchill
Downs (Derby 134 and several Breeders' Cups), Saratoga, Mountaineer, Gulfstream Park, Sam Houston Race Track, Presque Isle, Monmouth Park and Belmont Park. Second, I started to write a few years ago when I started my own blog, called Triple Crown Chase.


The blog was established to provide some personal insight about the horses and trainers who compete against one another in the 3 yr old prep races leading up to the Kentucky Derby. I preview and review the preps races and extend coverage to include the Preakness and Belmont. Last year, my blog previewed the Canadian Triple Crown races for the first time. The second leg, The Prince Of Wales Stakes, is run at my home track of Fort Erie. I am honored and thrilled to be on board with Horse Racing Nation and I want to thank everyone for their support.