Tonight kicks off the first night of horse racing at Presque Isle Downs and Casino. This year fans are allowed to be part of the action.
We went to Presque Isle Downs and Casino for more information about what to expect this racing season.
Fans and jockeys are excited about returning to Presque Isle Downs. Several horse trainers said that last year was not the same without the enthusiasm from the crowds.
Horse racing is back and so are the spectators at Presque Isle Downs and Casino. The track is hosting eight races a day with a 4:45 p.m. post time.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have spectators back this year. This is something that we’ve really been anticipating for two years. Last year was a compressed season of 50 race days. This year is 52 and we are ready for spectators to be back,” said Matthew Ennis, Director of Finance Racing at Presque Isle Downs and Casino.
Ennis said that in July the races will run Monday through Wednesday. In August the races will run Monday through Thursday.
According to Ennis, the jockeys are also eager to get back on the track.
“We really welcome the horsemen back this year and we had some offerings and we were able to do so on our backsides, so they were excited to get here. They were knocking at our gate to get in. We gave them three weeks to prepare,” said Ennis.
One jockey said that he has been preparing for months for these races. He said that what makes it all worthwhile is the enthusiasm of the crowd.
“It’s always nice to hear a crowd when you get back on your horse and last year was pretty quiet, but we had to get through it. A lot of people do come out and watch races and they cheer for them and they have fun out here it seems like,” said Mike Allen, Jockey at Presque Isle Downs and Casino.
Allen said that he has been racing at Presque Isle Downs for ten years traveling from Tampa Florida to Erie every season.
“We just love the area. It’s really quiet and peaceful around here. So I just like the area,” said Allen.
There will be eight races tonight and anyone is welcome to watch. However, you must be 21 or older to enter the casino.
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