HorseRacing Central January 16, 2009
PARKING AVAILABLE ALL THE TIME!
Hastings Racecourse is pleased to announce that customer parking is now available all year long – that’s right: 365 days a year – through PNE Gates # 8 and # 9 off McGill Street. And to make things even more convenient, our Hastings People-Mover is always standing by, rain or shine. Customers can call the concierge desk at 604 -561-4833 for a ride from the parking lot directly to the main entrance at Hastings and the same service is available for the return trip to the parking lot. The improved parking arrangements and use of the Hastings People-Mover are part of our exciting plans to serve our customers even better in 2009. Remember, too, that on non-racing days at Hastings Racecourse there is Tarmac Parking available for closer access to the new gaming floor that features 600 slots.
THOROUGHBRED WEEKEND ACTION
Major stakes races are on the weekend agenda as both Santa Anita and Golden Gate are the centres of activity. The big California Derby goes Saturday at Golden Gate with seven 3-year-olds battling for a $100,000 purse. At Santa Anita on Saturday the feature event is the $150,000 San Fernando for 4-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth. Then on Sunday at Santa Anita the 4-year-old fillies are in the spotlight in the $150,000 El Encino over a mile and a sixteenth. Also on the program is the return of Hastings’ stakes winner Suva after a lengthy layoff in a low level claimer for owner Jeff Sengara.
MARTIN LUTHER KING HOLIDAY RACING
Major racetracks in the U.S. acknowledge Martin Luther King Day on Monday (Jan. 19) and our simulcast coverage at Hastings Racecourse, Fraser Downs and regular outlets will be coming from Santa Anita, Aqueduct, Golden Gate, Fairgrounds and Oaklawn Park.
SUNSHINE MILLIONS CARD
Racing fans look forward every year to the popular Sunshine Millions card on Saturday, Jan. 24. It’s a showdown between the best California-bred horses against the top thoroughbreds from Florida with more than $3.6 million in purse money. The races are split between Gulfstream and Santa Anita with each track hosting four stakes races and local punters annually look forward to entering our HPI Handicapping Contest. As always, new HPI members are welcome and there’s no charge for joining.
Speaking of handicapping, Hastings Racecourse extends its best wishes to our four contestants in the $1 Million NTRA/DRF Handicapping Contest in Las Vegas on Jan. 23-24. The “Fab Four” are Sylvia Christensen (Vancouver), Albert Wong (Calgary), Ken Bell (Kirkland, Wash.) and Alan Harrison (North Vancouver). Last year this same Mr. Wong missed being third by a dime – that’s right: 10 cents – but was happy to return home in fourth place overall with winnings of $45,000. All together now: “Go Team Hastings Go!”
CHINESE NEW YEAR
We’re well underway in recognizing Chinese New Year with promotions running through the 1st of February. Hastings is hosting daily Hot Seat Draws with casino guests having chances to win slot play vouchers, bobble heads and an entry for the daily draw to win a Golden Ox statue and cash. Each winner of the daily draw is invited to Hastings on Feb. 1 for a final grand prize of a Golden Money God Statue and $888. Also on Feb. 1 daily Hot Seat draws for guests offer cash prizes from $88 to $888 from the Money Tree.
And don’t forget the special racing card from Hong Kong on Tuesday, Jan. 27 beginning at 9 p.m. at Hastings, Fraser Downs and all of the other venues that normally carry Hong Kong racing.
BACK IN ACTION AT FRASER DOWNS
In the 34-year existence of Fraser Downs, never have so many race days been lost due to the weather but the good news everything is “good to go” this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In fact, there will be a record number of horses in action with 40 races carded over the three days. As Chuck Keeling told Tom Wolski in his Vancouver Province column ‘Hoss Talk”: “Normally we wouldn’t go with all those races on a weekend but in order to giver every horse a chance to race this weekend we deviated away from that this one time. After talking with Jackson Wittup (director of racing at Fraser) we decided to go with as many races as we could, as long as there were six or more horses in a race.”
The 12-race Friday night card begins with the new start time of 7:30 p.m. while the regular start times Saturday and Sunday are 1:15 p.m.
DAVIS ON TARGET FOR 5,000th WIN
Maybe tonight … with nine drives scheduled for Bill Davis on the Friday card it’s conceivable the veteran trainer/driver will hit the charmed 5,000th career victory plateau. He needs just four more wins to make it and fans can rest assured there will be a huge celebration scene once the milestone has been reached.
BEHIND THE SCENE WITH T.W.
Tommy Wolski’s Sport of Kings show on Citytv Saturday at 11 a.m. features trainer/driver Dave McKellar. Also, there will be a look back at the history of racing at Sandown; a driver profile on Gord Abbott and the Salute to the Champions will focus on the 1999 Trotting Classic.
Wolski is a fight fan and will no doubt be in Hastings’ Lounge at Hastings on Saturday, Jan. 24 for the live pay-per-view coverage of the long-awaited bout pitting Fedor against Arlovski in what’s being billed as “A Day of Reckoning” in the fast-paced world of mixed martial arts fighting. The card starts at 6 p.m. from the Honda Center in Anaheim.
SEE THE FIGHTS ON THE BIG SCREEN AT HASTINGS
Hastings will show the following fights in The Lounge on the big screen, free of charge, with food specials:
- UFC #93 January 17: Franklin vs. Henderson LIVE at 12 Noon, and a replay at 7pm.
- UFC #94 January 31: St-Pierre vs. Penn at 7pm