Since Wednesday’s draw for this afternoon’s 73rd running of the BC Derby it’s been mentioned numerous times by veteran racing regulars that this could be the best of its kind in many years.
The last time our marquee event had a full gate was in 2011 when Northern Causeway won the Derby with trainer Len Kasmerski for owner Rozamund Barclay.
Having a field of 12 in our Grade 3, $150,000 premier event this year is certainly a credit to the horsemen and horsewomen responsible for putting such a challenging card together. It’s a uniquely impressive lineup of 3-year-olds that will be on parade prior to the 8th race scheduled to start at approximately 5:25 p.m.
I will leave it to our expert analysts Drew Forster, Randy Goulding, Mike Heads and Dan Jukich to wade through the racing talent and share with you their selections.
A couple of other storylines are worth mentioning. It is an honour to have a memorial purse in the name of longtime owner Cec Peacock, the man who was such a huge part of the racing industry for so many years. He is best known for owning Brother Derek, winner of the Santa Anita Derby in 2006. At Hastings, he won the BC Derby in 1997 with Bobbin for Stars. Mr. Peacock’s daughter Kim and husband Lance Giesbrecht own the Phil Hall-trained Calgary Caper, winner of this year’s BC Cup Classic.
Kim and Lance donated $10,000 in the name of Cec Peacock to increase the purse of today’s second race – an Allowance for 2-year-olds – to $32,000.
Also, it’s great to have exercise rider Bailey Heggie back for a second straight year to interview from horseback the winning jockey of today’s BC Derby. Fans enjoyed the new feature following Rico Walcott’s win aboard Chief Know It All last season and can look forward to Bailey’s work again today on the jumbo screen as well as the television monitors located throughout our facilities.
This is a huge day for all of us at Hastings Racecourse. We want you to enjoy it to the fullest. Good luck everyone!
Director, BC Racing