HorseRacing Central – Friday, August 30th, 2013
CURTAIN DRAWS ON FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE CARDS
Some of the most exciting ‘rides’ during the Fair at the PNE this year have been staged by the jockeys at Hastings Racecourse and it’s a trend that will no doubt continue with tonight’s final Friday Night Live card of the season.
The leading rider standings, based on winning mounts during the course of the 2013 schedule, are as close as they’ve ever been with only 10 victories separating the top seven jockeys.
Amadeo Perez, skunked in Wednesday’s card, maintains top spot with 44 wins. But with Scott Williams’ win-by-a-neck on Off the Top Wednesday, he enters Friday’s card with 43 first-place finishes. The remaining five in contention are Aaron Gryder (40), Frank Fuentes (39), Antonio Reyes (38), Richard Hamel (36) and Enrique Gonzalez (34).
There are only 15 days of live racing remaining on the Hastings calendar, including the tonight’s Friday Night Live card (7:00 p.m.) that features a $17,5000 claiming race for 3-year-old fillies with leading trainer Craig MacPherson sending out favoured Kiri’s Gal. The 6 ½ furlong sprint drew six horses and goes as Race 7.
MacPherson added to his total number of training wins (30) with Ray’s Reno scoring a comfortable victory Wednesday. Troy Taylor, who has captured the leading trainer award the past six consecutive years, trails MacPherson by three wins.
MAJOR STAKES RACES AROUND THE NEXT TURN
As August winds down, the annual fall classics at Hastings Racecourse begin taking shape. The series of major stakes races gets warmed up with the Labour Day Holiday Monday card on Sept. 2 (1:50 p.m. start) featuring the $50,000 Express and $50,000 Ladies Express.
That’s followed by the biggest and richest card of the season with BC Derby/Oaks Day on Sunday, Sept. 8 with an early 12:50 p.m. start.
The 68th running of the $150,000 BC Derby for 3-year-olds highlights the festive afternoon that includes five other star-studded stakes with a total of $600,000 in purse money. The co-feature is the 50th running of the $100,000 BC Oaks for 3-year-old fillies and there are two more $100,000 events: the Sadie Diamond Futurity for 2-year-old fillies and the Jack Diamond Futurity for 2-year-old colts & geldings.
The $50,000 S.W. Randall Plate for 3-year-olds & up and the $50,000 Delta Colleen for 3-year-olds & up fillies and mares add to the stakes extravaganza that traditionally attracts the largest gathering of racing fans enjoying a Kentucky Derby-style afternoon with the ladies in their finest attire including hats and fascinators and gentlemen in their fedoras and bow ties.
Admission is free and because of the festivities surrounding BC Derby/Oaks Day, the early start time of 12:50 p.m. has become part of the tradition