It starts right here: opening day of the 2018 thoroughbred racing season with the expectations of horsemen at Hastings being at widespread high levels.

Last year we were all witness to some exceptional performances highlighted by the unbeaten season of Daz Lin Dawn, the sensational three-year-old filly that won seven consecutive stake races and named winner of Horse of the Year honours.

Now, as we launch into another exciting campaign of racing, the questions throughout the backstretch are along the lines: “Do we have the next superstar in our barn? Will that next great horse be one of our two-year-old champions from last year? Is there a late bloomer that will step up and steal the spotlight?”

Together with our racing industry partners that include the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (HBPA), B.C. Thoroughbred Breeders & Owners Association (BCTOBA) and Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society B.C. Division (CTHS), we can confidently look forward to an outstanding 52-day schedule that runs through the October 13-14 weekend.

Our relationship with Emerald Downs continues to grow with an ongoing effort to improve the quality of races both at Hastings and our neighbours down the I-5. Hastings and Emerald Downs have introduced a $100,000 bonus series for three-year-olds called the Northwest Triple.

The prize money goes to any horse that can sweep the new three-race series that includes the Muckleshoot Derby at Emerald Downs on July 29; the BC Derby at Hastings on September 8 and the Getaway Stakes at Emerald Downs on September 23.

Any horse with a top three finish in all three Northwest Triple races will receive a $10,000 bonus and any horse starting all three races will receive a $1,000 bonus. There are also additional $25,000 bonuses for horses that sweep major races at each track in three other categories.

It is my sincere hope that we deliver in 2018 many great experiences and memories that will last for years to come.

Good luck everyone!


Darren MacDonald

General Manager & Director, BC Racing