HorseRacing Central – February 8th, 2013

Spring Training Underway Geared for April 13-14 Opening

Gatekeeper Paul Moretti was the official greeting party to a steady stream of horsemen in the backstretch reporting for work Tuesday morning as spring training got underway at Hastings Racecourse.

Veteran trainer and former Queen’s Plate winning jockey Tak Inouye (Whistling Sea, 1965) was the first to have a horse test the wet and muddy surface when outrider Cindy Barroby took 3-year-old filly Stormgeddon for a jog at 8:05am Tuesday morning.

“A few trainers started to move in during the weekend,” said Director of Racing Paul Ryneveld. “We have 160 horses on the grounds with 147 of them training today for the first time this year.”

By Thursday, Ryneveld said the count was 202 horses on the grounds and added those numbers will increase over the next few weeks as regular Hastings trainers return from winter meets at Turf Paradise, Santa Anita and Golden Gate. Training at Hastings goes from 8:00am to 11:00am Tuesdays through Sundays.

“We’re encouraged by the number of stall applications that have been received,” Ryneveld said. “A total of 78 trainers have registered for stalls to accommodate 955 horses. All of our top trainers are returning and we’re expecting some noteworthy newcomers.”

Included in that group is highly decorated retired jockey Pedro Alvarado who finished his illustrious riding career on the last day of racing this past season (October 14th, 2012) by hitting the winner’s circle three times, including the final race of the year aboard Mr. Exspeedient. Alvarado was the leading jockey at Hastings on four occasions: 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006. He won over 1,000 starts at Hastings Racecourse, including BC Derby victories in 2006 (Halo Steven) and 2003 (Roscoe Pito).

Raj Mutti, Regional General Manager, BC Racing, earlier announced the complete, 69-day racing schedule for 2013 that begins Saturday, April 13 and continues through Thanksgiving Monday, October 14th. Mutti said he will soon be releasing the 2013 Stakes Schedule with purses totaling $2.5 million.

The 2013 Hastings Racecourse schedule is available