A 51-day live thoroughbred racing schedule has been announced for 2014 at Hastings Racecourse beginning Sunday, April 27 and concluding Monday, October 13. 

Darren MacDonald, Hastings’ interim general manager, said there are also four tentative dates reserved for late October depending upon income during the 51-day meet, as per the agreement announced last week by the B.C. Horse Racing Industry Management Committee.

The 2014 season offers several adjustments compared to recent years at Hastings Racecourse.  The popular Friday Night Live cards are scheduled for August 8, 15, 22 and 29, all with 7:00 p.m. start times.

Also, there will be live racing beginning at 4:00 p.m. on August 18 and August 25, both Mondays when the 2014 Fair at the PNE will be closed.  The Fair runs from August 16 to September 1.  The traditional live racing card on Labour Day  – Monday, September 1 – will commence at 1:50 p.m. as part of closing day of The Fair.

Besides Labour Day, three other major cards are set for Holiday Mondays:  Victoria Day on May 19; BC Cup Day on August 4 and Thanksgiving Day on October 13.  Canada Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 1, also with a 1:50 p.m. start time.

There are two 12:50 p.m. early starts on this year’s schedule: BC Cup Day (Aug. 4) and BC Derby Day on Sunday, Sept. 14, the biggest and richest card of the 2014 season.  The running of the 69th BC Derby with a purse of $150,000 is expected to attract some of the top 3-year-olds from Hastings, Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

The complete 38 stakes schedule will be available at hastingsracecourse.com later today.