HorseRacing Central – Friday, July 19th, 2013


Due to a flu-like virus that has affected a substantial number of horses at Hastings Racecourse, the upcoming weekend of live racing has been reduced to Friday Night (July 19, 7:00 p.m.) and Sunday afternoon (July 21, 1:50 p.m.).  The Saturday (July 20) has been cancelled with the hopes the lost day can be made up later in the meet.

The strong seven-horse field in Friday Night’s feature race for older horses running a mile and sixteenth with an allowance purse of $20,000 has trainer John Snow’s Wilo Kat listed as the morning line favourite at 2/1.  Wilo Kat finished second to Herbie D in the $50,000 Lt.-Governors on Canada Day. Hastings Racecourse General Manager Raj Mutti describes the seven-race card as “one of the best   we’ve ever put together for a Friday Night Live program”.


The late and great horseman Sid Martin once described his friend and fellow trainer Angus MacPherson as “a delightful man; an old school gentleman with a loving sense of humour”.

Mr. MacPherson arrived in Vancouver from his native Scotland in 1930 and trained for Bob Gellatlly’s Midlothien Stable for almost three decades. He suffered a heart attack and passed away in 1959 at the age of 64. It was In 1990 when Mr. MacPherson was elected to the B.C. Horse Racing Hall of Fame.  His grandson Craig MacPherson, a top trainer at Hastings year after year, will proudly be the Guest Decorator in Angus MacPherson’s honour prior to Sunday’s third race. It is conceivable that Craig could be decorating his own horse –two-year-old Aspen Getaway – who’s listed at 5/2 on the morning line.


It’s a case of “all systems go” for Friday’s start of the 150th anniversary meet at Saratoga Race Track in New York.  With Del Mar having opened on Wednesday, it means there will be plenty of racing entertainment via simulcast coverage available at Hastings Racecourse, Fraser Downs Race Track and the TBC network.

Herbie D and Hoist will be part of the six-horse field in Sunday’s $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap at Emerald Downs. At a mile and sixteenth, the Mt. Rainier is the final Emerald Downs prep for the 78th running of the $200,000 Longacres Mile on August 18.

Herbie D, owned by George Robbins and trained by Rob Gilker, won the John Longden 6000 on May 20 and the Lt. Governors’ on July 1 at Hastings.  Herbie D drew the number one post and will be ridden by Amadeo Perez.  Hoist, winner of the May 19 Governors’ Handicap at Emerald Downs, is trained by Mike Puhich for the North American Thoroughbred Racing Company and will be ridden by Hastings’ leading rider Aaron Gryder.  Post time for the Mr. Rainier Sunday is 6:09 p.m.