HorseRacing Central – Friday, July 26th, 2013


Jockey Mario Gutierrez returns to Hastings Racecourse on Monday, August 5 for one of the biggest and richest cards of the local thoroughbred season: BC Cup Day featuring six stakes races for B.C.-breds with purses totaling more than $325,000.

Gutierrez became a national sensation in 2012 by guiding I’ll Have Another to stunning victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, making a run watched the world over to try becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years.  I’ll Have Another was scratched due to tendonitis on the day before the Belmont Stakes.

‘Marvelous Mario’ launched his riding career at Hastings Racecourse after emigrating from his native Mexico City in 2006. Under the guidance of mentor Glen Todd, Gutierrez won riding titles at Hastings in 2007 and 2008 and is now a regular on the California racing circuit.

“Mario will ride two or three of the stakes races on BC Cup Day,” Todd announced Friday. “Because BC Cup Day falls on the holiday Monday (Aug. 5), there’s a break in the schedule for him with his commitments at Del Mar Race Track.”

Todd said Gutierrez will also ride at Hastings during the month of September prior to the opening of the Santa Anita racing season in early October.

“We’re obviously thrilled to have Mario return for BC Cup Day,” Raj Mutti, General Manager at Hastings Racecourse, said. “When he came home between his Kentucky Derby and Preakness wins last year there were upwards of 12,000 fans on hand to welcome him back. We hope the same thing will happen August 5.”


The $75,000 Redekop BC Cup Classic for 3-year-olds & up anchors the six stakes races that include five others with $50,000 purses:  the BC Cup Debutante for 2-year-old fillies; the Nursery for 2-year-old colts and geldings; the Dogwood for 3-year-old fillies; the Stellar’s Jay for 3-year-old colts and geldings and the Distaff for fillies and mares.

The BC Cup Day card will have a special start time of 12:50 p.m. on the Holiday Monday Aug. 5 with Dr. Strangelove providing live entertainment and the Family Zone open from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.


Live racing goes as scheduled Saturday and Sunday at Hastings Racecourse with the popular 5th annual Mascot Derby running between races Sunday and the championship showdown going after Race 6 at approximately 4:22 p.m.  The mascots provide entertaining family fun and, as always, there is no admission on race days at Hastings Racecourse. Racing starts at 1:50 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

The great horse Lord Nelson, inducted into the B.C. Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2011, will be honoured Sunday with distinguished owner and breeder Russell Bennett accepting the accolades. Lord Nelson was voted champion older horse in B.C. from 2001 through 2004 with his 16 career wins earning upwards of $670,000.


The feature race at Del Mar Saturday is the $200,000 San Diego Handicap with a field of six going a mile and a sixteenth (5:42 p.m.).  At Saratoga, Race 10 on Saturday’s card is the $600,000 Jim Dandy while Northlands has four stakes on Saturday, including the $50,000 Northlands Oaks (2:00 p.m.).

Sunday’s Monmouth card features the $1 million Haskell (3:20 p.m.) with Oxbow and Verrazano the headliners going a mile and an eighth. There are six other stakes on the Sunday card. The feature at Del Mar Sunday is the $300,000 Bing Crosby (5:40 p.m.)