HorseRacing Central – June 7th, 2013
‘SPRING INTO SUMMER’ WITH 3-DAY HASTINGS WEEKEND
Hastings Racecourse has dubbed it “Spring Into Summer” and with the promise of cooperative weather from Global Television meteorologist Mark Madryga, the three days of live racing Friday, Saturday and Sunday couldn’t be more aptly named.
It begins with the return of popular Friday Night Live racing at 7:00 p.m., then swings into Saturday with a seven-race card plus simulcast coverage of the Belmont Stakes from New York and wraps up with four $50,000 stake races Sunday. The Saturday and Sunday cards go at the regular 1:50 p.m. start time.
FRIDAY APPAREL: FEDORAS & FASCINATORS
It isn’t mandatory but trendy … with Hastings Racecourse having developed into a Vancouver entertainment destination for Friday Night Live racing, sightings of fascinators and fedoras have become the norm with a live deejay, food & drink specials and live racing under the lights! There are 11 Friday Night Live events on this year’s Hastings calendar beginning with tomorrow night (June 7) and running through July and August.
BELMONT STAKES AT 3:36 p.m. SATURDAY
The 145th running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday is scheduled to start from New York at 3:36 p.m. PDT and Hastings Racecourse will be carrying it live via simulcast on the jumbo screen located in the infield adjacent to the tote board. The big race will also be available at Fraser Downs Racetrack and all TBC outlets throughout B.C. Kentucky Derby winner Orb, despite finishing fourth behind Oxbow in the Preakness, has been made the morning line favourite (3-1) in a 14-horse field going 1 ½ miles. Oxbow is actually the third betting choice (5-1) behind Orb and Revolutionary (9-2). With the Brooklyn Handicap going Friday at Belmont, there will be a Brooklyn/Belmont daily double wagering feature with a Friday afternoon deadline prior to the start of the Brooklyn Handicap at 2:45 p.m. PDT.
Saturday’s seven-race card at Hastings will spotlight a 6 ½ furlong first-level allowance race for fillies and mares that goes as race number four. The morning line favorite is Vinoterra, trained by Barb Heads and ridden by Richard Hamel. It will be Vinoterra’s second start of the season, having finished as the runner-up to Dance the Wind in a $35,000 optional claimer on May 9.
FOUR – COUNT ‘EM – FOUR STAKE RACES SUNDAY
There will be $200,000 in purses on the line with half of Sunday’s eight-race card being $50,000 stake races. Anchoring the feature attractions will be the Sir Winston Churchill for 3-year-olds and up traveling 1 1/16 miles. The Emerald Downs for 3-year-old fillies, the River Rock Casino for 3-year-olds and the Vancouver Sun Handicap for older fillies and mares top off the ‘Spring Into Summer’ program at Hastings in what promises to be the most exciting card so far into the young 2013 thoroughbred season.
AARON GRYDER: HERE, THERE & EVERYWHERE
Hastings Racecourse leading jockey Aaron Gryder (19-10-13 in the win/place/show standings) is going to be one, busy guy this weekend. He will ride Calidoscopio in the Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont on Friday; then head for Northlands Park for a Saturday appearance on Commander before returning to Hastings where he’ll have mounts in each of the $50,000 stake races. Somehow he will also find time to join Hastings General Manager Raj Mutti for a live interview on Global Television Sunday (8:30 a.m.) with sportscaster Shanel Pratap.
RACING MOURNS PASSING OF DELBERT RYCROFT
Longtime jockey and trainer Delbert Rycroft passed away earlier this week from unknown causes at the age of 62. He began his riding career in his native Alberta and won the Canadian Derby at Northlands as an apprentice in 1971. Between 1976 and 1991 Rycroft won over 600 races in Vancouver. There will be a memorial service at Hastings Racecourse in his honour, date to be determined.