The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs will be viewed live on the new gigantic television screen located on the infield at Hastings Racecourse Saturday afternoon.
“The historic Run for the Roses will be part of our seven-race program,” said Stuart Slagle, Racing Secretary at Hastings. “Combined with two $50,000 stakes races Saturday – the Ross McLeod and Jim Coleman Province – we’re looking forward to another banner day.”
Slagle was referring to opening day of the 2014 thoroughbred season last Sunday when an estimated 8,000-10,000 fans thrilled to the running of the $50,000 George Royal and Brighouse Belles stakes. Total handle for the eight-race card was $679,783, a 38 per cent increase over opening day in 2013.
The only previous stakes winner in the Jim Coleman Province for 3-year-olds is Neverabettercause, last year’s 2-year-old champion and winner of the CTHS Sales Stakes and Ascot Graduation. Veteran jockey Frank Fuentes will ride for trainer Pat Jarvis.
The Ross McLeod for 3-year-old fillies features Washington invader Chu and You, a four-time winner at Emerald Downs last year. Arabella’s Muse, trained by Toni Cloutier and ridden by Fuentes, won the $100,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity in her only stakes appearance in 2013. Those two are the morning line favourites.
GRYDER RETURNS TO SANTA ANITA
Talented jockey Aaron Gryder rode Hollywood Miss to victory at Hastings last Sunday for owner Glen Todd and partners in the Brighouse Belles and after the race Todd said he would be making Gryder an offer to remain in Vancouver for the balance of the Hastings season.
Last year Gryder rode 225 mounts for Todd, finishing fifth in the overall jockey standings with 45 wins.
But Todd reported Friday that the 44-year-old Gryder has decided to remain in California for the 2014 season with potential offers to join television network HRTV as a guest analyst and a front office public relations position at Santa Anita. Todd says he is already looking into other options for a lead rider at Hastings this year.
Weekend racing at Hastings starts at 1:50 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. As always, there is no admission charge.