HorseRacing Central – May 2nd, 2013



With the 139th running of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday and Kentucky Derby on Saturday from Churchill Downs, all 23 Racebook locations throughout British Columbia will be available for Oaks/Derby Daily Double Wagering. Included in the Lower Mainland are Hastings Racecourse, Fraser Downs Racetrack, River Rock Casino, Boulevard Casino, Schanks Sports Grill and The Derby Bar and Grill.

With the $1 million Oaks going as the 11th race on Friday’s 12-race card from Louisville, Kentucky, the Oaks/Derby Daily Double wagering will close at the anticipated 2:45 p.m. (PST) Oaks post time.

Trainer Todd Pletcher’s Dreaming of Julia with jockey John Velazquez is the morning line favourite at 3-1. Dreaming of Julia won the Gulfstream Oaks on March 30 by a resounding 21 and three-quarters lengths. Pletcher, who has previously won the Kentucky Oaks with Ashado (2004) and Rags to Riches (2007), has two other horses in this year’s race – both morning line 20-1 long shots – Silsita and Princess of Sylmar.

Simulcast coverage of the Oaks card Friday and the Derby card Saturday will begin with the third race on each day. Doors will open at   Hastings and Fraser Downs at 8 a.m.


Kentucky Derby Day is always a big hit at Hastings Racecourse with the $2 million ‘Run for the Roses’ shown live at Hastings on a huge 40-foot high definition screen located in front of the grandstand on the infield grass alongside the Tote Board. Post time for the Derby is 3:25 p.m. (PST) and will be shown live between the third and fourth races on the Hastings regularly scheduled Saturday card.

Florida Derby winner Orb drew post 16 in the 20-horse field of 3-year-olds and has been pegged the 7-2 morning line Kentucky Derby favourite.  Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by the red hot  Joel Rosario, Orb’s main opposition is expected to be undefeated Verrazano listed at 4-1 out of the Todd Pletcher barn and ridden by John Velazquez.

Santa Anita Derby winner Goldencents, trained by Doug O’Neill and to be ridden by Kevin Krigger, is the third choice on the morning line at 5-1. O’Neill, of course, saddled last year’s Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another when Hastings Racecourse jockey Mario Gutierrez made headlines around the world.

With Gutierrez in the irons, I’ll Have Another won both the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and was on the verge of becoming the first horse in 34 years to capture the Triple Crown. The Cinderella story ended as I’ll Have Another was scratched on the morning before the Belmont Stakes when it was discovered he had damaged a tendon in his leg during training.  Gutierrez returned to Vancouver a conquering hero.

Weekend racing at Hastings begins at 1:50 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


The spring portion of the Fraser Downs Racetrack harness meet has only four racing dates remaining:  Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4; as well as Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11.  Each is a 7 p.m. start.