By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport
SCENE & HEARD: The Canada Day 150 celebrations at Hastings Racecourse were launched in fine form Saturday and continue today with the running of the $75,000 Monashee in Race 4 on this afternoon’s card.
Seasoned track patrons don’t have to be reminded about Monashee, one of the best fillies or mares to ever race in British Columbia. Gentleman breeder and owner Ole Nielsen of Canmor Farms fame paid $14,000 for Monashee at the 2003 September Yearling Sale at Keeneland.
Nielsen, inducted into the British Columbia Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2005, still says today: “Monashee was the best horse I ever owned.”
Sired by South African champion Wolf Power, Monashee won 11 consecutive stake races between June 10, 2006 and October 13, 2007, the year she was named B.C. Horse of the Year. Her career earnings were in excess of $760,000.
Trainer Tracy McCarthy once told Randy Goulding of the Daily Racing Form that she had never witnessed a horse grow as much physically as Monashee did between her two-year-old and three-year-old season. Nielsen paid Tracy the supreme compliment when he said: “Monashee wasn’t an easy horse to keep happy and Tracy was the only one that seemed to be able to do it.”
Hastings Racecourse management is delighted to have Ole on hand to decorate today’s winner of the race respectfully named after his cherished Monashee. The combination of the great horse, Ole Nielsen and Tracy McCarthy is a class act all around.
SHORT HOPS: With today’s 158th running of the Queen’s Plate from Woodbine at 2:36 p.m. our time, take a brief second to share with Hastings’ long-time trainer Tak Inouye the fondest memory of his riding career. Tak, who is on site this afternoon, won the 1965 Queen’s Plate aboard 7-1 long shot Whistling Sea for Canadian trainer Roy Johnson. “It was no doubt the highlight of my career,” Tak says. “I don’t like to dwell on it but people keep bringing it up.”
END ZONE: Hastings resident Chef de Cuisine Fabrizio Biuso was a little nervous about getting his masterful 6’ X 4’ Canada Day birthday cake from the kitchen to the tarmac Saturday. He began what he termed “a difficult task” by joining 16 large sponge cakes together last Thursday, then adding the filling and red and white icing Friday before delivering it on a huge sheet of plywood with six attendants on Saturday.