Vancouver, B.C. (Aug. 15/14) – Party Pooper co-operated like the perfect guest but Seedle Surprise did pull off the unexpected in the $50,000 stake features at Hastings Racecourse Friday night.

A surprisingly large gathering on the eve of the 2014 Fair at the PNE converged on Hastings and enjoyed one of the most pleasant summer evenings of the thoroughbred season.

With veteran jockey Alex Bisono at the controls, favourite Party Pooper won the 40th running of the New Westminster Handicap for 2-year-olds by one and one-half lengths in a final time of 1:17.53 over 6 ½ furlongs. “He responded well when I asked him,” Bisono said of the two-year-old colt making his first try in a two-turn sprint for trainer Troy Taylor.

Party Pooper paid $4.70, $2.70 and $2.10.

Seedle Surprise, trained by Sylvea Gregory and ridden by Ryan Pacheco, won the Hard Rock Casino Handicap for 2-year-old fillies by a head in an upset victory that paid $19.50, $9.80 and $6.00.

The combination of Gregory and Pacheco are hoping it was the start of big things to come this weekend. They’ll be working together in Edmonton Saturday for the Canadian Derby with Remembertobreathe, one of two Hastings representatives in the $200,000 Grade 3 feature. The other is trainer Robbie Anderson’s Off the Top with Frank Fuentes in the irons.

Live racing resumes at Hastings on Monday with a special 4 p.m. start and with the PNE Fair closed there will not be any parking fee for racing enthusiasts. There will be a $10,000 guarantee on the late Pick 4 on Monday.