By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport
SCENE & HEARD: Flipping the calendar page to the month of July signals the beginning of a vibrant series of events at Hastings Racecourse.
Canada Day kick-starts a schedule that includes the return of the loveable and huggable wiener dogs, the first of eight popular Friday Night Live race nights under the lights, the 11th anniversary of the Deighton Cup, four $50,000 stake races and the 3rd annual Sports Alumni Day.
Wiener Weekend is the Big Daddy of the Dog Days of Summer at Hastings. There is little room for argument that the recent introduction of Bulldog and Corgi races have been a major hit. But the darling Dachshunds are the clean-up hitter in baseball, the quarterback in football, the Kawhi Leonard of the NBA.
They make their return to Hastings with back-to-back – or in this case, tummy-to-tummy – races on Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14 in heats that will lead up to the hottest dog being crowned in the championship final just before we all, uh, relish over dinner Sunday. That same weekend the thoroughbreds will share the limelight with three established $50,000 stake races: the Monashee on Saturday; Lieutenant Governors and Spaghetti Mouse on Sunday.
Next comes the initial Friday Live card of the season on July 19 … a time when the younger set of racing patrons dust off their fascinators and fedoras for an evening’s entertainment that starts with the first race at 7:00 p.m.
The morning after the night before – Saturday, July 20 – the Deighton Cup takes over the Hastings Racecourse grounds. Our social media partner at the Daily Hive Vancouver describe it this way: “The most stylish day of horse racing that includes sharp fashion and derby fanfare … a mashup of cocktails, music, art and style. It is the city’s finest afternoon of big hats, bow ties, bubbles and adrenalin-pumping horse racing”.
The motley mob of regulars in the press box prefer to describe the Deighton Cup as the most salivating day of ‘people-watching’ during the entire racing season.
Alas, the month of July concludes with Sports Alumni Day at the Races on Sunday, the 28th. No fascinators or fedoras here … just down-to-earth legendary sporting figures from the Canucks, BC Lions, Whitecaps FC and former history-making Hastings jockeys.
Happy Canada Day everyone.