By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport
SCENE & HEARD: The popular ESPN sports television show ‘Pardon the Interruption’ comes to mind at this time of year when the PNE Fair annually creates an adjustment to the routine of regular horse racing fans at Hastings.
But when you look at the big picture, it is just that: a break in the action that passes quickly enough.
During the 15-day run of the Fair there is no weekend racing but instead, two 7:00 p.m. Friday Night Live cards (August 23 & August 30) and two 6:00 p.m. Monday dates (August 19 & August 26).
Since the Fair is closed on Mondays, the PNE has agreed again to waive the normal parking fee for both of its dark days.
“We’re pleased to offer Hastings Racecourse patrons complimentary parking on those back-to-back designated Monday racing dates,” says Jeff Strickland, PNE Vice President, Operations. “It’s something we started a few years ago and we are delighted with the positive reaction.”
Those two Friday Night Live dates will both feature a pair of $50,000 CTHS Sales stake races as a lead-up to the 2019 Yearling & Mixed Sale sponsored by the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (BC Division) at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley.
The Sales Preview is set for 3:00 p.m. on Monday, September 9 with the annual CTHS Sale on Tuesday, September 10 at 3:00 p.m. Last year there were 66 yearlings sold for a total of $982,000.
Adopting the theme “It Pays to Buy BC-bred”, the CTHS (BC Division) announced last spring – in concert with the Presidents of the Horsemen’s Associations – the return of its popular rebate incentive that rewards purchasers of BC-bred yearlings with an immediate credit of up to $1,500 towards the purchase price at the Yearling & Mixed Sale.
Local breeders were once again invigorated this past BC Cup Day when four of the six $50,000 stake races were won by BC-breds: Here’s Hannah (Distaff), Infinite Patience (Debutante), At Attention (Nursery) and Sunburst (Hong Kong Jockey Club).
The PNE Fair winds down on Monday, September 2 and Hastings Racecourse moves forward full-bore with a sensational stakes schedule beginning on BC Derby/Oaks Day on Saturday, September 7. Between Derby/Oaks Day and Saturday, October 20, a total of 12 stakes worth more than $800,000 in purse money will be staged on the customary Saturday/Sunday cards at Hastings with the exception of Thanksgiving Monday on October 14.