Vancouver, B.C. (April 26/15) – Veteran trainer Dino Condilenios came dressed for a party Sunday at Hastings Racecourse and wasn’t disappointed.
Wearing a trainer’s non-traditional suit, dress shirt and tie, Condilenios was in the winner’s circle not once but twice celebrating victories following the opening stakes races of the Hastings season: the $50,000 George Royal and $50,000 Brighouse Belles.
“What a way to start the year,” he beamed with his Swift Thoroughbreds owners sharing the limelight. “What a great day. This doesn’t happen very often.”
The aptly named Rather Beautiful started the consecutive streak in the Brighouse Belles for fillies and mares with a two-length victory over favoured Hollywood Miss, paying $11.80, $5.20, $3.40. Ridden by Rico Walcott, Rather Beautiful finished the six and one half furlongs in an impressive 1:15.79.
Condilenios was back in the winner’s circle after the very next race when 5-year-old Kentucky-bred Modern beat Title Contender by a neck in the George Royal for 3-year-olds & up. With Richard Hamel in the irons, Modern was relentless in the holding off Title Contender in a final time of 1:16.19, paying $16.20, $9.20, $5.80.
“He’s one of the most talented horses I’ve ever trained,” Condilenios said. “Modern has finally learned to relax and today he put away some pretty good horses.”
Joining the winning connections was 86-year-old Robert W. (Bob) Hall, co-owner and trainer of the immortal George Royal who was the first B.C.-bred to win Canadian Horse of the Year honours in 1965 and inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1976. George Royal won nine consecutive stakes at Hastings as a 3-year-old and today his statue stands proudly in the paddock area.
Live racing resumes Saturday and Sunday at Hastings Racecourse with start times at 1:50 p.m. The 141st running of the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs will be shown live Saturday on the giant screen in Hastings infield.
The new Sea to Sky Pick 6 has a carryover of $7,760 heading into next Saturday’s card.
For further information:
General Manager & Director, BC Racing