By Darren MacDonald
General Manager, Director of BC Racing
We have officially passed the halfway mark of our 2019 thoroughbred racing season and today’s BC Cup Day 10-race card marks the beginning of what we anticipate will be a fascinating second-half schedule at Hastings Racecourse.
Heading into this weekend our on-track and all-sources handle has been up substantially compared to 2018. On a day-to-day comparison, our all-sources numbers have climbed to 23 per cent over last year.
Our challenge now is to keep the momentum going and it is a mission that can be accomplished with the continued support of our racing industry partners: Horsemen’s Benevolent & Owners Association (HBPA), B.C. Thoroughbred Breeders & Owners Association (BCTOBA) and Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society B.C. Division (CTHS).
It is common knowledge the horse racing industry throughout North America has been struggling over the past few years. Yet, with the addition of some dynamic new initiatives at Hastings, we’ve maintained a reputation of being one of the most popular entertainment destinations in Greater Vancouver.
The Dog Days of Summer featuring the Wiener Dogs, Corgis and British Bulldogs have captured the imagination of racing fans. Live coverage on our jumbo infield screen of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes are a big hit, as is the ever-popular Deighton Cup that attracts enormous print and electronic news coverage every July, not to mention huge crowds.
But when you come right down to it, the horses are and always will be the main attraction.
With today’s six $50,000 stake races and more on the horizon capped by the 74th running of the $250,000 British Columbia Derby on Sept. 7, the Hastings management team is working hard to maintain its reputation of providing one of the most exciting pastimes on Vancouver’s sporting landscape.
Thank you for your patronage, folks. Enjoy BC Cup Day.