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2011 Thoroughbred season at Hastings Racecourse ready to ‘roll out the good times’ this weekend

April 14, 2011     E-mail this page to a friend!

71-day meet set to launch Saturday at 1:20 p.m.
Story by Greg Douglas, Hastings Racecourse

The Hastings Racecourse 2011 Thoroughbred season gets underway with eight races on Saturday’s opening day card and an atmosphere of renewed enthusiasm. Overnight and stakes purse increases and an exciting 41-race stakes schedule are thrilling the horsemen and horsewomen, and a 15% takeout has intrigued local racing fans and rocked the racing industry.

“Hastings Racecourse offers some of the very best betting values found anywhere in North America,” wrote renowned racing writer Bill Finley of “The lower takeouts at 15% for win, place, show, the Pick 4 and Pick 5 offer the customer a better value than he or she could get most anywhere else.”

Raj Mutti, Regional General Manager of BC Racing and GM at Hastings Racecourse, says: “Since we had the purse increases we wanted to do something for the horseplayers, too. The players and horse owners are the two most important parts of our business.”

Hastings introduces the Pick 5 on Saturday with an opening day guarantee of $25,000. The new bet covers races 4 through 8. “With the quality card that has been put together,” says Paul Ryneveld, Director of Racing, “a horseplayer will have to go deep to pick all five winners. It will be a challenge.”

The featured 7th race on Saturday is a $75,000 allowance optional claimer for 3-year-olds that have not won $30,000 since January 1, 2011. Included in the eight-horse field will be Hastings 2-year-old champion Outoftheclouds and Alberta’s 2-year-old champ Bond James Bond.

Ryneveld is pleased with the fact 858 horses are on the grounds and 17 jockeys have checked in with several of the familiar favorites focused on dethroning popular veteran Richard Hamel as 2010 leading rider. Hamel, a native of Terrace, B.C., hit the winner’s circle 83 times last year, with eight of them coming in major stakes, including the $150,000 BC Derby.

Former jockey title holders at Hastings Fernando Perez, Mario Gutierrez, Pedro Alvarado, and Dave Wilson will all be gunning to overtake Hamel. Racing fans will be delighted to know that 2008 leading apprentice jockey Stephanie Fedora has fully recovered from a 2009 racing mishap. After missing the entire season last year, she’s back and, in her words, “feeling better than ever.”

Clockers Corner open house at Hastings attracts all levels of horse racing industry

With just six days to go, Hastings Racecourse hosted a Clockers Corner Open House on Sunday, April 10. A huge turnout of owners, trainers, jockeys, and racing fans braved wet and cold weather to share in a unique, early-morning program that included workouts and official clockings.

Raj Mutti, Regional General Manager, BC Racing and GM at Hastings Racecourse, welcomed what he referred to as “our two biggest stakeholders: horse owners and horse players” while mapping out plans for the coming season. Mutti and Mary Margaret Bentley from British Columbia Lottery Corporation addressed many new marketing and promotional initiatives geared to generate added interest in racing. They included a wide range of projects involving print and electronic media partners, social media, and an exclusive Apple iPhone Ap.

Kim Inglis, spoke about the New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society, who ensures that non-competitive and retired Thoroughbreds get a second chance in life.