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Clockers clocking at Hastings workouts

March 25, 2013     E-mail this page to a friend!

A sure sign that the start of the 2013 Thoroughbred racing season is near can be underlined by the arrival each morning of the clockers, who diligently record workout times of horses prepping for their coming campaigns.

With opening weekend at Hastings Racecourse set for April 13-14, activity both on and off the track heightens each day. “At last count we had over 600 horses on the grounds,” says Raj Mutti, Regional General Manager, BC Racing. “That number is expected to grow to 800 within the next couple of weeks.”

Mutti said the target for opening weekend is to schedule eight races on each day that would include two allowance races for those horses prepping for the season’s first two stakes: the $50,000 Brighouse Belles (fillies & mares, 3-years-old & up) on April 27 and the $50,000 George Royal (3-years-old & up) on April 28.

The jockey colony continues to grow with 20 currently on site, including last year’s leading rider Amadeo Perez. He won 96 races in 2012 with purse earnings of $1,385,088. Marlo Dunn, leading apprentice jockey in 2012 with 27 wins and earnings of $374,886, has been actively galloping horses since the track opened for morning workouts in February.

Two veteran jockeys who have graced the Hastings scene for many years have hung up their riding tack but will remain on the scene in other capacities. Pedro Alvarado. a four-time leading jockey at Hastings (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006) will be on the scene this year as a trainer while Chad Hoverson, a veteran of 36 years in the saddle, begins a new career as a jockey’s agent.