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Female trainers make history at Hastings Racecourse


November 27, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Vancouver, B.C. (Nov. 26/06) – Trainers Terry Clyde and Barbara Heads doubled their pleasure and doubled their fun by finishing dead even in the 2006 trainer standings at Hastings Racecourse.

With the final day of racing cancelled Sunday after the first race because of weather and unsafe riding conditions, Clyde and Heads finished the year tied with 48 wins apiece. It marks the first time in the 117-year history of Thoroughbred racing in Vancouver that a female has won the top trainer award or, in this case, two females.

Clyde and Heads will be honoured at the Industry Award Gala Dinner in March, as will Pedro Alvarado as leading jockey with 114 wins; Mario Gutierrez as top apprentice jockey with 91 wins and Bob Cheema as top owner with 20 wins.

“Although it was a challenging season, we are pleased with the fact that our average handle per race was up 7.6 percent, while some other Canadian tracks have experienced declines” said Director of Operations Raj Mutti. “Planning is already underway for the 2007 season so we can maintain and build this key barometer of our racing quality”.

Over the 78-day racing card in 2006 at Hastings, the total on track handle was $23,084,280 with the all sources handle reaching $67,916.866. Based on 691 races completed, the average per race handle on track was $33,407 while the average all sources handle was $98,288. The on track handle was down 4.1 percent but the all sources handle increased by 7.6 percent.

On another positive note, the average field size in 2006 was 7.97 compared to 7.45 in 2005. The 2006 average purse per race was $13,723 compared to $14,345 in 2005; average purse per day in 2006 was $115,193 compared to $122,367 in 2005.

“We’d like to thank everyone for their support this season,” Mutti said. “We’re already looking forward to next year.”