The 2017 thoroughbred racing season will see an increase of three races to its stakes schedule it was announced today by Darren MacDonald, Hastings Racecourse General Manager & Director of Racing BC.
“With all of the incentives now available to purchase weanlings and yearlings we thought it was important to increase the number of opportunities for horses to run in stakes company,” MacDonald said.
There are 42 stake races on the 2017 calendar worth $2.65 million in purse money. It all begins with the $50,000 Swift Thoroughbred Inaugural and $50,000 Brighouse Belles on opening day, Sunday, April 16.
“We have resurrected two stake races for 2-year-olds: the New Westminster and Hard Rock Casino and there has also been a 2-year-old stake created to honor Spaghetti Mouse, the highest BC-bred money earner of all-time,” MacDonald said.
Owned by Nick and Pauline Felicella, Spaghetti Mouse was named to the BC Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2014 following a career that stretched over nine seasons resulting in 10 stakes victories and earnings of $929,850. The new $50,000 Spaghetti Mouse Stakes will be featured on Sunday, July 16 while the New Westminster and Hard Rock Casino, both with $50,000 purses, go as part of BC Day Festival of Racing on Monday, August 7.
As has been a long-standing tradition at Hastings Racecourse, BC Derby/Oaks Day will be the highlight of the 2017 season with six stake races and purses totaling $600,000 scheduled for Saturday, September 9. The 72nd running of the Grade 3 BC Derby carries with it a purse of $150,000 while the 55th running of the BC Oaks offers $100,000 in purse money.
“We have included the $100,000 Jack and Sadie Diamond futurities on the Derby/Oaks card,” MacDonald said. “That will make it a true celebration of the best horses at Hastings this year.”
MacDonald noted his appreciation for the level of cooperation between the different horsemen groups in working towards the goal to create a stakes schedule that will encourage new owners with opportunities for both B.C. and foreign-bred horse to run at Hastings.
Horses begin to arrive at Hastings Racecourse on February 1 with the track opening for training on February 3. A paddock sale featuring 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age is set for April 2 at Hastings. The 2017 schedule runs from April 16 to October 22 and is now available at www.hastingsracecourse.com