HorseRacing Central August 2, 2007
BC CUP DAY: THE BEST OF THE BEST
It is the richest and most exciting day of the local thoroughbred season: Monday, August 6 – BC Cup Day at Hastings Racecourse.
With total purses having reached the $450,000 level, it is a time when the super stars of racing hit the parade to the post in seven stakes races with the feature event being the $100,000 Redekop BC Cup Classic with defending champion Spaghetti Mouse back to defend his 2006 title.
Analyst Mike Heads was asked to give his early predictions for readers of HorseRacing Central and here’s what he offers:
The 2-year-old fillies will be competing in the $50,000 Debutante and the favourite will most likely be Peter Redekop’s Alpine Lass, an easy winner in the Timber Music Stakes in an impressive 1:17.60. Mind you, she will have some talented and well-bred competition as both My Special Angel and Remarkable Miss will be trying to chase her down at the 6 ½ furlong trip.
The $50,000 Nursery will see Glen Todd and Patrick Kinsella’s Call Me Tomorrow take most of the wagering action because of his impressive score in the Ladnesian stakes. His main rivals will be both Freequartersmine and Brandon, both making their BC Cup starts from new barns.
Jeff Sangara’s filly Suva tops the list for the $50,000 Dogwood as she returns to Hastings after an unsuccessful try in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks in June. The Swift Thoroughbreds Napa has been in great form of late having won the Supernaturel.
THE STELLAR’S JAY
The favourite for the $50,000 Stellar’s Jay will be Ookashada from the Boyland and T D Stables. Ookashada was last year’s top 2-year-old and is still the best of the local 3-year-olds. Sales Stakes winner Stephanson and the improving Bad Sneakers look to be the main threats.
Always one of the most exciting races of the day, this year there doesn’t seem to be any clear-cut winner by handicappers. Lord Nelson, Luhuk’s Dancer, Mighty Cahill and B R Remark are all capable of winning. The 3-year-old Thesaratogaexpress adds some speed to the lineup.
Every owner of the nominees for the $50,000 Distaff was breathing a little easier when it was announced that Monashee was opting to run her next race in Alberta. Recent allowance winner Starlite Strike owned by Canyon Farms and trained by Rob Van Overschot moves into the favourite’s spot. But rest assured, there is a load of talent in here.
THE BC CUP CLASSIC
Oh, what a classic! There were 15 nominees for the $100,000 Redekop BC Cup Classic headed by last year’s winner Spaghetti Mouse who is back to defend his title. Forceful Intention, Act of God, Timeless Passion, Tobe Suave and Shacane are all very capable.
Parade to the post is 1:25 on Monday, August 6. Traditionally, BC Cup Day attracts one of the largest crowds of the season at Hastings Racecourse. Don’t be left at the gate!
HALL OF FAME BOUND
Retired jockey Chris Loseth and owners Russ and Lois Bennett will soon be on their way to Mississauga, Ontario for the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on August 23.
Loseth spent most of his career at Hastings and finished with 3,669 wins before his final ride – a winning one – aboard April Foolish on June 12, 2005. He won a Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion apprentice rider in 1976 and was named Canada’s top jockey in 1984.
The Bennetts are being inducted into the Builders’ Category. They were Sovereign Award winners in the breeders division in 1983 when Traveling Victor was named Canada’s Horse of the Year. The Bennetts often had Loseth riding Traveling Victor.
Lois & Russ Bennett
GREAT SCOTT BUT HE’S CLOSE
Scott Knight captured Standardbred Canada’s Western Regional Driving Championship at Fraser Downs in March and now goes up against the best in the country on August 9 in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Knight will be competing against seven other drivers from Alberta, Ontario, Atlantic Canada and Quebec with the winner heading to the World Championship in Australia and New Zealand from October 31 to November 9. Top prize money is $25,000.
“It’s going to be an experience of a lifetime,” Knight says. “I’ll be riding against many of my idols. I’m not feeling any serious pressure at the moment but that could change once I get there.”
SUCCESS AT SANDOWN
The successful return of standardbred racing to Sandown Park for three dates in July has lifted the hopes for potential plans in 2008.
“We were very pleased with the response,” said Chuck Keeling, Vice-President of Racing Operations for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. “It demonstrates to us that there is still a market demand for horse racing on Vancouver Island, especially when you condense it into just three days.”
The abbreviated three-day summer meet took place on consecutive Saturdays: July 14, 21 and 28. On a per day basis, the handle was up 23% versus last year.
Keeling said it was a unique partnership involving Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, the B.C. Standardbred Association and the Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch.
“We’re looking forward to discussions with the BCSA and GPEB for potential plans in 2008,” Keeling said. “Although the three-day schedule is not a long-term solution, it was worthwhile as we consider longer term plans.”
COAST-2-COAST PICK 4 CHALLENGE
It’s now underway: the Coast-2-Coast Pick 4 Challenge at Hastings Racecourse, Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino, Racebook at River Rock and Racebook at Boulevard. Each Friday in August customers have a chance to win a $250 wagering voucher at Hastings or Fraser Downs or a $100 wager voucher at one of the Racebooks.
Contact Guest Services for more information.
COAST CASINOS 2008 HORSEPLAYERS WORLD SERIES
The contest will be held at Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino on Sunday, August 12, 2007. Registration began at July 13th.
For the $100 registration fee you will receive:
A seat and personal monitor in the Fraser Downs Homestretch
Lunch and snacks
Forms for the day
Cash prizes for the Top 5
Top 3 receiving a spot at the Coast Casinos 2008 Horseplayers World Series at The Orleans in Las Vegas on January 24th - 26th, 2008
Registration will be limited to the first 150 paid entries received or the August 5th registration deadline.
LIVE RACING VIDEO STREAM SERVICE NOW OFFERS UNRESTRICED ACCESS
Access to online video streams to watch live racing from Hastings Racecourse, Fraser Downs, Georgian Downs and Flamboro Downs has become much less restricted.
In order to reach a wider audience and take advantage of the internet’s power as a broadcast medium, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) has elected to drop the requirement that viewers had to be registered as an HPI member.
“The distribution of GCGC horse racing is a key strategy going forward and there is likely no better medium than the internet right now to do so,” said Chuck Keeling, Vice-President of Racing Operations. “It made sense to us to maximize our audiences by providing the broadcasts to as many recipients as possible.”
Keeling said the new service will be available for the four tracks at their respective web sites effective immediately.