01/22/2003 12:00AM

B. C. Derby tops stakes


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The Grade 2 British Columbia Derby highlights the recently released 2003 Hastings Park stakes schedule. The Hastings live season, which begins April 26 and closes Nov. 30, will offer 45 added-money races totaling $2,670,000, approximately 10 percent more than in 2002.

The B.C. Derby, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 21, will carry an added purse of $250,000. If the usual full field runs, it will be worth $310,000, up almost $100,000 from last year.

B.C. Cup Day, which features seven stakes totaling $365,000, is set for Monday, Aug. 4, with the B.C. Cup Classic, for 3-year-olds and up, worth $65,000.

The B.C. Breeders' Cup Oaks, Sept. 20, and the Ballerina Breeders' Cup, Oct. 11, carry $150,000-added purses, down $25,000 from last year because of a cutback in Breeders' Cup Funds.

The Ascot Graduation for 2-year-olds lost its Breeders' Cup designation and has gone from a $150,000 guaranteed purse to a $75,000 added, or $100,000 guaranteed, whichever is higher. The Jack and Sadie Diamond Futurities will be run on Sept. 14 and are worth an estimated $100,000.

The Grade 3 Lieutenant Governors', July 1, and the Grade 3 Premier's, Oct. 12, give older horses two chances at $100,000 purses.

The bottom stakes purse has been raised $5,000 to $40,000, except for the Ladnesian for 2-year-olds and the Timber Music for 2-year-old fillies.