05/10/2013 2:38PM

Hastings: Handle up 6% at meeting


Despite a slight drop in the average field size from last year, 7.43 compared to 7.78, the total live handle at the meet is up by 6 percent compared to the first eight days of racing last year. In both years, there were 63 races run. The gain is attributed to a strong increase in offtrack wagering inside and outside of British Columbia.

“A lot of our local bigger players continue to follow the trend of wagering online,” said Raj Mutti, general manager at Hastings.

Mutti also reported that the first scheduled Friday, May 31, has been dropped due to a shortage of horses ready to run. Instead, the first of 11 planned Friday night cards will be June 7.

Hastings also dropped the first Friday that was scheduled last year.

A new racing secretary, Stuart Slagle, will be dealing with the revised schedule. Slagle, who has extensive experience at racetracks in the United States, will start his new role at the end of the month.

Slagle replaces Paul Ryneveld, who resigned the position a few weeks prior to the start of the meet. Racing analyst Matt Jukich has been filling in for Ryneveld. Jukich was recently promoted to assistant racing secretary.