12/06/2007 12:00AM

Hastings slates $2.7M in stakes

EmailHastings in Vancouver, British Columbia, will offer $2.72 million in stakes purses for its 2008 meet, which is scheduled to begin April 26, and conclude Nov. 2.

A few minor changes were made from last year's stakes schedule. The $50,000 Hastings Speed at six furlongs on Aug. 30, is a new addition, and the $100,000 Premiers at 1 3/8 miles Oct. 12 has been changed from a handicap to an allowance stakes.

The first four stakes races of the meet, beginning with the $50,000 George Royal Stakes, have been shortened from 6 1/2 furlongs to six furlongs. The reason for the change is that Hastings began moving the starting gate for six-furlong races back about 60 feet last season, and it made the run to the first turn a lot fairer for horses breaking from outside post positions.

The Grade 3, $250,000 British Columbia Breeders' Cup Derby Sept. 21, is the richest and most important race at the meet.

British Columbia Cup Day on Aug. 4 features seven stakes worth a total of $400,000. The $100,000 B.C. Cup Classic headlines the card.

Other major races on the schedule include the Grade 3, $100,000 Lieutenant Governors on July 1; the Grade 3, $125,000 B.C. Breeders' Cup Oaks on Sept. 10; the Grade 3, $125,000 Ballerina Breeders' Cup Oct. 11; the $100,000 Fantasy Stakes on Oct. 25; and the $100,000 Ascot Graduation on Oct. 26.