03/07/2013 3:21PM

Hastings trims British Columbia Derby purse to $150,000 for 2013


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Hastings has scheduled 40 stakes totaling $2.4 million for the 2013 meet, which begins Saturday, April 13. The 69-day meet concludes on Canadian Thanksgiving, Monday, Oct. 14.

The most important stakes at Hastings is the Grade 3, $150,000 British Columbia Derby, which is scheduled for Sept. 8. The 1 1/8-mile derby, worth $50,000 less than last year, anchors a day of six stakes totaling $550,000. Supporting the B.C Derby are three $100,000 stakes: the British Columbia Oaks, the Jack Diamond Futurity, and the Sadie Diamond Futurity for 2-year-old fillies. Also on the stakes-rich card are the $50,000 S.W. Randall Plate for 3-year-olds and up and the $50,000 Delta Colleen for fillies and mares.

B.C. Cup Day is set for Monday, Aug. 5. The $75,000 B.C. Cup Classic for 3-year-olds and up headlines six stakes restricted to B.C.-breds.

The two biggest days in terms of attendance and handle at Hastings last year were B.C. Derby Day and B.C. Cup Day. Hastings has created more festival-like days, beginning with the Spring Showcase on June 9. The 1 1/16-mile Sir Winston Churchill for 3-year-olds and up headlines four $50,000 stakes, including the River Rock Casino for 3-year-olds, the Emerald Downs for 3-year-old fillies, and the Vancouver Sun for fillies and mares.

“We’re creating events that will appeal to the casual fan,” Hastings general manager Raj Mutti said. “We have seen how successful our big days have been, and we’re trying to create more of them.”

The closing-day card includes the Grade 3, $100,000 Premiers for 3-year-olds and up and the Grade 3, $100,000 Ballerina for fillies and mares. The $75,000 Ascot Graduation for 2-year-olds and the $75,000 Fantasy for 2-year-old fillies help make it the second-richest card of the meet.

◗ Hastings is looking for a new director of racing after Paul Ryneveld resigned, effective March 15. Ryneveld, who became the director of racing in December 2008, has accepted a position with Century Casinos. The Colorado-based casino company is in the process of getting approval to build a multi-entertainment facility, including a racetrack and casino, in Balzac, Alberta.