01/25/2007 12:00AM

Slots stalled, stakes trimmed

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Grade 3 British Columbia Derby, the highlight of the Hastings stakes schedule, will include money from the Breeders’ Cup this year. Renamed the British Columbia Breeders’ Cup Derby, the race will offer the same $250,000 purse as last year, but will include $50,000 from the Breeders’ Cup when it is run Sept. 23.

Last fall Hastings announced a 20 percent cut in purses, which will remain in place this year. The total money available for stakes races this year, $2,560,000, is in line with the reductions made to the overall purse fund.

Purses were cut because projected slot revenue has yet to materialize because of a lawsuit filed by a local citizens group that is trying to stop the installation of slots at Hastings.

The minimum stakes purse will drop from $50,000 to $45,000. A total of 39 stakes have been scheduled for the meet, which opens April 28.

British Columbia Cup Day is set for Aug. 6, with the $100,000 Redekop B.C. Cup Classic headlining the seven stakes on the card.

Other major races on the schedule are the Grade 3, $100,000 Lieutenant Governors’ on July 1; the Grade 3, $125,000 British Columbia Breeders’ Cup Oaks on Sept. 22; the Grade 3, $125,000 Ballerina Breeders, Cup Oct. on 13; and the Grade 3, $100,000 British Columbia Premiers on Oct. 14. All of these races are worth $25,000 less than in 2006.

Post time for seven Fridays, beginning in July, have been moved up to 2:25 p.m. Pacific. According to track management, the main reason for the change is that California is able to wager on the Hastings card during the day, but not in the evenings.