April 23: Opening Day Of The 2017 Season At Hastings Racecourse – Hastings Wrap-up by Richard Yates

Now is the winter of our discontent

Made wretched spring

By the dearth of sun on

This glorious house of Hastings.

But what the heck, the thoroughbreds are back, we are up and running and opening day featured some outstanding racing while serving notice that competition this year at Hastings is going to be ratcheted up a notch from that of recent seasons.

There were some outstanding events on the 8-race card that offered 5 high-quality races: two stakes, two allowances, and a Maiden Special Weight. There were some outstanding performances.  Distinctiv Passion gave a little seminar on what California graded stakes sprint speed looks like, Dear Lilly demonstrated what honesty in a racehorse looks like and the season’s first race saw the Alberta stakes winner Fall at Last very rapidly lay waste to an allowance field of three-year-olds.

Jockey David Lopez won 3 races on the card. Enrique Gonzalez took two, including the Swift Thoroughbreds Inaugural, and the team of jockey Quincy Welch, trainer Greg Tracy and owners Don Danard and Curtis Landry won both allowance races on the program.  Trainers Rob Maybin (along with his co-owner Sheena Maybin) and Sandi Gann each had a double.  Gann’s two came for North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc., one of them being the Brighouse Belles.

The crowd was better than one might have thought given the continual grey and rain and they were ready for racing and up for speculation. The handle, all sources, was a shade north of 800K.

The Swift Thoroughbreds Inaugural Stakes

Distinctiv Passion with Enrique Gonzalez won the Swift Inaugural -Patti Tubbs Photo

Distinctiv Passion ($4.00) broke on top and did not stop in defeating one of the strongest sprint fields to convene at Hastings in recent years. The winner had previously won two Grade 3 stakes sprinting in Southern California, the land of warm breezes and hot paces, and set the pace in Grade 1’s while looking at the likes of Breeders Cup Winners Goldencents and Secret Circle or Grade 1 winner Wild Dude.  They were not here today, but an excellent field that comprised 9 stakes winners was, including Modern who won the race last year and tried to win it this year but could make no real impression on the winner and settled for third while never giving up.  Venetian Mask put in a relentless run to be second a length behind the winner at 31-1.

Distinctiv Passion got to the lead with shocking ease considering that Modern had been in front after the first quarter in each of his last 8 sprint starts. Modern tracked Distinctiv Passion for most of the race but was unable to mount any real attack while the winner laid down scorching fractions that saw a 21.75 first quarter, a 44.60 half and through quarters in 1:09.33 en route 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.38.

Jockey Enrique Gonzalez rode the Florida bred son of With Distinction with confidence for owner Peter Redekop B.C. Limited and trainer Philip Hall.  The current connections came into possession of Distinctiv Passion one race back after dropping a claim slip for $62,500 at Santa Anita on March 30 of this year.  He has now won 11 of 26 races and well over half a million sprinting.

The Brighouse Belles

Dear Lilly was the winner of the Brighouse Belles Stake with jockey David Lopez aboard. That was the 7th Brighouse Belles win for owner Glen Todd – Patti Tubbs Photo

Dear Lilly ($4.90) laid it on the line as usual and at age 7 the remarkably consistent mare got her well-deserved stakes win with a hard-fought victory over runner-up Chianti after 6 ½ contested furlongs that went in 1:17.39. Castellani ran an even race to check in third after being uncomfortably placed early in the proceedings.

Dear Lilly was on the top of her game after a winter campaign that saw her win 3 of 4 at Turf Paradise. She further assisted herself by not rattling around in the starting gate as she has in the past.  She needed everything she had to wear down an ultra-game Chianti who had gotten past pace-setter C U At Eau Claire late in the backstretch only to be confronted by Dear Lilly.  The two of them were head-and-head well into the stretch before Dear Lilly began to edge away to what would be a length lead at the wire.  Chianti acquitted herself while losing without being defeated and there was nothing wrong with Castellani’s effort, it was just Dear Lilly’s day.

The winner is a Florida-bred mare by Graeme Hall. She is owned by Mark DeDomenico LLC and North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. and trained by Sandi Gann.  It was Dear Lilly’s 13th win in 24 starts.

Also Noteworthy:

Fall at Last took the opener at Hastings on Opening Day – Patti Tubbs Photo

Fall At Last ($2.80) absolutely smoked 6 furlongs in 1:10.36 on his way to a 7 ½ length win in the opener. It was the first of two allowance wins for the combo of Tracy, Welch, Danard and Landry.  The other came in the 6th when the odds-on Ruffenuff ($2.70) survived a race-long war with the 24-1 longshot Morning Blurs to prevail by a neck over the Nancy Betts trainee.  No quarter was given in this battle and none was asked for.

Santa Fe Trail won the 5th for owners Forster Stable edging out Code of Arms- Patti Tubbs Photo

The 5th was a Maiden Special Weight won by Santa Fe Trail ($12.50) who was the second longest price on a day that produced 6 winning favorites among the 8 races.  Santa Fe Trail was bred by his owners the Forster Stable and trained by David Forster who has specialized over the years in winning races and giving horses Southwestern themed names.  Santa Fe Trail is out of his mare Tucumcari and by the late Skimming.

The other three races on the card were 4K claimers, although one of those was taken by the stakes-winning Cederberg ($5.10) for owner North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. and trainer Sandi Gann. It was the first of two wins for them and the first of three for jockey David Lopez.

Seeking Ayslum took the nightcap which was one of two winners on the day for owners Rob and Sheena Maybin – Patti Tubbs Photo

Trainer Rob Maybin, who took up right where he left off last year, and his co-owner Sheena Maybin won with Queen of Barn I ($3.40) when she dead-heated for the win in the second and again to close out the card in the eighth with Seeking Asylum ($18.00) who was the longest price of the day. Enrique Gonzalez kicked off his riding double with Queen of Barn I and David Lopez finished off his triple with Seeking Asylum.

The other horse in the dead-heated second race was Bullet ($3.40) who is owned by Gary Johnson, trained by Frank Barroby and was ridden to the win by Corrine Andros who returned to Hastings with a win in her first start back.

Jockey David Lopez won 3 races on opening day at Hastings. Cederburg in the 3rd, Dear Lilly in the Brighouse Belles and the finale with Seeking Asylum – Patti Tubbs Photo

After day one David Lopez leads the jockeys with three wins. Trainers Sandi Gann, Greg Tracy and Rob Maybin all have two victories.  Owners North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc., Don Danard and Curtis Landry and Rob and Sheena Maybin have two wins per entity.


Hastings News by Greg Douglas



Considering the inclement weather, there was a good size crowd on hand for opening day at Hastings Racecourse on Sunday afternoon – Patti Tubbs Photo

Vancouver, B.C. (April 23/17) – Dating back centuries the phrase “familiarity breeds contempt” basically referred to a person disliking another after spending too much time together.

It most certainly does not apply to Peter Redekop and Glen Todd, a couple of gladiators who have known and respected each other for years as successful horse owners at Hastings Racecourse.

In fact, the phrase “familiarity breeds content” might be more appropriate.

There clearly was not any animosity evident as they took turns sharing the spotlight Sunday with victories in the two $50,000 stake races highlighting an eight-race card that thrilled an opening day crowd to launch a 52-day meet at the historic Hastings site.

Dear Lily wins the Brighouse Belles with rider David Lopez -Four Footed Foto

Todd hit the stakes winner’s circle first when favoured Dear Lilly won a thriller in the $50,000 Brighouse Belles for fillies and mares by overtaking Chianti in the closing strides for a one-length victory under jockey David Lopez.

Lopez scored three wins on the day.  He rode Cederberg to victory in the third and Seeking Asylum in the nightcap.

Trained by Sandi Gann for Todd’s North American Thoroughbred Horse Company and ownership partner Mark DeDomenico, Dear Lilly finished the 6 ½ furlong sprint over a sloppy track in 1:17.39, paying $4.90, $3.00 and $2.70.

“She shows up every time,” a delighted Todd said.  “She’s been running all winter at Turf Paradise and won three out of four starts down there.  We just decided to give her a shot on opening day and it worked out well.”

Distinctiv Passion wins The Swift Thoroughbreds Inaugral – Four Footed Photo

Redekop was equally pleased with Distinctiv Passion in the Swift Thoroughbreds Inaugural.  Making his first start for Hastings trainer Phil Hall after being claimed for $62,500 by Redekop at Santa Anita last month, Distinctiv Passion led from start to finish in a 6 ½ furlong sprint for 3-year-olds & up that drew an impressive field of 11 horses.

“He’s got a lot of speed and the short turns obviously didn’t bother him,” Redekop beamed as he congratulated jockey Enrique Gonzalez in the winner’s circle. Distinctiv Passion finished in a final time of 1:16.38, paying $4.00, $3.00 and $2.70.

Live racing resumes Sunday, April 30 at 1:50 p.m. with two $50,000 stakes on the card:  the BC Cup Dogwood and BC Cup Stellar Jay. Following the final race Sunday the Hastings Paddock Sales featuring 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age will take place on the tarmac at Hastings.  There will be a Paddock Sales Preview on Saturday, April 29 at 11:30 a.m.

Hastings Daily Results and Activity


Sunday, April 23
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Allowance $30,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Claiming – $4,000 $12,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Claiming – $4,000 $12,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Brighouse Belles S. $50,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Maiden Special Weight $27,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Allowance $30,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Swift Thoroughbreds Inaugural S. $50,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Claiming – $4,000 $12,000 Overnight Overnight


Stakes Nominations and Handicap Weights Posted Today

Race Date Stakes Name Nominations Handicap Weights
BC Cup Stellar’s Jay S.
BC Cup Dogwood S.



Sunday, April 23, 2017

2 Furlongs
Horse Time Rank

Hasari :25.80 H 1
My Greyson :25.80 H 1
3 Furlongs
Horse Time Rank

Cherokee War Chant :39.00 H 3
Irish Commander :36.60 H 1
Opening Bid :36.60 H 1
4 Furlongs
Horse Time Rank

A Curve in Time :48.80 H 4
B C Columbo :48.80 H 4
Brother Rod :49.00 H 8
Champagne Waltz :52.00 H 15
Charleston :48.20 H 2
Classic Victory :49.60 H 10
Coco a Gogo :49.00 H 8
Ebony Warrior :49.80 H 11
Flemings Beach :50.20 H 13
Groot :48.80 H 4
Hunters Appeal :50.00 H 12
Laguna Blaze :48.40 H 3
Neat N Teide :52.20 H 16
Ps Diamond Cutter :51.00 H 14
Sakura :47.60 H 1
Violet’s Command :48.80 H 4
5 Furlongs
Horse Time Rank

Ace Deuce 1:02.00 H 12
Ambidextrous Duke 1:01.80 H 10
Annie’s Candy :59.60 H 1
Belli Girl 1:02.40 H 14
Burnum 1:01.00 H 2
Cherokee in Me 1:01.20 H 5
Chic Bird 1:04.40 H 19
Cyclone Dan 1:03.00 H 17
Fear of the Cat 1:01.60 H 7
Halloween Queen 1:01.00 H 2
He’s Gatsby 1:01.60 H 7
La Rondine 1:01.40 H 6
Lady Cash 1:02.40 H 14
Lord Rosberg 1:03.00 H 17
Moon Ride 1:01.80 H 10
She Spends My Lute 1:02.00 H 12
Similkameen Joey 1:01.00 H 2
Stepupforthemoney 1:02.40 H 14
Tapatio 1:01.60 H 7
6 Furlongs
Horse Time Rank

Eco Charge 1:15.00 H 1
Omega Victory 1:18.40 H 3
Western Who 1:16.60 H 2
6 1/2 Furlongs
Horse Time Rank

Silent Eagle 1:22.60 HG 1


Mario Gutierrez
April 28Santa Anita

Majestic Vixen Wgt-120 Race 2 Maiden Special Weight
Rcatcanscat Wgt-120 Race 3 Claiming $40,000
Over Par Wgt-124 Race 4 Allowance
Pray Hard Wgt-124 Race 8 Allowance Optional Claiming $40,000

April 23 – Santa Anita
Frank Conversation finished 2nd beaten by a neck Race 1 Chart
Sir Studleigh finished 6th beaten 11 1/2 lengths Race 7 Chart
Eddie Haskell finished 3rd beaten 3 1/4 lengths Race 8 Chart
Sally Simpson finished 8th beaten 16 1/2 lengths Race 9 Chart

Emerald Downs Wrap-Sunday, April 23

Invested Prospect dominates Sunday


AUBURN, Wash. (April 23, 2017) – Invested Prospect lived up to her billing as the fastest pure sprinter on the grounds Sunday at Emerald Downs.

Rocketing to the lead from the No. 6 post-position, the 4-year-old Abraaj filly remained unbeaten around one-turn with a convincing five-length romp in the $21,500 allowance feature for older fillies and mares.

With regular rider Juan Gutierrez up at 119 lbs, Invested Prospect ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:02.53 on a wet-fast track and paid $3.80, $2.60 and $2.20. Blaine Wright is the winning trainer for owners John and Janene Maryanski and Gail and Gerald Schneider.

The WTBOA Champion 3-Year-Old Filly of 2016, Invested Prospect is seven-for-seven lifetime in sprints, all gate-to-wire victories including an easy win in last year’s Seattle Stakes. Her overall record is 7-0-0 in eight starts with earnings of $119,975, including $11,825 for Sunday’s triumph.

Invested Prospect set fractions of :21.71, :44.09 and :56.10 while opening a commanding six-length advantage, and the issue was never in doubt.

“I think was one of the more accomplished fields that she beat today,” Wright said, noting the seven-horse field included five Emerald Downs’ stakes winners. “She’s the fastest filly I’ve ever trained.”

Citizen Kitty, ridden by Eswan Flores at 120 lbs, rallied from fifth to finish second and paid $3.20 and $2.80, while Perhaps a Pie, ridden by apprentice Kevin Orozco at 114 lbs, finished third and paid $4.80.

Princess Kennedy, the 2016 Washington Oaks winner, rallied from last to finish fourth and was followed by My Heart Goes On, Sweet Tashi and B C Z Middleton.

In a racing oddity, the winner and runner-up are both out of the same broodmare, No Constraints, a double stakes winner at Emerald Downs and 2007 Washington champion 2-year-old filly.

Sunday’s race was designed as a prep race for the $50,000 Hastings Stakes at six furlongs on Saturday, May 20.

NOTES: In the $0.20 Pick 7, which included a carryover of $18,073, tickets with all seven winners paid $5,612. . .

The track was listed fast for races 1-4 and wet fast races 5-8. . .Hastings Racecourse opened its 52-day meet Sunday with a pair of 6 ½ furlong stakes. Distinctiv Passion ($4) led all the way for a one-length victory over 31-1 Venetian Mask in the $50,000 Swift Thoroughbreds Inaugural Stakes, with defending champion Modern finishing third.

And Dear Lily ($4.90), conditioned by former Emerald Downs’ rider Sandi Gann, notched a one-length victory over Chianti in the $50,000 Brighouse Belles Stakes for older fillies and mares. . .

Peter Redekop, owner of Distinctiv Passion, also won a race Sunday at Emerald Downs as Alaskan Cruise ($3.80) scored by five lengths in race three for $15,000 maiden claimers. . .

Blaine Wright was two-for three Sunday and tops the trainers’ standings with six wins. Wright is coming off his best season at Emerald Downs in 2016, winning his first training title with 39 wins and clicking at 28.6 percent. .

.Rocco Bowen rode two more winners Sunday, already his fourth multiple win day, and leads Eliska Kubinova 12-7 in the jockeys’ standings. . .

Hunch play of the day: Relentless Rain ($5.80) rallied inside to take the Sunday opener in a steady drizzle. . .

The victory by Relentless Rain gave Charles Essex his 300th victory at Emerald Downs. He’s the 13th trainer to hit the milestone. . .

Jose Zunino booted home 1-to-5 favorite Listo ($2.60) in race two and overtook the late Hector Ventura for No. 17 all-time with 292 wins at Emerald Downs. .

.Live racing resumes Friday with first post 6:30 p.m. The Clubhouse Casino on the 5th floor is open 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

Emerald Downs Daily Results and Activity


Sunday, April 23
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Claiming – $5,000 $6,400 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Maiden Claiming – $15,000 $11,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Waiver Maiden Claiming – $15,000 $11,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Waiver Claiming – $15,000 $11,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Claiming – $4,000 $6,800 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Waiver Claiming – $7,500 $9,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Allowance Optional Claiming – $50,000 $21,500 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Waiver Maiden Claiming – $8,000 $7,800 Overnight Overnight

Early Entries

Friday, April 28 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $4,000 $6,600
Race 2 Claiming – $3,500 $6,800
Race 3 Waiver Claiming – $4,000 $6,600
Race 4 Claiming – $3,500 $7,600
Race 5 Waiver Claiming – $2,500 $6,400
Race 6 Waiver Claiming – $15,000 $11,200
Race 7 Maiden Claiming – $5,000 $6,400


Racing Turf Beauty 2017


ARCADIA, Calif. (April 23, 2017)–Live racing will resume at Santa Anita on Friday, with a nine-race card that will begin with first race post time at 1 p.m.  Thursday’s live racing card has been cancelled due to a shortage of entries. Santa Anita will be open for simulcast wagering on Thursday with free parking and admission.

Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.  For more information please visit santaanita.com.



 ARCADIA, Calif. (April 23, 2017)–Heavily favored Stormy Liberal registered his third consecutive stakes win down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course on Sunday as took the $75,000 Siren Lure Stakes by a measured three quarters of a length under regular pilot Norberto Arroyo, Jr.  Trained by Peter Miller, he got 6 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:11.88.

Third behind dueling leaders Eddie Haskell and Ambitious Brew at the dirt crossing three sixteenths of a mile from home, Stormy Liberal, who was full of run from his rail post position, swung three wide at the top of the lane and easily overtook Ambitious Brew while winning in-hand.

Off at 4-5 in a field of four 3-year-olds and up, he paid $3.60 and $2.20, with no show wagering.

“Turning for home, he was so full of run and I didn’t want to bother anyone,” said Arroyo, in reference to his horse’s tendency to lean on horses to his inside at the dirt crossing.  “That was my main concern.  He actually felt more powerful today than he did last time (a nose win in the Joe Hernandez Stakes on March 4.)  He loves the hill.”

Owned by Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch, Stormy Liberal, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Stormy Atlantic, notched his sixth win from 11 starts down Santa Anita’s hillside layout and improved his overall record to 19-6-6-1.  With the winner’s share of $47,100, he increased his earnings to $342,070.

“You could see that Norberto was very conscious of keeping him off the five (Ambitious Brew),” said Miller, who claimed Stormy Liberal five starts back for $40,000 on Oct. 16.  “I really want to thank my owners and David Lanzman, who picked this horse out to claim.”

Ridden by Mike Smith, Ambitious Brew, who finished 2 ½ lengths in front of Eddie Haskell, was off at 2-1 and paid $2.80 to show.

Fractions on the race were 21.62, 43.38 and 1:05.59.

Live racing resumes at Santa Anita on Friday, with first post time at 1 p.m.  Simulcast wagering will be offered on Thursday, with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.  Free parking and General Admission will be offered.