Vancouver, B.C. (April 20/18) – Move over Henrik and Daniel, there’s another identical twin brother act ready to hit the local sports scene.
Meet Lenny and Learie Seecharen, 22-year-old jockeys from Trinidad who will be riding Saturday and Sunday during opening weekend of the 2018 thoroughbred season at Hastings Racecourse.
“There is no way I can tell them apart,” says Racing Secretary Nichelle Milner. “I thought I was talking to Learie for a full five minutes the other morning before I realized by the look on his face he had no idea what point I was trying to make. It turned out I was talking to Lenny.”
The twins made their racing debuts together as 19-year-old apprentice jockeys at Santa Rosa Park in Trinidad on March 28, 2015. Lenny made his way to Hastings last year and after finishing in the money 30 times including five wins, he convinced Learie to join him for the 52-day meet this season.
In Saturday’s opener, Lenny has mounts in Race 1 (Lucynme) and Race 2 (Porto Rican Queen) while Learie rides in Race 4 (Flaming Youth) and Race 5 (Storm Rocket). On Sunday Lenny rides in Race 2 (B Quick B Gone) and Learie in Race 4 (Swiss Arrogant).
“I can’t wait to see them going up against each other in the same race,” says veteran track announcer Dan Jukich. “In my 27 years in the broadcast booth, it never occurred to me that I would be calling a race with identical twin jockeys.”
Seven-race cards are on the opening weekend agenda with the first two stakes of the season going Sunday: the $50,000 Swift Thoroughbreds Inaugural and the $50,000 Brighouse Belles. There are 36 featured stake races on the 2018 calendar offering $2.175 million in purse money.
“We are all excited about the coming season,” says Darren MacDonald, Hastings Racecourse General Manager and Director, BC Racing. “After the struggles the industry endured during the early 2000s, we’re encouraged to be showing signs of stabilizing.”
MacDonald says his management team is constantly trying to come up with new ways to keep revenue streams growing and points to this season’s lively special events agenda that will include the Friday Night Live races on six occasions, the popular Weiner Dog Weekend in July and the introduction of Bulldog and Corgi races during the summer months.
“The horse incentive programs we have put in place the past few years peaked interest among the racing community,” MacDonald says. “There has also been a positive reaction to the newly-created Northwest Triple Series involving Hastings and Emerald Downs this season.”
The $150,000 BC Derby on September 8 is traditionally the premier race of the Hastings meet and it will be the middle leg of the Northwest Triple Series that starts with the $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby at Emerald Downs on July 29 and concludes with the $100,000 Getaway Stakes at Emerald Downs on September 23. A $100,000 bonus awaits a horse that might sweep the three-race Northwest Triple Series. Horses that finish in the top three in all three races will earn a $10,000 bonus.
The 2018 live racing calendar, the stakes schedule and special events calendar are all available at hastingsracecourse.com
Start times Saturday and Sunday are at 1:50 p.m.