Wrap-up For October 22

The Last Day (For A While)

The weatherman cut us some slack. There was sunshine, the track dried out to a large extent and people showed up to close it down for another year.  Four stakes races buttressed the card with a Marathon Series finale at a mile-and-a-half thrown in to provide some variety.  Hopefully a good time was had by all and all that had a good time will join us next April when local racing resumes.

It was a great season for many at Hastings this year and I have enjoyed writing up some of the events and successes for you, even when it kept me up to all hours to meet the deadline. But all good things come to an end, as has this season, and in the immortal words of Porky the Pig, “That’s all folks.”

The British Columbia Cup Classic Handicap: Crazy Prophet


For the second straight year Crazy Prophet ($5.20) closed out his season with a win in the British Columbia Cup Classic. Crazy Prophet came from a long way back, he was about 10 lengths out of it after 6 furlongs had passed in a smoking 1:11.08 with Power Corrupt well clear on the lead.  It was at that point that rider Amadeo Perez asked and Crazy Prophet responded with the ferocious run that would get him home almost 3 lengths ahead of Power Corrupt who soldiered on heroically after setting fierce (23.24 and 46.80) early fractions.  Sargent Rick came late to wrap up third.  Final time for the mile-and-an-eighth was a solid 1:49.93 over a track labeled “good”.

Power Corrupt was out winging when the gates opened, although he was not without company. B C Charlie and Santa Fe Trail sandwiched him for a while before, first, Santa Fe Trail and then B C Charlie gave up the chase.  No matter, Crazy Prophet took it up with an eye-popping move that had him in front early in the stretch run.  Not that it was uneventful, he bumped with Sargent Rick at the head of the lane and nearly had his rear end taken out from underneath him.  But all’s well that ends well and it ended well for Crazy Prophet.

The winner is owned by Shamrock Racing Stable Ltd. and is trained by John Snow. He was bred in British Columbia by Mike Cherney. The gelded son of Rosberg was one of two stakes winners on the card for that departed stallion.

The British Columbia Cup Distaff Handicap: Babys Got Track


A front-running effort got the job done for Babys Got Track ($24.70) as she annexed her first stakes win for owner Dan Lee under the vigorous handling of jockey Silvino Morales. Sailingforthesun ran on late to take second.  Yukon Belle held on to third after briefly getting a nose in front of the winner on the final turn.   The mile-and-an-eighth was covered in 1:51.53.

Babys Got Track set the early fractions with, first, Quatre Cat and then, more seriously, Yukon Belle trying her.  Babys Got Track responded to Yukon Belle’s challenge by opening up daylight in the stretch and holding Sailingforthesun off late in the event.  Notis the Jewell, who went off as the favorite and packed 124 pounds, rallied to be a non-threatening fourth, thereby bringing her string of three consecutive stakes wins to a close.

Babys Got Track was bred in British Columbia by Allan MacHaffie and the late Marion MacHaffie. Babys Got Track racked up her fourth career win for owner Dan Lee who purchased her for $3,000 in the 2016 Hastings Paddock Sale.  She is the third stakes winner out the 18 horses that were sold in that sale.  Philip Hall trains Babys Got Track who gave him his second win for the day.  She is by Numaany who would appear to be the coming thing in stallions in the province.

The British Columbia Cup Debutante Stakes: Raider


Following a couple of good runner-up efforts behind the formidable Here’s Hannah, the absence of that one gave Raider ($3.40) the opportunity to shine and she took full advantage of the occasion to notch her first local stakes win. She had previously won the Sales Stake Fillies at Northlands and now has a pair of stakes victories after getting past Under Par mid-way down the stretch and drawing off to be almost 2 lengths clear at the finish.  Leading rider Richard Hamel was aboard for the first of his two stakes scores.

Under Par set tepid early fractions (a half in 48.54) that led to a strongly run last 5/16ths for both horses with Raider being the better finisher.  Under Par, who won a 16K maiden claimer over the Nursery Course in her only prior start, was well clear of Sonoma who ran on to be third after botching the start as she did in her previous outing when she ran third in the Sadie Diamond.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:18.88.

Raider now has two wins and two seconds in four stakes after finishing fourth in her first start in a Maiden Special Weight in Edmonton. Her two previous local outings saw her run second in both the Sadie Diamond and the Fantasy.  Raider is owned by Curtis Landry who bought her from the Mike Anderson consignment for $19,000 in the 2016 CTHS Sale.  She was bred in BC by William DeCoursey.  Greg Tracy trains the daughter of Stephanotis.

The Marathon Series: Citron Kid


A mile-and-a-half is a long way for most modern-day thoroughbreds to run, but Citron Kid ($4.40) obviously relished it as he powered to a 4 ½ length lead in the Marathon Series finale. He packed jockey Silvino Morales and some lead in the saddle to make up the high-weight of 122 pounds that he carried while giving 7 pounds to runner-up Perfectly Reckless.  That one benefited from a ground saving ride by Amadeo Perez that got him home a neck better than What Goes Around who finished third.

Citron Kid won 4 races in 10 starts this year at Hastings, including the penultimate race in the Marathon series at a mile-and-three-eighths. Off that the public made him the favorite and he did not disappoint.  He is owned by Praven Sorenson and Brian Albertson.  Philip Hall trains and the win was the first of two on the card for Hall.

The British Columbia Cup Nursery Stakes: Weekend Wizard


A whiz of a wiz he is too as Weekend Wizard ($6.20) demonstrated with a convincing win over the Jack Diamond and Ascot winner Wise Market. The two of them went at it for most of the 6 ½ furlongs before Weekend Wizard got the edge and moved away to a length-and-a-quarter margin at the wire.  Wise Market was easily second over Slew’s Da Boss who closed from well back to be third.  Richard Hamel rode the winner whose time was 1:17.37.  It was Hamel’s second win and second stakes win on the day.

Weekend Wizard went to the lead right out of the gate, a spot Wise Market had occupied in his two previous starts, and he refused to give it up. Wise Market chased hard but on the final turn Weekend Wizard opened up a couple of lengths, and even though Wise Market never gave up trying, he was no threat to the winner coming home.

Weekend Wizard is owned by Riversedge Racing Stables and is trained by Craig MacPherson. He was bought out of the 2016 CTHS Sale for $47,000 by his current owner.  Weekend Wizard is by the late stallion Rosberg out of the multiple stakes winning Finality mare Gosailgo.  Red Rock Farm handled the consignment for Foundation Racing Stable who bred the winner.

Also Noteworthy:

Scott Williams opened and closed the card with riding wins. He took the opener with Act Up ($5.90) for owner North American Thoroughbred Horse Company and trainer Glen Todd.  The gelded son of Stephanotis was one of two winners on the card for that sire.  Todd and Ole Nielsen bred the winner.

Williams closed out the season aboard Gold Girl ($6.50) for owner/breeder and trainer Barbara Heads. Gold Girl survived a speed duel with Future Games and got home as the favorite to send a good chunk of the public home on a winning note.

Free and Fast ($3.70) won the seventh with Sahin Civaci aboard on behalf of owner Mauro Comensoli and trainer Robert Anderson. The public made him a short price and he justified their confidence with a 5-length score while covering the mile-and-sixteenth in 1:45.78.  The winner was claimed.


As has been the custom in recent seasons, Richard Hamel was leading rider. He won 77 races, a whopping 26 wins more than runner-up Enrique Gonzalez.  The Top Five.

  • Richard Hamel           77
  • Enrique Gonzalez     51
  • David Lopez               48
  • Amadeo Perez           43
  • Silvino Morales         36



The leading trainer by plenty was Philip Hall who sent out 36 winners. Mark Cloutier checked in second with 24.  The Top Five.

  • Philip Hall                              36
  • Mark Cloutier                     24
  • Mike Anderson                  23
  • Glen Todd                              22
  • Nancy Betts                         20

North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. was the leading owner by a lot with 25 trips to the Winner’s Circle. Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. was second with 14.  The Top Five:

North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc.         25

Swift Thoroughbreds Inc.                                                                        14

Peter Redekop B. C. Ltd.                                                                           12

Robert and Sheena Maybin                                                                     11

Russell and Lois Bennett                                                                          11

Canmor Farms                                                                                                   8

Mike Anderson and Terry Clyde                                                        8

There were some other noteworthy achievements and achievers this season at Hastings. It was the year of Daz Lin Dawn who swept the three-year-old fillies stakes while posting 7 consecutive wins in an undefeated season.  Also intriguing was the emergence of Here’s Hannah who appeared to be the best two-year-old on the grounds regardless of gender.  She was certainly the best filly by a half an hour.  Notis the Jewell and Awesome Slate hit the stakes heights after toiling in the claiming ranks for part of the season.  Morning Blurs was a claimer to be sure, but she won 5 in a row.

Small barn trainer Erick Gutierrez won 5 of 9 starts for a 56% strike rate and regardless of sample size, that is an accomplishment. Nancy Betts had a 30% strike rate with 20 wins in 66 starts and that is not bad either.  Philip Hall’s horses won $683K, about 281K more than Barbara Heads who was second in terms of money won.  The North American Thoroughbred Horse Company won 25 on its own and at least 6 more in partnerships for a total of 31.



Wrap-up For October 21

It was a day that tested a racing fan’s commitment to the game. You couldn’t see the mountains all that well, the track was about as sloppy as sloppy gets, and the card itself, well it was fours galore.  But we were racing, folks were going to the Winner’s Circle and in those moments forgetting the damp and cold and there is no doubt that purse money won in the last kick at the can constitutes some of the sweetest dollars there ever are.  It is the equivalent of a speculator bailing him or herself out in the last race after a bad day at the windows.  One day left, you too could get even for the season.

P B Bolt

The opener went to P B Bolt ($32.70) who splashed his way along on the front end of a 6 ½ furlong dash that went in 1:18.47 over a track rated as sloppy, and indeed it was. No matter, P B Bolt handled it well for jockey Romario Saunders.  Ambidextrous Duke ran on to be second and Jackson Teller held on to third after chasing the winner early.  P B Bolt was bred in BC by his owner, Vector Thoroughbreds, and is trained by Pat Jarvis.  It was the first of two riding wins for Saunders.

Chilcotin Hill

The second was a 16K maiden claimer for two-year-olds that went to Chilcotin Hill ($25.70) who led all the way and drew off to win by almost 6 lengths despite having gone off as the longest shot in the race. Coupled with P B Bolt in the first, Chilcotin Hill produced a $746 early Daily Double.  The final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:17.78.  That is pretty quick stepping for a two-year-old claiming gelding over a tough track, particularly considering that tough older horses went about a half-length slower in the next race. My Greyson chased all the way in second and finished there while Red Buffalo closed to be third.  Randy Hudson owns and trains the gelded son of Gottcha Gold who was bred in BC by Brian Leight and Steen and Cathy Reggelsen.  Silvino Morales was aboard for the first of two wins on the day.

Shooting Jacket

The seven-year-old gelding Shooting Jacket ($3.10) sat behind a three-horse speed duel until Romario Saunders gave him the go sign, then he ran around them on the final turn and padded his margin coming to the wire while winning by almost 3 lengths. Crius and Seeking Asylum ran second and third after being head and head on the lead for much of the trip.  It took 1:17.90 to complete the 6 ½ furlongs.  Shooting Jacket was owned by the Hastings Racing Club 2 and trained by Nancy Betts.  He went to a new home after the race.

 Instant Cash

Jockey Silvino Morales got his second win on the card with Instant Cash ($23.40) who proved a head better than a resurgent Brother Rod in the fourth, a 6 ½ furlong sprint that was accomplished in 1:18.41.   Instant Cash from well back, cut the corner nicely on the final turn and ran past Brother Rod who dug in and was running at the winner again at the wire.  Barkeeper ran third.  Instant Cash is owned by Jade Nichols and Devon O’Donnell and trained by C. A. Lacie Burningham.  Instant Cash was bred in BC by Loire Patricia Miller.

Flemings Beach

The fifth fell to Flemings Beach ($7.10), one of the five betting favorites that won on the card. Flemings Beach sat comfortably behind the somewhat ambitious pace that Sedin carved out early and ran past that one after three-quarters passed in 1:12.63.  From there, the result was never in doubt, although the 10-year-old Toccet’s Charm put in a late run that got him closer, but not that close, in second.  Power to Believe came along for third.  Final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was 1:45.84.  Amadeo Perez rode for owner G. O. Stables and trainer Erick Gutierrez.   Flemings Beach was bred in BC by Dr. Bryan Anderson and Carol Anderson.

Rally Cap Rudy

The sixth race was the second of four-consecutive mile-and-sixteenth routes that finished out the card and it was won by Rally Cap Rudy ($7.40). Sheena Ryan, perhaps on a busman’s holiday from riding in Ontario, rode for owner/trainer Philip Hall.  It was the first of two for Ryan and it was one more for leading trainer Hall.  Fishinonthefraser closed from last to place and Torniador held on to the show spot after leading for a while.


The seventh on the card was another mile-and-sixteenth-affair and it went to Extramarital ($4.90) who led all the way to post a near three-length victory in 1:46.74 under Scott Williams. Kataliah was second and Bullet third in a very strung out field.  Extramarital was owned at the time of her win by the North American Thoroughbred Horse Company and was trained by Glen Todd who also bred her in Kentucky.  After the race she went to a new barn.

All Under Control

The visiting Sheena Ryan got her second win in the nightcap, a 16K conditioned claimer, with All Under Control ($4.30) who definitely had things under control while setting brisk early fractions and drawing off after 6 furlongs in 1:12.28 to win at will. The final time of 1:45.96 was good for a 6 ¾ length margin at the wire.  Always Sunny ran second and He’s Got Ego in third were in the money but only All Under Control was in the hunt.  Terry Clyde co-owns with trainer Mike Anderson.  All Under Control, a gelded son of Storm Victory was bred in BC by Doug Clyde.



Wrap-up For October 14

Only the truly committed racing fans are showing up this time of year, but those that made it out on Saturday saw a card with some good middle and upper level horses running in competitive, albeit short, fields. The quality was there even if the quantity was not.  It was a track that moved from good to fast, and even when it was rated good, it gave up some fast times while appearing to favor speed.  Five of the nine races were won by horses that led at every call.  Two races went to horses that were never worse than second and one was never worse than third.  One horse closed from fourth to win, but given the field sizes, fourth was relatively far back there.

We had more doubles than Wimbledon. Richard Hamel won two.  Antonio Reyes won two. Silvino Morales won two.  Trainer Mike Anderson won two.  Glen Todd bred two.  Texas Wildcatter sired two.  Greg Tracy claimed two and so did Philip Hall.  Doubles abounded.

It was formful. Six betting favorites won, along with two second choices.  The handle reflected the mercury.

Driller Wins A Thriller


The second race was an Allowance Optional Claimer, the option being a $35,000 claiming price, for three-and-ups that went to Driller ($7.00) the only three-year-old in the field. Driller finished a head clear of the oldest horse in the field, the eight-year-old Twistgrips whose late run just missed.  Captain Jones ran on from last to be third.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:16.50, a posting that will get it done most times.

Driller latched on to the pacesetting Silvertown right out of the gate and it was the two of them to the head of the lane. There, Driller began to edge away from Silvertown, only to have a determined Twistgrips make his run.  Driller doesn’t have any quit in him and he had enough stick to hang on by a diminishing head over the charging Twistgrips.  Driller has now been in the money in 12 of 14 starts and Silvino Morales has been aboard for 13 of them.  It was a well-executed ride from Morales today and it gave him both ends of the early Daily Double.

Driller was bred in British Columbia by Mel and Fran Snow. He is by Texas Wildcatter out of a Gold Fever mare.  The winner is co-owned by Don Danard and trainer Mel Snow.

Satellite Storm Orbits The Winner’s Circle.


The fifth race was an Overnight Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs for three-and-ups who had never won 2 races (BC breds get 3) and it was won by Satellite Storm ($12.20) with jockey Sahin Civaci doing the honors. Satellite Storm stalked the pace of His Time to Shine, took over after a half-mile and held off the late charge of Liquid Metal more comfortably than the 3/4 length margin at the finish would suggest.  His Time to Shine held on to third.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:17 flat.  Jens Jensen bred the winner in BC and he is owned by Double J Racing.  James Brown trains Satellite Storm.


Also Noteworthy:


Silvino Morales opened the card with a win on Annotis ($3.10) who, at 50 cents to a dollar in a field of four two-year-old fillies, was no surprise to the public, although she had to work hard for it. Sunronita made a run at her on the final turn, only to be turned away by a half-length.  Sisu was another half-length back in third after an excursion in the three-path.  Canmor Farms owns the winner, Mark Cloutier trains her and Glen Todd and Ole Nielsen bred the daughter of Stephanotis in BC.


The third went to Is It Gold ($3.20) who was clearly best in a short field of three-year-old fillies. Jockey Romario Saunders found a seam on the last turn, moved from outside to inside and cruised down the lane comfortably to post a 2 ¼ length victory.  Is It Gold was owned by the Hastings Racing Club and trained by Steve Henson.  After the race she went to a new barn.

Leading rider Richard Hamel had two wins on the card. The first came in the fourth race, a very tough open 16K claimer, with Burnum ($7.40).  Hamel had Burnum well back of a hot early pace, the half went in 45 seconds flat, but when he asked, Burnum kicked it in and the only question was would he find a hole before he ran over the horses in front of him.  When Hamel squeezed him through a narrow opening between the pacesetters The Odds R Good and Omega Victory, it was over.  Coulterberry closed nicely from far back to take second without causing Burnum any concern.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was a very rapid 1:16.38.  Terry Clyde owns and Mike Anderson trains the eight-year-old gelding who has now won 11 times and been in the money 26 times in 42 starts while earning about 300k.  He is a warrior.

Hamel’s second win came in the sixth when he got Slicky Boy ($2.50) home by 3 lengths, a margin befitting a horse that went off at 25 cents to a dollar. Hamel put Slicky Boy on the lead from along the rail and from there it was just a matter of asset management, and since Hamel is good at it, horse and rider cruised on home without any anxious moments.  Humphrey Lad chased willingly but was never going to catch the winner.  Slicky Boy was owned by Kim Morrison, Jesse Morrison, Robin Sadler and trainer John Morrison until after the race, at which point the gelded son of Storm Victory went to a new barn.


Texas Alley Kat ($4.30) took the seventh with the unretired Scott Williams aboard for owner North American Thoroughbred Horse Company and trainer Glen Todd. Texas Alley Kat was in front from the get-go and she was never going to lose as she hit the wire 3 ½ lengths clear of the always trying Shayla’s Rose.  The 6 ½ furlongs took 1:17.16, a tough number for 4K fillies and mares to deal with.  The winner was bred in BC by Glen Todd and Greystone Farm.  It was the second winner on the day for her sire, Texas Wildcatter.

Jockey Antonio Reyes closed out the day by taking the last two races on the card. He won the eight, a 16K conditioned event, with last year’s Jack Diamond Futurity winner Kermode ($6.20) for the Kermode Stable and trainer Pat Jarvis.  Kermode was one of five wire-to-wire winners on the card and while he had some pressure, he always looked to be in control of the race.  Kermode, by Cause to Believe was bred in BC by Bryan and Carol Anderson.

Reyes wrapped his double up with another wire-to-wire trip, this one on Fantastic Command ($7.50) for owner/breeder Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds and trainer Mike Anderson. It was also Anderson’s second win of the day.  Fantastic Command took the field of six 16K claiming maidens through the mile-and-a-sixteenth in 1:44.81.  The winner is by Second in Command out of a Carson City mare and was bred in BC.



It was déjà vu all over again when for the second straight day a major feature on the Hastings stakes schedule was won by a horse not long out of the mid-level claiming ranks. On Saturday, the four-year-old filly Notis the Jewel won the Grade 3 Ballerina after having held a blue-collar position at the $16,000 claiming level.  On Sunday, Awesome Slate who labored in the very recent past with his $12,500 peers won the Grade 3 BC Premier’s Handicap.  Both horses were ridden by leading jockey Richard Hamel and both went off as prices.

Hamel had a riding double to further enhance his position atop the rider’s table and Glen Todd had a triple as a breeder while doubling as a trainer and as an owner through the North American Thoroughbred Horse Company.

It was as fine a Thanksgiving Day as you could ask for.

Awesome Slate Wins The BC Premier’s Handicap


Awesome Slate ($21.00) completed his ascendency from the $12,500 claiming ranks to the top of the heap with a very convincing win in the Grade 3 Premier’s. Jockey Richard Hamel had Awesome Slate well back of the pace in fourth for the first mile of the mile-and-three-eighths trip, at which point he shifted the winner into high gear and would have had to like the response.  Awesome Slate moved strongly to and by the pacesetting Killin Me Smalls and Venetian Mask who had been the closest pursuer.  Killin me Smalls had seen enough when the winner blew past him on the outside, although Venetian Mask refused to give up.  He battled on despite having been closer than usual, perhaps to try and exert some pressure on Killin Me Smalls.

Whatever their strategies may have been, Awesome Slate’s powerful run rendered them pointless. Crazy Prophet, who was still last after a mile, closed with verve to be second, a length away from the winner but never a threat to him.  Venetian Mask was third.  Final time for the mile-and-three-eighths was 2:18.13.

Awesome Slate was claimed by trainer Cindy Krasner two races back for $16,000 after he had been claimed in his previous start for $12,500. In a season that has seen some astute claims, this one has to be the topper.  The first race for new owner Jacob Kalpakian saw him win a big purse in the HBPA Claiming Championship, the second start was good for the Premier’s.

Awesome Slate, by Birdstone out of an Awesome Again mare, was bred in Kentucky. He was briefly on the Derby trail as a three-year-old after winning the Canadian Juvenile at Northlands Park as a two-year-old.   At three he ran third to Destin in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay before going on the shelf for 11 months.  His form deteriorated as he fell in the claiming ranks.  He remembered how to win at the 12.5K level and has now won 4 of his last 5.

Oh So Quick


The festivities got underway with Oh So Quick ($3.30) dominating a field of 4K maiden fillies and mares as the only betting favorite on the card to win. David Lopez rode for North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc.  and trainer Glen Todd who is also the breeder of Oh So Quick.  She is by Sir Gallovic out of Trippi Bree, both stallion and mare being owned by Todd.  Oh So Quick was an in-house production.



The second half of the early Daily Double fell to the same connections as the first when the three-year-old filly Extramarital ($9.10) wore down a very willing Colleen’s Diamond in the stretch, the one difference being that Aaron Gryder rode the second half the Todd breeder-owner-trainer double.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was, for 8K conditioned types, a respectable 1:17.85.

Kodiak Rose


The third race, an Allowance Optional Claimer for maiden fillies and mares (all 7 were three-year-olds) went to Kodiak Rose ($11.10) in wire-to-wire fashion. She had company early as a very game Sunspa chased as hard as she could as long as she could before settling for second after Kodiak Rose drew off down the lane to win by several.  Silvino Morales rode the winner who was the only contestant entered for the $40,000 claiming tag, that option giving 5 pounds off the Kentucky bred Kodiak Rose, not that she needed them.  David Forster trains for owners Cameron Hill Mortgages Ltd. and Dr. Karl Chan.



The fourth featured a three-horse win photo with Barkeeper ($14.50) proving to be the most photogenic by a nose and a head over Igor and Torniador. Barkeeper was ridden by apprentice jockey Lenny Seecharan and carried 102 pounds, 16 pounds less than the runners-up carried.  It is reasonable to speculate that the weight difference might have accounted for some part of that nose margin.  Terry Clyde and Whieldon Thoroughbreds own, Mike Anderson trains.  Barkeeper, a gelded son of Rosberg, was bred in BC by Swift Thoroughbreds Inc.



A ground saving ride from Sahin Civaci got Hippie ($14.70) home in the fifth for owner Dairen Edwards and owner/trainer Deidre Bell. Civaci cut the corner on the final turn, found plenty of room along the rail down the lane and Hippie did what was necessary to seal the deal.  Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds bred the daughter of Schramsberg in British Columbia.

Not Yet


Following a trip that should have made it impossible to win, Not Yet ($32.90) won the sixth, a Maiden Special Weight for two-year-olds. Not Yet broke a couple of beats slow, got hit on the right side, slammed on the left, gave up 10 lengths right off the bat, trailed the field around the first turn, ran the entire race out in the middle of the track and got up to win by a length-and-a-half.  It was an impressive race.  Final time for the “about 6 furlongs” was 1:13 flat.  Amadeo Perez was aboard for the win.  Not Yet is owned by Lana Brindley and trained by Robert Gilker.  Not Yet was the third winner on the card for his breeder, Glen Todd.

Belli Girl

Richard Hamel gave a little demonstration of what makes a professional race-rider when, after winning the $100,000 Premier’s, he came right back in the next and focused on getting the 4K claimer Belli Girl ($5.20) home for owners Ashley Krisman, Morris Peter, Tod Mtn. Thoroughbreds and Warren Wilson. Charlene Miller trains the daughter of Finality who was bred in BC by W.T. Wilson, Tod Mtn. Thoroughbreds, et al.

Also Noteworthy:

Richard Hamel leads all jockeys with 73 wins, 22 ahead of Enrique Gonzalez. He is not going to get caught.

Philip Hall leads all trainers with 33 wins, 10 more than Mark Cloutier in second. He will not get caught.

North American Thoroughbred Horse Company leads all owners with 22 wins, 8 more than Swift Thoroughbreds in second. It ain’t gonna get caught either.

I guess it would be nit-picky to point out that the BC Premier’s Handicap is not a handicap, it is a weight-for-age stakes: three-year-olds carry 117, older horses pack 122.



Wrap-up For September 30

As a former governor of California once said in a prior career, “I’m back”. Thanks to Mike Heads and the Man With No Name for filling in for me in my absence.  Although I must say, and I don’t mean to be petty about it, but you couldn’t help but notice that they both emulated my style to some extent.  Oh, it may be subtle, but it is there.  The little devices employed to not describe things the same way all the time, the alliteration, the word-play, well alright, bad puns, but they even copied them.  But I am grateful for their efforts.  And it has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Speaking of attempts at flattery, did you notice how one of them described me as “the always working, articulate, loquacious, very witty super scribe extraordinaire Richard Yates”. Talk about damning with faint praise.  But I do appreciate their willingness to step up and do their best while I was away.

After a year dominated by Daz Lin Dawn, it seems entirely possible that next year’s star three-year-old filly emerged from the Fantasy Stakes as the undefeated Here’s Hannah. Her race on Saturday was something to see and should have any serious racing fan hoping to see her run once more this year.  Not to mention 2018, when she will be older, bigger, and stronger.

Here’s Hannah Is For Real In the Fantasy: Sets New Stakes Record

Heres Hannah wins the 39th running of the Fantasy on 09/20/17 with rider Richard Hamel

Demonstrating a cruising speed that her competitors could not deal with, Here’s Hannah ($2.40) opened up the throttle on the final turn and under regular rider Richard Hamel continued to pull away from the small field that assembled for this year’s version of the Fantasy. Not that it mattered how many were in the field.  Had it been the allowed 12, the result would have been the same.  Here’s Hannah set early fractions that would have given most two-year-old fillies a severe case of exertion remorse and finished with a gusto sufficient to guarantee that nothing was going to get close to her late.  Raider gets full marks for a brave effort to compete and then refusing to give up second to Assemble who ran at her in the lane while wrapping up third.  The final time of 1:44.59 is the fastest Fantasy since it was stretched out from 6 ½ furlongs in 1990.  In short, a stakes record.

Here’s Hannah ran a 23.44 first quarter and a 46.66 half on her way to three-quarters in 1:11.73. Raider ran as hard as she could, she just could not keep pace with the winner.  Not that has anyone else been able to.  Here’s Hannah is now three for three, having won the 3 races by a total of 17 ½ lengths on her way to being Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Period.

Here’s Hannah is owned by her breeder, B C Stables, and Paul Caravetta. John Morrison trains the chestnut daughter of Numaany who is out of the aptly named Dreams Start Here, an unraced (as were both of her dam’s other foals) A Fleets Dancer mare.  Her best previous foal was a 2009 model named Marcado who made 74 starts while winning and placing in stakes in Grand Prairie and Lethbridge.  Here’s Hannah will not be racing in either locale.

Also Noteworthy: 

Kermode Is A Bear

Leading all the way while being harassed for most of the trip, Kermode ($15.90) fought off a relentless Catch Me and finished a neck ahead of him in what was essentially a two-horse race. Run Harvey Run motored along in third throughout the 16K claiming event and there he stayed to the end, closing on the top two but not catching them.  Final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was 1:44.40 and that is on the quick side, regardless of the fast times the track has been giving up recently.  David Lopez kept clipping off 24-change- quarters to provide the hustling ride that got them home with not much to spare.  Kermode, who won the Jack Diamond Futurity last season, was bred in BC by Bryan and Carol Anderson.  He is owned by Kermode Stable and Pat Jarvis trains the gelded son of Cause to Believe.

Lady Cash Registers The Win

Despite some competition for the lead, Lady Cash ($7.70) eventually made her way to the front after 6 furlongs in 1:12.51 and went on to score a length-and-three-quarters win over a hard-trying Shayla’s Rose. S. L. Express came from last to be third.  Lady Cash and jockey Romario Saunders had to put away the 30-1 longshot B a Hole Auger who grabbed the early lead prior to tiring and backing up after the winner made her move.   Final time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was 1:45.80.  Lady Cash is owned by Henry Hoesgen and trained by Frank Barroby.

Moussaka Chef Pans Out

Moussaka Chef ($14.20) wired a field of 4K non-winners of two with a rapid 6 ½ furlong effort that took 1:17.25 to complete. Fear of the Cat was a solid second without ever being a cause for any concern on the winner’s part, or for Amadeo Perez who guided Moussaka Chef to a 2 ¾ length score.  Humphrey Lad moved into third late in the proceedings and 3 lengths behind the place horse.  Moussaka Chef was bred in BC by his owner, Rockfield Farm.   He is out of the mare Aubergine who must be one of the last Ringside mares in the province.  Mark Cloutier trains the winner

Mighty Mick Shows Some Late Kick

Apprentice Lenny Seecharan quite wisely pulled Mighty Mick ($31.30) out of an incipient three-horse speed duel, sat chilly in fourth until he popped the question and rode Mighty Mick’s answer to a 1 ¾ length win in the 16K maiden claimer for two-year-olds. He went 6 ½ furlongs in 1:18.68, plenty good for a two-year-old claiming maiden.  Hasari also closed well to finish second, a head better than Mr. Greyson who chased the pace before tiring to third.  Mighty Mick is owned and trained by Rennie Lumsden.  The Sungold gelding was bred in BC by Nina Christine Ferguson. 

Heartset Proves A Good Bet

Heartset ($10.40) is a five-year-old gelding whose heart does appear to be set on winning, something he has done 3 times in 7 starts this season. The most recent came in Saturday’s sixth, an open $12,500 claimer at a mile-and-a-sixteenth that he took down in 1:44.28, the fastest on the day at the distance.  We Found Gold finished second after being last early, and Santa Fe Trail settled for third after briefly taking the lead about 6 furlongs in.   Heartset is owned and trained by Patty Leaney.  Sahin Civaci rode.

Citron Kid Is Still No Lemon

The nightcap provided the next to last race in the Marathon Series, a mile-and-three-eighths excursion for horses that have run, or are willing to run in this race, for $6,250. Citron Kid ($5.10) proved best at the distance as the strong favorite, although he had to earn it over a resolute What Goes Around who led most of the way before the winner found room along the rail under Silvino Morales and found the wire a half-length to the good.   The mile-and-three-eighths took 2:21.42.  They walked the first mile in 1:44.66 and then ran three-eighths in 36.76.   They were doing some serious running late.   Citron Kid is owned by Praven Sorenson and Brian Albertson.  Philip Hall trains.



The weatherman went 0 for 1 today as the gloomy wet forecast never materialized and sunny skies prevailed over our Hastings oval for the entire afternoon. It was great to see former Hastings jockey Wayne Harris in attendance as he decorated the fourth race which was named in his honour. He was aboard Merger to win the 1968 Queens Plate and won stakes at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and many other tracks and his stakes win list is a long one. Wayne Harris is a much deserved honoree.


Rhea Harding, Mohamad,Amena and Dr. Ida Khan’s IRISH LASS settled close to a contested early pace and looped up on the final bend to challenge pacesetter FLAMING YOUTH and after a brief head-to- head battle she drew away stylishly in the stretch for the victory for trainer Jim Brown. FLAMING YOUTH held well for second and WE’REGOODASGOLD completed the $64 triactor. The final time was an impressive 1:45.81 for a mile and sixteenth.


The Big Fly Stable’s ROCK CONCERT went off as the 6/5 favorite and did not disappoint his loyal supporters. He was away awkwardly but with no other entrant overly interested in going to the lead Richard Hamel seized the opportunity and galloped to the lead through an opening quarter in 22 3/5. He cruised to a half-mile in 45 3/5 and had built up a big lead which he easily held to the wire for trainer Steve Bryant. It took the son of Rosberg 1:17.33 to complete the six and a half furlongs. Phil Hall’s COWBOY PHIL was the second choice at 7/5 and finished in the runner-up spot.


Dr. Ken Walters’ TAPIT DANCE suffered from a wide trip this afternoon but showed that when a horse drops significantly in class the trip sometimes doesn’t really matter. Trainer Tracy McNeil legged up Amadeo Perez on the daughter Teide who broke a step slow and was forced five wide around the first turn then carried on three wide through the remainder of the race just outlasting the 3/5 favorite OH SO  QUICK and the speedy  10-1 longshot CHAMPAGNE WALTZ. The final time was 1:18.87 which is a quick time for this calibre.


A contentious feature race saw the Carlton Stable’s NAUGHTY NUMAN rally from just off the pace for a game win over the favored DRILLER. The son of hot stallion Numaany broke smartly under Richard Hamel and was near the lead past the stands the first time then was held back behind tearaway leader HIS TIME TO SHINE who set dynamic early splits of 22 1/5 and 45 2/5. The winner cruised up on the outside to challenge both HIS TIME TO SHINE and the stalking IMPOSING CAT into the stretch and was game to hold off an unlucky DRILLER who had to await racing room on the final turn then once clear lugged in badly in the lane costing him the win. HIS TIME TO SHINE held well for third and the  final time was a rapid 1:16.60.


The ReinDance Farm’s CHEROKEE WAR CHANT paid immediate dividends for his new connections winning race number five. The win was also special for trainer Ernesto Rojas who got his first training victory while saddling his first ever horse here at Hastings. Enrique Gonzalez settled just in behind a quick and contested pace that was being set by SECOND TIME AROUND and RED DENIM then Gonzalez produced him at the eighth-pole and he rallied past the tiring leaders and held off a fast closing KING BLUE for the win in 1:18.13. SECOND TIME AROUND was game for third and CASH HIT slid in for fourth completing a $2,816.95 Superfecta for a $1 bet.


The Riversedge Racing Stables’ WEEKEND WIZARD dropped out of stakes company into this maiden allowance event and made no mistakes winning in an eye-catching 1:16.90. The race got off to a poor beginning as HARRYS HAMMER was impeded leaving the gate and rider Enrique Gonzalez was unseated. Well clear of the incident was Richard Hamel  aboard WEEKEND WIZARD who left the gate quickly and stalked the 21 4/5 and 46 flat opening fractions then drew away like a good one and the son of Rosberg won by as much as Richard wanted him to. The Linwood Stable’s BLUE TIDE was second and Kim Peacock and Lance Giesbrecht’s FORT MAC closed up well to be third.


Adrian Tromblay, Maureen Goss and Canmor Farm’s MISS FINALITY ran to the 4/5  hype and cruised to an easy score in 1:18.00. The daughter of Finality settled four wide on the first turn and then showed her class swooping by the the leaders on the stretch turn for an easy victory. She was dropping out of an $8,000 conditional race into this $4,000 and was much the best under Amadeo Perez. The battle for second went to the Nite and Day Stable and Joanne Todd’s SAKURA and Ralph Jesiak’s DHATZIT held on for third after setting a lively early tempo.


Mauro Comensoli’s FREE AND FAST took advantage of a wild early pace and was well clear at the wire for trainer Rob Anderson and rider Sahin Civaci. The daughter of Finality settled nicely off of a brutal 23 2/5 and 46 4/5 opening half-mile then collared pacesetter EXTRAMARITAL at the three-sixteenths pole and blasted away from her rivals and finished in 1:45.31. She was taking a drop in class as was the heavy favorite EXTRAMARITAL who was likely best but got far too involved in getting the early lead after a slow break. She lost second late to FOREVER CRYSTAL who rallied from well back to be second.

Rider Richard Hamel led the day with 3 wins, Amadeo Perez and Enrique Gonzalez both visited the winner’s circle twice and both stallions Rosberg and Finality had two winners on the day.

Racing resumes next weekend on Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October (yes October) 1St both afternoons begin at 1:50 p.m.


Hastings Racing Wrap-up for Saturday, September 23 by the Man with No Name

Summer Goes into Overtime

Sunshine and warm temperatures marked the second day of Fall, certainly more reminiscent of summer than autumn. The track surface appeared to favour speed, although a couple of mid-pack closers did make it to the winner’s circle.  The running times were quicker than average over a non-tiring track rated fast.  Leading trainer Phil Hall and jockey Richard Hamel both added another victory to their season totals, while the runner up in the rider standings, Enrique Gonzalez, doubled up, as did Antonio Reyes.  B.C. breds took the top spot in 6 out of the 7 contests and Hastings Paddock Sale graduates scored twice.

Highlights – It was a Day of Doubles

  • Jockeys Enrique Gonzalez and Antonio Reyes both score twice.
  • Trainer Pat Jarvis wins two.
  • Dr. Bryan and Carol Anderson bred a pair of winners.
  • Storm Victory gets a sire double.
  • Hastings Paddock Sale Graduates take two.
  • Six of the seven winners were bred in Beautiful British Columbia.
    • Triactor payout was $1,310.20 and Superfecta $6,699.05 in the last race (eight-horse field).
  • Sea to Sky Pick Six has a carryover of $31,494 going into Sunday’s card.


Seven Chances Gets a Second Chance

In the first race, a maiden 16K claiming event for two-year-old fillies, the Silvino Morales piloted Annotis lead every step of the way, prevailing by a span of only inches in front of the fast closing Seven Chances, with Lookout Taylor taking the show. The 3-2 favourite had denied the backers of the 20-1 longshot, Seven Chances, what would have been a very profitable return on their investment.  Or so it seemed.  Suddenly, the enquiry sign flashed on the tote board, as Enrique Gonzalez, the rider on third place finishing Lookout Taylor, lodged a claim of foul on the first and second place horses.  After review, the stewards disqualified Annotis from first and placed her third for drifting in down the lane and interfering with the rail charging effort of Lookout Taylor.  The stewards, finding no fault with the ride on Seven Chances, promoted the Antonio Reyes ridden 2-year-old chestnut filly to the top position with her backers being rewarded with a 41.90, 18.80, 9.70 payoff.  Seven Chances, a 2017 Hastings Paddock Sale graduate, is trained by Steve Henson and owned by Pocket Aces Racing Stable.  She was bred in Armstrong, British Columbia by Steen & Cathy Reggelsen out of their mare Street Cost by Gottcha Gold. The running time for the about six furlongs was 1:13.34.

All Under Control Takes Charge

The second, a 6 ½ furlong contest for 3 and up $8,000 conditioned claimers, was won by the Mike Anderson trained 3-year-old bay gelding All Under Control ($6.10). With leading rider Richard Hamel up, All Under Control broke sharply and went straight to the lead where he would stay while setting fractions of 22.53, 45.89, 1:09.72 on his way to an extremely fast clock stopping final time of 1:16.43.  Second place finishing Peace Arch, the closest pursuer, tracked the winner the entire journey, finally drawing alongside at the far turn, only to see his competitor gradually slip away to an ever increasing lead, which measured 2 ¾ lengths by race end.  Brother Brian ran evenly to take the third placing.  All Under Control, by Storm Victory, out of Rose Garland, is owned by Mike Anderson and Terry Clyde, and was bred in horse country Langley, British Columbia by Terry’s father, the late Doug Clyde.

Mystic Belief Rewards the Faithful

The third, a $4,000 maiden claimer for fillies and mares, saw the 3-year-old roan filly Mystic Belief, ($14.30) while being confidently ridden by Sahin Civaci, sit just off the leaders until the final turn, when she quickly pounced into the lead. From that point onward, the good looking daughter of Cause to Believe never looked back, cruising to an easy five length victory in 1:46.32 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth distance.  Parianne closed from last to take the place, while it was another eight lengths back to Bama in the show.  Mystic Belief, out of Mystic Pass, is owned by Lillian Jarvis-Meehan and Gail C. Jewsbury, trained by Pat Jarvis and was bred in Princeton, British Columbia by Dr. Bryan & Carol Anderson.

Brother Rod Wins in a Nod

The fourth, a 3 and up NW/2 $4,000 mile-and-a-sixteenth claimer, witnessed a last 3-furlong fight to the finish between David Lopez on Brother Rod ($6.00) and Antonio Reyes astride Iama Better Cause. The athletic contest between riders and horses ended in one of those way-too-close-to call photo finishes right at the wire.  In the end, it was determined by the smallest of margins that the team of Lopez and Brother Rod were the victors, with Reyes and Iama Better Cause having to settle for the runner up position.  It was a ways back to the triactor-completing Chase the Money.  Brother Rod is conditioned by veteran trainer John Morrison, who also owns the 3-year-old sometimes badly behaving (although not today) bay gelding along with wife Kim and Robin Sadler.  Brother Rod is by the Klimes Farm stallion Storm Victory, out of Sunshine Shadows and was bred in Kelowna, British Columbia by Helen Klimes.  The time for the distance was a quick 1:45.56.

Susan’s Day in the Sun

After a 14-month drought, Susan’s Day ($4.50) finally returned to the oasis of the Winner’s Circle in the fifth, a non-winners of the year $4,000 claimer for fillies and mares. Enrique Gonzalez got his first of two wins on the day aboard the dark bay 5-year-old mare.  After breaking alertly, Susan’s Day improved her forwardly placed position to be on top by the end of the backstretch where she continued to increase her leading margin to 2 ¼ lengths at the finish.  Chased home by the longshot trio (in order) of Sheri Sugar Rush (23-1), Kataliah (34-1) and Au Clair de Lune (21-1) who with the favourite winner (6-5) combined for an outstanding $1 superfecta payout of $3,606.60.  Managed by Hall of Fame trainer Dave Forster and owned by Cameron Hill, Susan’s Day is by the now Korean based sire Colonel John, out of Joie de Vie and was bred in Kentucky by Tapestry Stud LLC.  The time for the 6 ½ furlongs was a very decent 1:17.19.

Babys Got Track Takes the Feature

The Thoroughbred Ladies Club Overnight Handicap for fillies and mares NW 2/3 with a $20,000 purse was won by Dan Lee’s 3-year-old chestnut filly Babys Got Track ($9.00). Enrique Gonzalez allowed the winner to settle into a mid-pack rail position in the early running, then circled four-wide on the final turn taking over the lead mid-stretch, drawing away to a 1 ½ length victory in a hard-fought, determined effort.  Princess O’Prado closed from last to take second in what was her best effort this year, while the lightly raced Indie Rock who held a narrow lead at the head of the lane faded some to still finish a good third.  The multiple stakes placed Babys Got Track, a somewhat inexpensive purchase in the Hastings 2016 Paddock Sale, has now achieved $50,000 in purse earnings this year for her owner, the aforementioned Dan L. Lee.  Conditioned by leading trainer Phil Hall, Babys Got Track, by Road’s End stallion Numaany, out of Gazardiel, was bred in Supernatural British Columbia by Allan & Marion MacHaffie.  The running time for the 6 ½ furlongs was a rapid 1:17.01.

Martello Marks One Down

The Pat Jarvis trained 3-year-old bay gelding Martello ($32.70) scored in the seventh and last race of the day, a 3 and up mile-and-a-sixteenth $25,000 claimer in the swift time of 1:45.37, giving Jarvis a training double. Antonio Reyes, for his second victory of the day, sent longshot (15-1) Martello to an early lead for the first time in his 10-race career.  That “to the front and widen” strategy proved to be a winning one, as Martello prevailed by over two lengths clear of the late closing Lucky Ending at the wire.  The trailing Panning for Gold got up in time to complete the triactor which paid a hefty $1,310.20, with the pace-setting 20-1 Boston Betty hanging on for fourth to complete the superfecta which ended up paying a pressure cooker full pot of money in the amount of $6,699.05 for a $1 wager.  WOW.  Martello was bred by his owners Dr. Bryan and Carol Anderson, along with Carol’s father Jim Eccott in the Best Place on Earth, British Columbia.  A son of Road’s End’s Second in Command, Martello is out of Comic Opera.  With the enhanced 25% B.C. bred bonus, the winner’s share for this maiden claiming event exceeded $12,000, which more than doubled Martello’s career earnings.  Clearly, it pays to own British Columbia Breds.


The morning at Hastings Racecourse was beautiful but as the races drew closer the clouds moved in and temperature dropped. The rain held off until about the second race and then pelted down heavily through the middle portion on the card. The track remained FAST but there was plenty of water in the track by the end of the day. Oh well, just another day in September in Vancouver.

The Sunday opener went to Roger Snow’s OFF THE GRID who stalked and easily put away pacesetter JACKSON TELLER and went on to a convincing score in a sparkling 1:46.12 for the mile and a sixteenth. The son of Mass Market was trained by Roger’s uncle Mel and ridden by Silvino Morales. OFFTHE GRID will be having his dinner in a new barn after being claimed by the Last Call Racing Stable and Cathy Bornn for trainer Brent Bremner.

The 2nd race saw Dan Lee’s homebred filly CASSIDY FINALITY go wire-to-wire in a three and half furlong test in a very swift 39.78 seconds. The daughter of Second in Command duelled with Randy Hudson’s CHILCOTIN HILL and proved best at the wire giving Phil Hall his meet leading 30th victory of the year. Enrique Gonzalez was aboard for the win.

Next up was the $8,000 HBPA Claiming Championship for colt and gelding sprinters at six and a half furlongs for another hefty $25,000 purse. The winner was Gary Ferguson and Nancy Betts’ LASSIE’S REWARD who took a nice trip in behind the speed and rider Romario Saunders took advantage of a big opening on the rail to slip through on the final turn and win by a length over Blue Willow Dairy’s drifting pacesetter CRIUS in 1:17.46. PRINCE HOTEL edged NANA’S BUDDY for the show spot.

The next event featured fillies and mares sprinting in the $4,000 HBPA Claiming Championship with another large prize of $25,000. There was plenty of early pace after starter Charlie MacDonald sent the field on their way TEXAS ALLEY KAT, SUCH A BARGIN and HALLOWEEN QUEEN all traded punches early which played out nicely for Terry Clyde and Mike Anderson’s ZANITA ROSAE. The daughter of Skimming was held under restraint through opening half-mile then unleashed a powerful move on the final turn to surge by the exhausted early leaders and held off an unlucky VALID VOW who had traffic issues heading into the far turn. Richard Hamel was aboard the winner and padded his huge lead a top the jockey standings.

Race number five was the $4,000 HBPA Claiming Championship for distance runners at a mile and a sixteenth for another $25,000 purse. The formful beginning to the program ended in the fifth as the Hammer Racing Stable’s MIGHTY MESA rewarded his loyal backers with an $82.80 mutuel for a $2 WIN wager. The 4/5 favourite CRUSHIN CANDY was pestered through the opening fractions of the race by FLEMINGS BEACH and POWER TO BELIEVE softening him up and was then tackled on the final turn by Romario Saunders on MIGHTY MESA who made the lead in the stretch and held off a fast closing TOCCET’S CHARM for the win in a quick 1:44.80. As rare as a 40-1 winner is, it was equally as odd to see a 2-way shake to claim the 40-1 winner. Terry Jordan for trainer Anita Bolton won the shake. The second and third place runners also went to new barns, CRUSHIN CANDY was haltered by Manny Ortiz and trainer Cindy Krasner winning a 3-way shake and the busy Mitch Sutherland / Jim Brown combo tagged TOCCET’S CHARM.

Race six was the $16,000 HBPA Claiming Championship for colts and geldings travelling a mile and a sixteenth for a $25,000 purse. POWER CORRUPT under Enrique Gonzalez broke on top and then yielded to the headstrong FIFER who carved early splits of 23.50 and 47.26. POWER CORRUPT snared the lead back passing the three-eighths pole and was immediately tacked by SUNSET DRIVE and these two put on a great show right down to the wire. WE FOUND GOLD was a couple of lengths back in third. The Mitch Sutherland owned and Jim Brown trainee took 1:44.73 to complete his winning task over a game SUNSET DRIVE.

The seventh race on the day was a $25,000 claiming event that had many chances. The speedy THE ODDS R GOOD was loose on the lead and led the field through quick 22.05 and 45.04 early fractions before being confronted by Gord and Wendy Christoff’s homebred TWISTGRIPS. Antonio Reyes had the 8/5 favoured son of Benchmark travelling nicely on the inside and when produced three wide at the top of the lane he kicked in to outrun a very stubborn THE ODDS R GOOD in a brilliant final time of 1:16.41. The father/ son Snow exactor returned $15.20. Fred and Sheldon Kwan’s B C CHARLIE nosed out COULTERBERRY for third.

The final race of the afternoon was for restricted non-three lifetime $16,000 claimers at six and a half furlongs. The race turned out to be the most exciting finish of the day as GOOD AS THEY GET, ALWAYS SUNNY and KERMODE were within a few inches of each other at the wire. Mel and Fran Snow’s GOOD AS THEY GET who was raised at their Aldergrove farm rallied wide in the stretch under rider Silvino Morales to eke out the win over ALWAYS SUNNY and KERMODE in a swift 1:16.82.

Romario Saunders, Silvino Morales and Enrique Gonzalez led all jockeys with two wins each and trainer Mel Snow opened and closed the card with visits to the winner’s circle.

Racing resumes next weekend with a Saturday and Sunday schedule with the first post at 1:50 p.m. and the Sea-to-Sky Pick 6 players will be greeted with a $28,655 carryover heading into the Saturday card.

Hastings wrap-up for Saturday by the Man with No Name

Hastings Racing Wrap-up for Saturday, September 16

The always working, articulate, loquacious, very witty super scribe extraordinaire Richard Yates is taking a well-deserved break in Kentucky. Until he returns (who knows when), the racing wrap-up will be written by several guest writers. For today’s edition, the Man with No Name returns to the saddle and offers the following:

HBPA Claiming Championship Day

The warm sun shone brightly all afternoon on the hard-knocking, competitive equine athletes who made up the card of the Seven HBPA Claiming Championship Races. The events ranged from $4,000 to $25,000 claiming contests with supercharged purses of $25,000 to $30,000. In addition to the money, all of the Victors received trophies, flowers, gift baskets and race blankets. The racing surface rated fast was perfectly prepared by the hardworking Hasting Track Crew, producing a surface which played equally fair for front running pace setters and come from behinders alike. Down the stretch battles and photo finishes were the way of the day with a couple of clear winners thrown in for good measure. Jockey Enrique Gonzalez won three, while leading rider Richard Hamel and leading trainer Philip Hall both added to their season totals. Additionally, Merlot and P G Star, a couple of $4,000 claimers took home the winner’s share of almost $14,000 each for their respective victories.


  • Enrique Gonzalez scores a hat trick.
  • Leading rider Richard Hamel doubles.
  • Rosberg gets a sire double.
  • P G Star wins fourth in a row.
  • The 200-member Hastings Racing Club 2’s determined Merlot wins for the fourth time this season.
  • Triactor payout was $568.40 and Superfecta $1,118.30 in the last race (seven-horse field).
  • Sea to Sky Pick Six has a carryover of $23,655 going into Sunday’s card.

Donttellmyhusband Sneaks One In

After four consecutive bridesmaid finishes, Dontttellmyhusband ($7.80) gets the job done in a hard-fought photo finish victory in the first race on the program, a $16,000 Claiming Championship event at a-mile-and- a- sixteenth distance for fillies and mares.

Patiently handled by rider Antonio Reyes, Donttellmyhusband was reserved early trailing the pace setters Bold N Lovely and the 2-5 favourite Tinderette. Entering the stretch, Reyes engaged the leaders from the outside and from that point onward it was a two-horse race with Tinderette gamely battling it out right to the wire. The margin of victory was an ever increasing neck, with Donttellmyhusband laying claim to the trophy, basket, flowers, blanket and the winner’s $13,750 share of the $25,000 purse.

The well-named Donttellmyhusband, a daughter of the prolific sire Rosberg out of Low Key Affair was bred in Beautiful British Columbia by Wendy Kruger. The filly is owned and trained by veteran horseman William Konyk, Jr. The winner returned 7.80, 2.40, 2.10 in the mile-and-a-sixteenth journey run in 1:46.68. 

Awesome Slate Chalks Up Another

The second, a $25,000 Claiming Championship with a $30,000 purse was won by Jacob Kalpakian’s Awesome Slate ($4.90). Trained by Cindy Krasner and piloted by leading rider Richard Hamel, Awesome Slate wore down the pace setting Bluegrass Angus in a late surge to win by 2 ¼ lengths. The Hastings Racing Club’s Square Dancer passed the tiring Bluegrass Angus at the wire to claim the second placing.

The Kentucky bred four-year-old gelding by Summer Bird out of Awesome Chic was claimed in his last start for $16,000 by his current connections. The winner’s share of $16,500 marked that purchase price “paid in full”, with the promise based on today’s performance of more to come. The mile-and-a-sixteenth route was run in a very rapid 1:44.24 , with the winner returning 4.90, 2.80, 2.10.

Merlot Tastes Victory

It took the very last moment in a thrilling photo finish for the 5-year-old gelding, Merlot ($4.00) to prevail over the hard-trying Circus Ride in the $4,000 Claiming Championship. Owned by the 200-member-strong Hastings Racing Club 2 and ridden by leading rider Richard Hamel, Merlot closed from just off the pace in a dramatic fashion, finally collaring the determined Circus Ride right at the finish line. It was jockey Richard Hamel’s second win on the card and Merlot’s fourth victory this season. Merlot, the betting favourite who paid 4.00, 2.60, 2.10, is trained by Nancy Betts and was bred in Fabulous British Columbia by Swift Thoroughbreds Inc., and was sired by their outstanding Rosberg out of Swift’s good race mare Napa. Merlot covered the 6 ½ furlongs in a very quick 1:16.99. The win was undoubtedly bittersweet for the Hastings Racing Club 2, as their ultra-reliable, multiple winner Merlot, who after taking down the day’s $13,750 first place share of the $25,000 purse, was claimed and went to a new home. Owner Mitch Sutherland, trainer Jim Brown won the five-way-shake for Merlot.

Morning Blurs is a Clear Winner

The Fillies and Mares 6 ½ furlong HBPA $25,000 Claiming Championship went to Morning Blurs ($5.60), who led all the way from gate to post. Ridden to victory by Enrique Gonzalez, the 3-year-old filly set down fractions of 22.44, 46.00, 1:10.40 on the way to a decent clock stopping 1:17.40 final time. Chased the entire journey by Chianti, who tried to make a race of it by drawing to within a half length of the leader at the head of the lane, Morning Blurs, with plenty left, drew away to win by a solid length advantage at the finish. Storm Stalker ran on late for the place, while a tiring Chianti had to settle for the show. Morning Blurs is owned by Terry Jordan and is trained by Anita Bolton, who since claiming the 3-year-old filly has won two in a row with her. The good looking filly is by Second in Command out of Everythings a Blur and was bred in Spectacular British Columbia by Paul Caravetta.

P G Star Takes the Top Billing

The $4,000 Claiming Championship for Fillies and Mares at a mile-and-a-sixteenth distance again took a photo finish to give the nod to the fast closing 4-year-old filly P G Star ($9.90). Ridden by Gonzalez for his second victory on the card, P G Star came from far back in the pack and rapidly closed down the lane getting up for the lion’s share over the extremely game front running Lady Cash in the very last stride. Lady Cash ran too good a race to lose, but had to settle for the $5,000 second place share of the purse.

P G Star, trained by John Snow, claimed her fourth consecutive victory in only four starts for a perfect record this season. The bay 4-year-old filly is owned by Martin Miller and was bred in Supernatural British Columbia by M. Miller and was sired by the California based Stormin Fever out of the Indian Charlie mare Indian Woman. The winner returned 9.90, 4.90, 3.00. The final time was 1:46.22.

Citron Kid is No Lemon

Praven Sorensen and Brian Albertson’s 7-year-old bay gelding Citron Kid ($10.50) won the 6th, the $8,000 Claiming Championship race for the boys at the distance of a-mile-and-a-sixteenth, offering a $25,000 purse. Silvino Morales had Citron Kid well off the early leaders Santa Fe Trail and Laguna Blaze and thereafter allowed his mount to creep closer in the run down the backstretch. By the final turn Santa Fe Trail had gotten the best of Laguna Blaze, emerging with a clear lead by the back end of the turn only to be confronted by Citron Kid at the head of the lane. From that point on it was a side by side two-horse race for the money with Citron Kid finally getting the advantage a few strides from the wire, which he extended to a full length margin of victory. Santa Fe Trail held for the second place $5,000 purse share with a late run from What Goes Around achieving third. Citron Kid is conditioned by leading trainer Philip Hall, who increased his season win total to 29, which is currently 8 better than the runner up Mark Cloutier’s 21 wins. Bred in Kentucky by Alpha Delta Stables, LLC, Citron Kid is by Lemon Drop Kid out of the Mr. Greeley mare Time’s Mistress. He paid 10.50, 4.30, 2.80, with the final running time being 1:45.97.

Burnum Lights It Up

The HBPA $16k Claiming Championship contested at 6 ½ furlongs went to the late charging, determined big bay gelding Burnum ($10.90). Jockey Enrique Gonzalez, picking up his third win and a hat trick on the card, settled into a comfortable position 4 lengths off the early pace setting trio of Omega Victory, Bornatthetrack and After the Conflict. By the far turn, Bornatthetrack had worn his rivals down and taken the lead which he gamely held until just before the wire when the rapidly moving Burnum forged to the front, winning by a 1 ¼ length margin. Bornatthetrack bravely ran on for second, while a late close by Liquid Metal was good enough for third. Burnum, an 8-year-old chestnut gelding bred in Florida, is by Roar of the Tiger out of Keep on Burnin and is owned by Terry Clyde and trained by Mike Anderson. He returned 10.90, 4.70, 3.70. The 6 ½ furlong distance was completed in a quick 1:16.96.


Wrap-up For September 10

The sun came out a day late, but better late than never and historic Old Hastings Racecourse was a brighter place for it. It was certainly a good day for leading rider Richard Hamel who doubled, and ditto for leading trainer Philip Hall who also won two.  Jockey Antonio Reyes got a pair as well, the last one coming in the finale aboard the veteran campaigner Swiss Arrogant who, while he may be getting long in the tooth, remains long in the desire to compete.

Sheriff Clarke Locks Up The Opener

The first was a $12,500 maiden claimer for two-year-olds that Sheriff Clarke ($4.20) took into custody late in the stretch run before moving a length clear at the wire. Asp ran second after setting a venomous pace that eventually came back to bite him.  Hasari clung to third after being the closest pursuer for the first half-mile.  Jockey Amadeo Perez sat chilly early prior to launching the long, sustained drive that got Sheriff Clarke past Asp and home.  Final time for the “about 6 furlongs” was 1:13.24 over a track labeled as good.  Sheriff Clarke is owned by Dennis Tucker and is conditioned by leading trainer Philip Hall.  It was the first of two wins on the day for Hall.

Its Finally Friday Gets It Done Sunday

The second half of the early Daily Double fell to the 6-5 favorite Its Finally Friday ($4.40). Enrique Gonzalez put Its Finally Friday on the lead after breaking from the inside and the winner never gave it up on his way to a two-length victory over After Court who was also 6-5.  Mark closed from last in the compact field to take third.  Its Finally Friday required 1:18.73 to complete the 6 ½ furlongs.  The BC bred Finality gelding is owned by Fred and Sheldon Kwan.  Its Finally Friday is trained by Hall of Fame trainer Harold Barroby.  The winner was bred in BC by Prescott Farms.

Au Clair du Lune Sings A Winning Tune

After trailing the field and saving ground on the rail for a half-mile, jockey Richard Hamel moved Au Clair du Lune ($24.90) outside for clear running and caught the 9-10 favorite, the pace-setting Mrs Sport, with gusto and moved on to be clear by a widening length as she came home. Mrs Sport held on to second after setting the fastest early fractions for the day, including a half-mile in 45.76.  We’regoodasgold also closed well to finish third.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:19 flat.  Charlene Miller trains the winner for High Stakes Thoroughbreds, Donna Hesse and Charles Cowan.  The winner was bred in BC by Charles Fipke.

Flood Watch Surges To Victory

After sitting in a pocket behind a three-horse speed duel, Flood Watch ($12.80) circled the frontrunners while going four-wide into the stretch and left them all in his wake. Antonio Reyes provided a well-managed ride that had Flood Watch three lengths clear at the finish for owner/trainer Kimberly Kozak.  Final time for the 6 ½ furlong sprint was 1:19.04.  It was the second win for Flood Watch in his last three starts.

Northern Storm Ices The Field

The fastest race of the day, on a card that consisted entirely of sprint races, came in the fifth when the shortest price of the day, the heavily favored Northern Storm ($2.90) blew off a field composed of four fillies and two colts, all three years old, two of whom were in for the 40K tag in a maiden optional claimer. Northern Storm affixed herself to the pace-setting Fantastic Command for most of a half that went in 46.45 before parting company with that one and moving away to a definitive two-length win over Kodiak Rose who ran evenly to take the place spot.  He’s Gatsby also put in an even effort to be third.  The 6 ½ furlongs were negotiated in 1:17.30 by the winner who provided both rider Richard Hamel and trainer Philip Hall with doubles.  Northern Storm is owned by George Gilbert who also bred the daughter of the late Rosberg out of the multiple stakes winning mare Wind Storm.

Mayfair Lady Finds The Right Neighborhood

Dropping from a 25K claimer to a conditioned race for 16K fillies and mares was enough to get Mayfair Lady ($19.10) into the Winner’s Circle for the Horse’n Around Racing Stable and trainer Robert Anderson. Mayfair Lady was back in fifth early before moving up to engage the leaders going down the backstretch.  Silvino Morales angled to the outside of Ware’s My Jennie and Collen’s Diamond going into the final turn although they were in the stretch before Mayfair Lady moved away to establish a comfortable 2 ¾ length margin at the wire.  Colleen’s Diamond kept running to finish second and Astartobe utilized the rail to move into third.  None of them were any kind of threat to the winner who got the 6 ½ furlongs in a very decent 1:17.86.

Swiss Arrogant Has Seniority

The 10 year-old-gelding Swiss Arrogant ($25.40) showed a small but much more youthful field of whippersnappers how it’s done in the nightcap. He racked up career win number lucky 13 with a front-running effort that saw him put away Cowboy Phil, six years his junior, on the final turn and hold safe the late close of Prince Hotel to post a half-length win as the longest shot on the board.  Ambidextrous Duke ran third in the 6 ½ furlong sprint that went in 1:18.09.  David Milburn owns and trains the winner.  Antonio Reyes got his second win on the day aboard the still spry Cal-bred who began his racing career 69 races ago in 2009 at Fairplex in Pomona, California.  That track is closed, Swiss Arrogant is still in business.

Also Noteworthy:

Richard Hamel’s two scores give him 61 for the season and a 19 win lead over Enrique Gonzalez and David Lopez who are tied for second. Amadeo Perez and Silvino Morales round out the top 5 with 34 and 25 wins, respectively.

Philip Hall’s double were his 27th and 28th trips to the Hastings Winner’s Circle for the year.  He has a 7 win lead over Mark Cloutier who occupies the second spot on the trainer’s table.  Nancy Betts and Barbara Heads are tied with 17 apiece.  Glen Todd is in fifth with 16 wins.

The North American Thoroughbred Horse Company continues atop the owner’s list with 19 wins. Swift Thoroughbreds has 14 victories, two more than Peter Redekop B. C. Ltd.  Russell and Lois Bennett and Robert and Sheena Maybin are next with 11 per duo.