RAILBIRD NOTES

RAILBIRD NOTES BY GLEN TODD

Due to the Air Quality surrounding Hastings Racecourse Thursday’s 9 race program was been postponed until Saturday at 3:00pm.

The air quality for Thursday is once again forecasted in the 10+ range. We have to get down to 7 or under on the air quality chart before it safe to race or any other strenuous exercise for the safety of our horses.

We will keep you updated if there are any further changes but it appears we are about to get some rain tomorrow and Saturday which should clear the air.

Entries for Sunday were taken yesterday, so the plan is to race on Saturday and Sunday at 3:00pm.

 

AIR QUALITY ADVISORY

Metro Vancouver is continuing the fine particulate matter advisory that has been in effect since September 8 for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District due to wildfire smoke from outside the region. Wildfire smoke from fires in Washington and Oregon continues to persist in the region.

Air quality has continued to improve since yesterday but ground-level smoke still remains and is expected to remain through the week. A weather system forecast for Friday is expected to bring further improvements this weekend. Localized smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes.

In the City of New Westminster, a timber wharf at Westminster Pier Park continues to burn, producing considerable local smoke. Please follow the advice provided by Fraser Health and City of New Westminster officials: http://fraserhealth.ca/news/2020/Sep/air-quality-advisory-for-new-westminster-and-surrounding-areas and http://newwestcity.ca/services/whats-happening/index/site_post/3000.php

Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres (µm) or less. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of its small size.

Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions or acute infections such as COVID-19 should postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity until the advisory is lifted, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable. Exposure to PM2.5 is particularly a concern for people with underlying conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and/or diabetes, individuals with respiratory infections such as COVID-19, pregnant women and infants, children, and older adults. Individuals who are socially marginalized may also be at elevated risk.

As we are in the summer season with warm temperatures, it is also important to stay cool and hydrated. Indoor spaces with HEPA air cleaner filtration and air conditioning may offer relief from both heat and air pollution, but physical distancing guidelines for COVID-19 should still be observed. If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, seek prompt medical attention. Call 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency.

Metro Vancouver works in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fraser Valley Regional District and B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to look after air quality.

Information about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found at www.airmap.ca and http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/readings/find-stations-map.html .

To sign up for air quality alerts in your area, go to: http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/air-quality/mailing-list

For more information, contact:
Metro Vancouver Information Centre at 604‐432‐6200

RAILBIRD NOTES

 

RAILBIRD NOTES BY GLEN TODD

HASTINGS RACECOURSE OPEN FOR JOGGING ONLY ON TUESDAY MORNING

The air quality  continues to tamper with training at Hastings Racecourse.  This could change very quickly with some wind and rain.  We did get some rain overnight Monday and we will have to check the air quality frequently before we open the track again for full training or racing.

I was asked yesterday on HOW we determined if the air was clear enough to train or not train.

Back in 2018 when we had the horrendous fires in British Columbia and we were covered in smoke at Hastings.  The racing associations and Hastings Management reached out to Dr. Rick Arthur, director of equine medicine at UC Davis California.

Based on discussions with Dr. Arthur, the racing associations and track management we took the position copied below on when to train or race based on air quality in the Hastings area.

There are several air quality stations near and around Hastings and we check that air quality information in determining what’s safe and what’s not.

The air quality on Saturday, Sunday and Monday were over the top of the chart and as a matter of fact,  Vancouver on Saturday had the second worst air quality in the world at 10+.

So dating back to the summer of 2018 the following statement was released on how Hastings would proceed with air quality and the health of our precious animals.

AIR QUALITY CHART

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 +
LOW Health Risk MODERATE Health Risk HIGH Health Risk VERY HIGH

AIR QUALITY STATEMENT AS OF 2018

In order to gain more information on this matter a conference call with Dr Rick Arthur director of equine medicine at UC Davis California was arranged. Dr Arthur in addition to his university duties is employed as the lead veterinarian for the California Horse Racing Board. Recently he was called upon to give advice on when horses involved in the California training centre fire could safely race again. 

Participants in the conference call were Darren MacDonald, Glen Todd, and David Milburn. In discussion Dr Arthur said there was not a lot of research on the issue of air quality and horse racing and therefore we should draw on human experience and common sense. If the air causes coughing, irritated throat and congestion in people then we should assume it is doing the same thing to horses. He was very clear after looking at our air quality index for today (10 plus) that he would recommend not racing. As to what lower levels are safe he said is largely speculative and we should again use common sense. After the call ended and in further discussion with Darren, Glen and others including Mike Brown (GPEB) the idea was advanced to predetermine an air quality index level above which racing will be cancelled. In looking at the air quality chart, reading what was available on line, and recognizing that we safely ran races on Monday when the air quality was a 6 it was suggested that the unsafe to race level be set at 8 with racing permitted with an air quality of 7 or less. It was further suggested that we announce the level tomorrow morning in a joint industry/track statement.

RAILBIRD NOTES

RAILBIRD NOTES BY GLEN TODD

Due to the air quality caused by all of the serious fires down the U.S. coastal states that have floated north to cover most of the lower mainland we have had to make several adjustments to the last 4 days of the Hastings Live racing season.

The racing associations met with Hastings management on Sunday morning and the following changes were agreed to.

  • Sunday’s  card will run on Thursday (no changes)
  • An extra day, Thursday, Oct 1st, 1pm post will be added
  • The entire condition book will be shifted by one day
  • Today’s entries for Thursday will be taken on Wednesday for Sunday.
  • The stakes set for Sunday Sept 27th will be run on Thurs Oct 1st
  • All cards will have 9 races except the last day Oct 1st which will feature a 12 day card
  • All horses must be off the grounds by Friday, Oct 2nd by 2:00pm
  • The track will open tomorrow (Monday) from 7am to 10am for jogging only.
  • All post times will remain at 3:00pm except the last two race days which will have a 1:00pm start.

BC-Bred Incentive Purchase Program Extended

The Industry Associations have agreed to extend the deadline for $1,500 BC-bred Incentive Purchase Program from noon Wednesday, September 9th to Sunday, September 20th.

The up to $1,500 purchase incentive for all BC-bred yearlings which went RNA at the CTHS BC on September 8th and find an arms-length third party purchase by September 20th will be eligible for the incentive.

Certain conditions apply to receive this incentive. Please visit https://www.cthsbc.org/incentives for complete program details.

RAILBIRD NOTES FOR FRIDAY, SEPT 4TH

RAILBIRD NOTES BY GLEN TODD

HASTINGS 2021 RACING DATES

Yesterday I spoke with the management of Hastings Racecourse and we agreed to propose  a race meet for 2021. We will run up to 51 days starting on Saturday, May 1st and ending on October 23rd.

The track would open on Friday, February 6th and track opening for training on Monday, February 8th.

The clockers would start on or around March 9 and starting gate on that day as well.

The racing days are:

May 1,2,8,9,15,16, 23,24,29 & 30.

June:  5,6,12,13,19,20,26,27.

July  1,3,4,10,11,17,18,24,25

August 1,2,7,8,14,15,20,23,27,30

September  3,11,12,18,19,25,26

October  2,3,10,11,16,17, 23

BC BRED 25% BONUS

The racing associations will also be proposing to re-institute the 25% BC Bred Bonus in 2021.

 

RAILBIRD NOTES

RAILBIRD NOTES BY GLEN TODD

HASTINGS 1ST POST TIME MOVES TO 3:00PM SEPTEMBER 5TH

KENTUCKY OAKS FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 4TH

KENTUCKY DERBY SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 5TH

Fall in is the air and we have move our post time at Hastings ahead to 3:00pm starting this Saturday, September 5th.   This is the only Saturday we are running during the 2020 live racing season at Hastings.

We go back to Thursday and Sunday afternoons starting on Sunday, September 6th.

The Kentucky Derby runs at 4:01pm PDT Saturday and we have staggered our races around the running of the Derby so everyone can watch the Derby.

Their is only 8 days of live racing left at Hastings. The only other change is Sunday, September 27 which is the final day were 12 races are being carded with the first post time at 1:00pm.

KENTUCKY DERBY AT THE DERBY BAR AND GRILL

The Derby Bar and Grill because of Covid19 has limited seating and we are taking prepaid reservations.  We only have a couple of seats left and must be purchased in advance.   We have a cover charge of $25.00 for that day only.

RAILBIRD NOTES

RAILBIRD NOTES BY GLEN TODD

CTHS (BC) YEARLING AND MIXED SALE

OWNERS ALLOWED AT HASTINGS PROTOCOL

CTHS SALES STAKES SEPTEMBER 5TH

Included in today’s Derby Bar Newsletter which is very lengthy as we have included all the information you need to attend the CTHS (BC) Yearling and Mixed Sale.

We have also included the list of all of the hip numbers being offered along with their pedigree and a photo of all of the horses in the sale.

Scroll all the way down to find all of the information.  We need owners to get out and support our breeding industry as its a very important part of our industry.

In these very unknown times the owners at Hastings have stepped up to plate and hit it out of park when its come to supporting our industry in 2020.  The owners have kept literally hundreds of trainers, grooms, exercise riders etc etc employed thru these rough times with very little return.

We need our owners one more time to step up and support this sale.

OWNERS AT HASTINGS

The management of Hastings have allowed owners to attend the race that their horse is running in on race days.

Please note, owners are allowed in the designated area just outside of the George Royal Room at the Clubhouse level to watch their horses race only.

Owners are not allowed on the tarmac area or the paddock etc.  They must keep in the designated area only.

We ask that owners to abide by Hastings Request before we loose this privilege.

The Hastings Protocol for owners, please read carefully

CTHS SALES STAKES

Next Saturday, September 5th is not only Kentucky Derby Day but also the 4 CTHS SALES STAKES will be run at Hastings.

The Kentucky Derby will be run at approx. 2:45 PDT and the followed with an 8 race card live from Hastings with the first post time of 3:00pm PDT.

This is the only Saturday we are running at Hastings this season.

 

RAILBIRD NOTES

RAILBIRD NOTES BY GLEN TODD

NINE RACES ON SUNDAY AT HASTINGS FIRST POST TIME 4:00PM

FIRST POST TIME FOR SEPTEMBER 27TH IS 1:00PM NOT 12:00PM

OWNER AND GUEST ALLOWED AT HASTINGS FOR THEIR RACE AND WINNING PHOTO

2021 RACING CALENDAR

The racing office at Hastings put together a very good nine race card for Sunday, August 30th.  Please note the first post time will be 4:00pm instead of 4:30pm because of the added race.

Post Time changes starting September 5th to 24th will be 3:00pm and the final day, September 27th will be 1:00pm not 12:00pm as we stated yesterday. The reason for early start on the September 27th is we are hoping to run 12 races on the closing day.

Owner and one guest are now allowed on track for their race,  Hastings also have granted the owner and guest to the winners circle for photos.

Our racing associations met yesterday with Hastings Management on the 2021 live racing season. We are led to believe talks were very positive on 2021 season with more to come later.  Association Presidents are hoping for an announcement no later then September 5th.

RAILBIRD NOTES

RAILBIRD NOTES BY GLEN TODD

POST TIME CHANGE SEPTEMBER 5TH

12 RACES ON SEPTEMBER 27TH

HORSEMEN ASSOCIATIONS PROPOSING 51 DAYS FOR 2021

As fall is rolling in Hastings will be changing post time till 3:00pm starting on Saturday, September 5th. That is also Kentucky Derby Day.  It was decided to run on Saturday, September 5th because it was Derby Day.

Closing day is Sunday, September 27th.  Horsemen have scheduled 12 races on that day stating at noon.

Horsemen’s  Associations are meeting today with Hastings Management with a proposal of up to 51 days for 2021.  The associations are proposing opening the track for training on February 5th, 2021 with opening day being Kentucky Derby Day on May 1st, 2021.

RAILBIRD NOTES

RAILBIRD NOTES BY GLEN TODD

With Monday’s now being the off day with the track closed for training and little going on in the racing world its a good time to catch you up on a few stats for Hastings Live Racing.

TRACK CONDITIONS

CAYEENE PEPPER  & ZEV UPDATE

EXTRA RACES ADDED

HASTINGS STATS TO DATE

Executive Members of the HBPA and BCTOBA plan to meet with track officials on Wednesday morning regarding the racing surface and some maintenance to assure safety to our horses.

Presidents of BCTOBA and HPBA are teleconferencing with CPMA and GPEB this afternoon on several positive tests on Capsaicin across Canada .  Supposedly the cause could be cayeene pepper, Zev or ?

The President of the HBPA , BCTOBA t and I met on Monday morning for several hours to discuss our finances and other related subjects.  It was decided to run eight races every live racing day and approach management for the opportunity to  racing 9 or more  races on a day when we have an abundance of races.  Although we have to be very careful that it doesn’t burden the next days races.  We are attempting to give owners as many race opportunities as possible during this very short 25 day meet.

HASTINGS  LIVE RACING STATS

THE PADDOCK AT HASTINGS

After nine days of live racing the total handle is $5,190,078.40 compared to $4,934,978.39 which a 5% increase or $255,100.00 ahead of 2019.  That is a very positive step.  TBC reported they had the highest handle in history for July as over $9,000,000.00 was wagered on HBI.com.

We have moved from Monday’s and Tuesday’s to Thursday’s  and Sunday’s at 4:30pm in an attempt to increase our daily handle even more.  Right now that is our only source of income.

The average number of horses per race is the highest in years at 7.66 horses per race.  A total of 521 horses have started in 68 races run to date.

Our total amount of purse distribution for 2020 is a mere $2,780,000.00 over 25 racing days compared to $7,870,000.00 in 2019 over 51 live racing days.  That is a total of $5,090,000.00 less then 2019.

With the Casino’s closed and the two race books closed at Hastings and Fraser Downs our only source of income is HPI at the moment.

We are trying to do the best we can with little to work with. As General McArthur said ” we shall return”.

Hopefully racing on Thursday and Sunday evening we will be able to get more races on TVG the U.S. live racing network which will help increase our handle. On Sunday our first day of the change we were able to get the last two races on TVG and the handle for both races was over $100,000.00 per race with two five horse fields. I think but I’m not sure but starting at 4:30pm on Thursday at this time there are only few tracks running and maybe we can get a few more races on the network.

With so many tracks now running everyone is switching days and times to try to increase their handles.  As of right now I think we have made the right move unless a number of tracks move to the same time slots.

RAILBIRD NOTES BY GLEN TODD

RAILBIRD NOTES BY GLEN TODD

HASTINGS UPDATES

CHANGE OF RACING DAYS AND POST TIMES

PURSE INCREASES

STAKE RACE PURSE INCREASE

CLOCKERS CHANGES

STARTING GATE CHANGES

OWNERS VIEWING OF WORKOUTS

Starting on Sunday, August 2nd we are changing our racing days from Monday and Tuesday’s at 2:30 to Thursdays and Sundays at 4:30pm.  We are moving dates and times in an attempt to get more online wagering not only locally but from all over North America.

Our racing funding normally comes from three sources.  Our slot agreement would normally be 42% of our income.  With the Casinos  at both Fraser Downs and Hastings  currently closed so,  we have zero income from Casino’s.  The Two Race books at Hastings and Fraser Downs both closed at the moment we are receiving zero income from these two facilities that normally would provide approximately $2.5 million to our allocation.

TBC currently is our only source of income from online wagering and with only 3 of the TBC outlets open for business we are receiving only about $200,000.00 per month from these outlets.  This currently is our only source of income.

So as you can see we are currently operating on less then 25% of our normal allocation and the racing associations are trying to stretch every dollar to its best use to make it thru 2020.

Because of some savings in other areas we are raising the purses for $6250. 00 claimers to $8500.00 and $8000 claimers to $9000.00. effective on August 2nd

We are trying to put as much money in our owners hands as possible thru these hard times of this unknown virus,  hopefully things will change to a new normal soon.

The Hastings horse owners should be applauded as they have stuck like glue and kept several hundred trainers, grooms, exercise riders, jockeys etc employed thru all of this very unusual  times.  Enough can’t be said about our loyal owners other then thank you very much from the entire backstretch at Hastings.

The racing associations have also increased the some stakes races to $50,000 effective August 2nd.  It should be noted that several of our owners have stepped up to the plate and financed just about 100% of our limited stakes schedule.  Without these gracious owners we wouldn’t have much of a stakes schedule in 2020.  A big thank you to those owners.

Entry Day for the new dates will be Wednesday for Sunday’s and Sunday’s for Thursday.

Monday’s will once again be the dark days.

Clockers will man their stations on Thursday, Friday, Saturdays and Sunday’s.

The starting gate will be available on the on the same days for training,  Thursdays, Friday’s Saturday’s  and  Sunday’s. until further notice.

The front side will be open for Owners on clockers days on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 6:00am sharp.

The racing association met with the Hastings management group on Thursday morning to discuss the growing complaints on the starting gate during live racing.  Management have promised to look into this serious situation and make changes where necessary.

Hopefully some of this changes will at least help even a small bit until we beat this virus and return to some sort of reality soon.