Oct 232017



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.





Vancouver, B.C. (Oct. 22/17) – Emotions have a habit of running higher than normal when a season winds down in the sporting world and Sunday’s final card of 2017 at Hastings Racecourse was no exception.

The 52-day thoroughbred schedule ended on an obvious high with Phil Hall celebrating his first-ever Leading Trainers title and Richard Hamel capturing two more stakes victories for his third consecutive Leading Jockeys crown. In each case, Hall and Hamel were runaway winners.  To put it in racing terms, they went gate-to-wire setting the pace right from opening day last April.

Hall is the son of the late Robert (Bobby) Hall, owner/trainer of the legendary George Royal, heralded as the greatest B.C.-bred ever.

“I’m sure Dad would be proud and I wish he was here to see it,” Phil said from the winner’s circle after his 3-year-old filly Baby’s Got Track was Hall’s 36th training win of the season in the BC Cup Distaff.

Ridden by Silvino Morales, Baby’s Got Track’s final time over 1 1/8 miles was 1:51.53 and paid a handsome $24.70, $12.30, $7.70.

The Distaff was one of four $50,000 stake races on BC Cup Day.  Hamel rode two of them to make it 18 stakes victories and 78 wins overall in a season that resulted in his fifth career riding title at Hastings.

Hamel swept both ends of the BC Cup races for 2-year-olds bred in British Columbia or Washington aboard favoured Raider in the Debutante for trainer Greg Tracy and followed it up by winning with Weekend Wizard in the Nursery for trainer Craig MacPherson.

“It’s been an unbelievable year for me,” Hamel said. “It was a lot of hard work and I have so many people to thank for the way things have gone.”

With that, he gave his familiar victory wave to the crowd for a final time in 2017.

The BC Cup Classic headlined the eight-race card and there were more passionate moments in store when the husband and wife training team of John and Tammy Snow embraced after watching their 4-year-old gelding Crazy Prophet rally in the closing stages with Amadeo Perez in the irons. It was the second year in a row Crazy Prophet found himself being pampered with the victory blanket in the Classic.

He finished the 1 1/8 miles in a final time of 1:49.93. “We’ve had a tough year finishing second in the BC Premiers and second in the Randall Plate,” said owner Dave Bennington of Shamrock Racing Stable. “Today we put those behind us and move forward.”

It is a move John Snow said would include shipping Crazy Prophet to California for the winter under the tutelage of Emerald Downs leading trainer Blaine Wright.

With the barns at Hastings about to close for the season, next up will be the annual Thoroughbred Awards Dinner on Nov. 30 at Hard Rock Casino with Phil Hall and Richard Hamel officially celebrating their accomplishments throughout the 2017 season.


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