Excitement builds for 2012 thoroughbred season as Hastings Racecourse to open for training February 1st

40 Stakes Races on Tap with $2.5 Million in Purses

VANCOUVER, Jan. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Building on the momentum of a successful 2011 thoroughbred season, Raj Mutti, Regional General Manager, BC Racing, is optimistic the trend will continue through 2012.

"The increase in attendance and the pari-mutuel handle last year was encouraging," Mutti said while announcing Opening Day at Hastings Racecourse in 2012 will be Saturday, April 14. "We have some exciting plans in store for the coming season that will maintain the growth of our industry that was apparent in 2011."

The 2012 meet will have other positive news, the season will start with a 10 per cent increase in average overnight daily purses as well as the starter fee that was introduced in 2011 will also apply again.  "Every horse that starts a race and finishes out of the purse money (6th thru last) will receive $300", Mutti said.

The $200,000 BC Derby on Sunday, Sept. 9 will highlight a stakes schedule that includes 40 premier races with $2.5 million in purse money. Derby Day alone will feature $700,000 in purses with $600,000 of that amount included in six stakes:  the prestigious BC Derby, BC Oaks ($100,000), Delta Colleen ($50,000), SW Randall Plate ($50,000), as well as the Jack Diamond Futurity and Sadie Diamond Futurity ($100,000 each).

Another "Stakes Day" extravaganza is the traditional BC Cup Day on the Aug. 6 Holiday Monday, highlighted by the $75,000 Peter Redekop Classic. Five other stakes are included on the card, all with $50,000 purses: the BC Cup Debutante, Nursery, Dogwood, Stellar's Jay and Distaff.

Mutti said the official 2012 Hastings Racecourse thoroughbred schedule will soon be released.  The 71-day meet will run from April 14 to Oct. 14. Horses will start arriving on the Hastings grounds Jan. 30, with training beginning on Feb. 1.

Hastings Racecourse & Casino is located in Vancouver, B.C. and features live and simulcast wagering, a vibrant gaming floor, numerous dining options, private and public event facility rental opportunities, spectacular views of the North Shore Mountains and outstanding guest services.

SOURCE Hastings Racecourse

For further information:

For racing related inquiries:  Raj Mutti @ 604.216.5245
For media & entertainment inquiries:  Howard Blank @ 604.303.1000

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