The final weekend of racing at Hastings Racecourse is set with seven races Saturday, and nine to close out the meet Sunday.
Championships will be decided in the $75,000 Glen Todd Fantasy for two-year-old fillies and $75,000 Ascot Juvenile for two-year-olds on Saturday. The seven horses entered in each race will be going around three turns for the first time. Both races honour the late Glen Todd who was a major contributor to racing in B.C.
The combined 16 races Saturday and Sunday are being billed as Fan Appreciation Weekend at Hastings with one draw each day for a River Rock Casino Resort Getaway Package.
The two-year-old filly division title is probably wrapped up. After all, Lizzie’s Rayne has won all the stakes races for juvenile fillies at the meet and a loss in her first route attempt in the 1-1/16 miles Fantasy shouldn’t be enough to offset her three wins in the B.C. Cup Debutante, CTHS Sales Stakes and the $100,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity. Her win in the Futurity was her least impressive victory, but after duelling early, she was game late in holding off Eddie’s Girl to win the 6½-furlong dash by a half-length.
“I think she may have regressed after her sharp win in the Sales Stakes,” said her trainer and half-owner Dave Milburn.
Lizzie’s Rayne appeared to have bounced back when she worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 Oct. 7. Leading rider Amadeo Perez was aboard for the sharp move.
“She couldn’t be doing better,” said Milburn. “I loved the way she got the last eighth of a mile in 12 seconds. Her breeding suggest she should be OK going long. It’s a tough field, though.”
Milburn, who has never trained or owned a champion, counts himself a substantially better lawyer than trainer.
“If we were lucky enough for her to be named champion two-year-old filly it would be along the lines of a tremendously major courtroom victory,” he said.
The colts and geldings division is up for grabs with Wealthy Texan and August Rain the main contenders.
Wealthy Texan was impressive winning his debut in the $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity for trainer Mel Snow who was not surprised by the performance.
“I really liked him, otherwise I wouldn’t have taken the shot in the Futurity with him,” said Snow.
Snow, who along with his wife Fran, bred the son of Texas Wildcatter, is aware he is asking a lot of Wealthy Texan to stretch out to a middle distance in just his second start.
“I think he’ll go on,” said Snow. “I’ve been putting in long gallops into him and he likes it.”
August Rain did not fire as the favourite in the Futurity. Prior to his disappointing outing, the Peter Redekop-owned homebred won the BC Cup Nursery and CTHS Sales Stakes for leading trainer Barbara Heads. The son of Sungold was very impressive working in company Oct. 7.
“We worked him without blinkers and he really responded well,” said Heads.
Heads also has a strong hand in the Fantasy with Acoustic Melody and Viva La Diva.
Congratulations to breeders Ron and Rae Fawcett of Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds and owner Terry Sangara for being voted into the B.C. Thoroughbred Hall of Fame. They, along with myself, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the annual awards dinner in the spring.
FANTASY: Going with Viva La Diva. She finished third when she debuted in the Futurity and came back to beat the boys in a $50,000 optional maiden claimer in her next start. She is a full-sister to Sangria who won going nine furlongs in the Century Casino Oaks at Century Downs in 2020, and according to Daily Racing Form’s Formulator, the past couple of years Heads has a 27 per cent strike rate with horses going a mile or longer the first time.
ASCOT: Not sure if Wealthy Texan wants to go this far, but he could not have been more impressive in his debut and he has looked great on the track preparing for his first route attempt.
Live racing is over for the year at Hastings, but simulcasting continues every day. Just a few weeks away on Nov. 3-4, patrons at Hastings can wager on the best horses in the world in the Breeders’ Cup, which is being held at Santa Anita.
Randy Goulding has been handicapping horses and writing for The Racing Form at Hastings Park for more than 30 years. His column will run weekly throughout the racing season.
Bookmark our website and support our journalism: Don’t miss the news you need to know — add VancouverSun.com and TheProvince.com to your bookmarks and sign up for our newsletters here.
You can also support our journalism by becoming a digital subscriber: For just $14 a month, you can get unlimited, ad-lite access to The Vancouver Sun, The Province, National Post and 13 other Canadian news sites. Support us by subscribing today: The Vancouver Sun | The Province.
Check out our sports section for the latest news and analysis. Care for a wager? Head to our sports betting section for news and odds.