Canada Day lineup at Hastings

Here is a recap of what is going on at Hasting Racecourse on Canada Day:

CANADA DAY CELEBRATIONS GET ROLLING AT HASTINGS

Two great stakes races, live music by Dr. Strangelove, a Family Zone and a chance to win a weekend getaway to Predator Ridge are all part of the Canada Day celebrations at Hastings Racecourse.

Without an admission charge, Friday’s first race of an exceptional nine-race Canada Day card goes at 1:50 p.m. with the showcase events being back-to-back $50,000 stakes at 1 1/16 miles: the Lt. Governors (8th race) and the Chris Loseth (9th race).

LT. GOVERNORS

St Liams Halo (2-1) is the morning line favourite after consecutive wins sprinting, including the John Longden 6000 on May 23. Trainer Troy Taylor, who also has Dyna Stroll and Prince Intent entered, says of St Liams Halo: “We think he’s a route horse; we’ve been wanting to run him long and what better time to do it than on Canada Day.”

St Liams Halo, owned by the powerful Todd/Kinsella partnership, will be ridden by leading jockey Mario Gutierrez, who has been hotly pursued by Richard Hamel in recent weeks. Hamel, the reigning leading rider at Hastings, goes into the weekend just one victory behind Mario’s 44 wins. Hamel rides Senor Rojo (9-2), coming off an impressive win over Spaghetti Mouse in a $50,000 optional race on June 11. ‘The Mouse’ (8-1) is back to challenge with regular rider Pedro Alvarado in the irons.

Trainer Dino Condilenios has Crew Leader (3-1) and Almost Time (6-1) running for Swift Thoroughbreds. Ganbei (12-1) and Three Wood (15-1) round out the field for the 51st running of the Lt. Governors.

CHRIS LOSETH

Half of the field of 3-year-olds in the Chris Loseth will be going 1 1/16 miles for the first time and that group includes morning line favourite Inhisglory (5-2), winner of the $50,000 River Rock Casino sprint for owner Peter Redekop in his last start on June 5. “I’m pretty pleased with the way Inhisglory is going right now,” says trainer Craig MacPherson, who also has Too Much Dirt (9-2) entered. Too Much Dirt has won both of his starts at the distance, including the Ascot Graduation last year.

Jump Up and Kissme (3-1) ran second in the River Rock after setting the pace before being caught at the wire by Inhisglory. A horse that will be closely watched is Double Jack (6-1), a recent purchase by the Todd/Kinsella duo who is coming off a six furlong win at Arlington Park in Chicago.

A member of the BC Horse Racing Hall of Fame (1992), the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (2007) and the BC Sports Hall of Fame (2009), Chris Loseth will be the Guest Decorator in the stakes named after him. Loseth rode 3,668 winners in a glorious career that engulfed 30 years and more than 26,000 mounts.

Not quite as famous but working on it, Team 1040’s controversial sports talk show host David Pratt will be Guest Decorator for the Lt. Governors. Sunday’s Guest Decorator for the $50,000 Supernaturel for 3-year-old fillies will be the ever-popular Dixie Jacobson, long-time CTHS executive and founder of the Crystal Gala Foundation that has raised over $1 million in the fight against breast cancer.

HASTINGS FINISH LINES

Marnie Williams has joined the Hastings lineup of jockeys. The latest apprentice rider has been working the Fort Erie circuit in Ontario. She has three mounts on Friday’s card and with four career wins she remains a 10-pound bug, meaning her next victory will drop her to seven pounds … Beginning with the Canada Day card, the Pick 5 at Hastings goes to a minimum base bet of one dollar … The 3rd annual Variety – The Children’s Charity Mascot Race is set for Sunday, July 10 at Hastings .. It was on July 1, 1939 that a historic event took place at the racetrack in Vancouver that revolutionized the racing industry: introduction of the first electric starting gate developed by Clay Puett.

OUT OF TOWN SCOREBOARD

Canada Day start times will be 11 a.m. PST at Woodbine and Assiniboia; 12:00 noon at Northlands. Woodbine presents the $200,000 Dominion Day Stakes (2:21 p.m.) PST. Just as Canadians celebrate July 1 with nationalistic pride, our friends from the U.S. acknowledge Independence Day on Monday, July 4 with all major American tracks staging holiday races.

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