Opening Day of the 2019 thoroughbred season at Hastings Racecourse on Saturday, May 4 will be taking on its own festive Kentucky Derby flavour with four $50,000 stake races, a fleet of food trucks, entertainment, giveaways and live simulcast coverage of the 145th running of the world-renowned Run for the Roses direct from Churchill Downs.
“It promises to be an awesome start to our 51-day schedule,” said Darren MacDonald, Regional Director, BC Racing.
“We’re celebrating the 130th anniversary of thoroughbred racing in British Columbia this year and plan to kick things off in style during opening weekend.”
The May 4 afternoon card begins at 1:50 p.m. featuring the $50,000 Swift Thoroughbred Inaugural, Brighouse Belles, Ross McLeod and Jim Coleman Province.
Coverage of the Kentucky Derby will be shown at 3:50 p.m. on the infield jumbo screen and television monitors throughout the Hastings Racecourse grounds.
Sunday’s May 5 racing card beginning at 1:50 p.m. will be followed by a ‘first’ at Hastings: a live Cinco De Mayo Day ECCW wrestling card on the main mezzanine beginning shortly after 6 p.m. with tickets available onsite.
Racing Secretary Nichelle Milner reports over 500 horses are on the Hastings grounds and expects more to be shipping in as opening weekend approaches.
Veteran rider Amadeo Perez will be back to defend his 2018 Leading Jockey title. The 35-year-old finished last season with 57 wins, topping the $1 million mark in earnings. His first of six stakes victories came on opening day last year aboard Blue Law ($37.70) in the Swift Thoroughbreds Inaugural.
The 2019 Live Racing & Events Calendar along with the 2019 Stakes Schedule are available at www.hastingsracecourse.com.