Although year to date wagering results remain ahead of last year, the handle for Saturday May 28 where four (4) $50,000 Stake races were offered did not meet expectations.
For the first ten (10) days of the 2016 meet, total wagering on the live product amounted to $2,608,645 ($260,865/day) compared to $2,377,581 ($237,758/day) in 2015. The upward trend continues, albeit at a slower place, as we are now up $231,064 or nearly 10% compared to last year.
The Stake races featured on the May 28 card included The Wild Rose and The Journal for older horses and The Chariot Chaser & Western Canada for Three year olds. Long time HBPA Director and Association past President Don Danard must be wondering “how easy is this” as his Red Diamond Stable captured both ends of the 3 yo. Stakes with C U at Eau Claire and Reason for Being basically winning under wraps. Saturday could be considered HBPA day as yet another Director and managing partner of the Thoroughbred Racing Club – Curtis Landry picked up the $30,000 winner’s share of the Wild Rose when Eustacia just hung on to get all the money. With no reigning Horse of the Year Killin Me Smalls in the Journal field, Blue Dancer had it much his own way and cruised winning by some 3 ½ lengths.
Wagering for the Saturday card was not robust which can be partly attributed to short fields in the majority of the races carded. Only Win and Exacta wagering was offered on the Journal where only a field of four (4) went to the post. We have always contended that in order to attract wagering from on track customers and outside jurisdictions, full and competitive field are a requirement. Hopefully the recent trend with relatively small fields will reverse itself to offer customers a viable alternative to the many choices available to deploy their funds.
This and That
Word is that for the first time in a long while a very strong Jockey colony is currently residing at Northlands. When word came down early in the year that changes to the Canadian Immigration rules and regulations would make it most difficult to obtain work permits for foreign freelance Jockeys, the HBPA stepped up to the plate and with the help of its top notch Immigration counsel, was successful in obtaining the required work permits for sixteen (16) foreign riders. Super-agent Bob Fowlis assures us that Keishan Balgobin will be taking calls for this weekend’s cards and the very popular Anastasios Chalaris has now received the required paperwork to commence riding.
The HBPA congratulates all the 2015 thoroughbred equine and people Award winners announced at the May 28, 2016 Night of Champions. All winners have been acknowledged in other posts and publications. However, there are a couple of interesting tidbits that many may not be aware of. Sources advise us that an interest has been purchased by certain southern Alberta Horsemen in the 3 year old Destin winner of the Sam Davis and Tampa Bay Derby as well as recording very respectable 6th in this year’s Ky. Derby. His next scheduled dance is the June 11 Belmont Stakes. There is a further connection here to the Alberta winner of the 2yo colt Division - Awesome Slate who ran 4th to Destin beaten 6 lengths in the Sam Davis run at Tampa in February. Not often does an Alberta horse come within 6 lengths of one of the better 3 yos in North America.