Hastings Entertainment Incorporated

Hastings Entertainment Incorporated
Emerald Downs

Emerald Downs

March 04, 2009 16:10 ET

Hastings Entertainment Incorporated and Emerald Downs: Washington Cup/BC Cup Merge; "Pacific Challenge" Debuts in 2009

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 4, 2009) - For the first time, Washington-breds and British Columbia-breds will compete against each other in the BC Cup at Hastings Racecourse and the Washington Cup at Emerald Downs. Three races at each track have been opened to include both Washington and BC-breds.

The events - the inaugural Pacific Challenge - will be held at Hastings Racecourse on Monday, Aug. 3, and at Emerald Downs on Sunday, Sept. 13. The races at each venue include a sprint for older horses and distance events for both older horses and older fillies and mares.

Up until now, only BC-breds or BC-owned raced in the BC Cup and only Washington-breds competed in the Washington Cup.

"This will make those two days collectively stronger and also instill a healthy spirit of competition between Washington and British Columbia," said Emerald Downs Vice President Jack Hodge Jr. "It also provides horsemen with greater opportunities for significant purses."

Hodge said a point system would be used to determine a winner in the state vs. province rivalry, but added the main objective is to strengthen the breeding industry in the region. "The strength of the region is good for the overall," Hodge said.

Twelve horses maximum - six BC-bred and six Washington-bred - will be allowed in each race. However, if less than six Washington-breds are entered in one of the races at Hastings, for example, the field may be rounded out by BC-breds.

Paul Ryneveld, Director of Racing at Hastings Racecourse, sees the introduction of the 2009 Pacific Challenge as an important step to the creation of ongoing regional racing in the future.

"Basically, throughout modern history, the Washington-breds and B.C.-breds have been comparable breeding industries," Ryneveld said. "This is a start to creating regional competition in the Pacific Northwest. The point system pits Emerald Downs against Hastings in a healthy, competitive spirit that will develop an ongoing rivalry. "Also, it gives horsemen two opportunities to run in restricted races."

2009 Pacific Challenge

Date @Hastings Racecourse
Aug. 3 $50,000 BC Cup Sprint, 3 & UP, 6.5 F
$50,000 BC Cup Distaff, 3 & UP FM, 1 1/8 M
$100,000 BC Cup Classic, 3 & UP, 1 1/8 M

@Emerald Downs
Sept. 13 $50,000 Chinook Pass Sprint, 3 & UP, 6 F
$50,000 Belle Roberts, 3 & UP FM, 1 1/16 M
$50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic, 3 & UP, 1 1/16 M

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