08/05/2013 01:30 EDT | Updated 10/05/2013 05:12 EDT

Horses race in BC Cup at Hastings Park

Officials at Hastings Park Racecourse are hoping to draw crowds for today's B.C. Cup Day event, one of the biggest events of the year for the Vancouver horse racing facility.

Last month, a flu-like virus swept through the barn, infecting 150 horses and forcing the cancellation of several races. But trainer John Snow says most of the horses are better now.

"It's important that we got through it and that there's lots of entries on our biggest day," he said. "That's the fear, right? If it had hit a little bit later and was still really affecting us, it would've affected our best day. It's great to have it behind us and moving forward that's for sure."

Raj Mutti, regional general manager at Hastings Racecourse, says last year nearly 10,000 people came out for B.C. Cup Day, which features a series of six races for top thoroughbreds in various classes.

"I think B.C. Cup Day is just a huge anchor for not only our fans but also our horse racing industry as well," he said. "From our trainers, breeders, horse owners, just for the general health of the sport in B.C."

The first race gets underway at 12:50 p.m. PT and admission is free.