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EMPIRE OILFIELD SOLUTIONS GP DERBY PART OF EVERGREEN QUADRUPLE CROWN OF RACING

Peace Country race fans will have plenty to cheer about at The Horses At Evergreen Park at J.D.A. Raceway at Gordon Badger Stadium in July and August.

The summer of pari-mutuel racing starts this weekend (July 7) and is highlighted by the Park’s own Quadruple Crown.

The first jewel goes July 22 - the Empire Oilfield Solutions Grande Prairie Derby – a $13,000-plus race for three-year-old thoroughbreds over a mile; continues with the  Peace Country Derby – a 400-yarder for quarter horses with a purse of over $16,000 on July 29; is highlighted by the Alberta Derby At Evergreen Park – a 1 1/6 mile run for three-year-olds with a purse of over $50,000 on August 5; and winds up with the final jewel being the Mr. Mike’s Paint The Park Purple – Race For the Cure for three year old fillies and mares with a purse of over $8,500 on Sunday, August 26.

“We are very excited to welcome a new major sponsor in Empire Oilfield Solutions to the fold,” said Evergreen Park Marketing & Sponsorship Manager Don Moon. “For the last few years the GP Derby has been part of the Alberta Derby, but now with the Empire sponsorship it can stand on its own.

“When we surveyed race fans a couple of years ago they said they liked it when there were lots of events during the race season. With the Empire Oilfield Solutions Grande Prairie Derby; Peace Country Derby; The Alberta Derby At Evergreen Park; and the Mr. Mike’s Paint The Park Purple – Race For the Cure we have four major events over the summer.”

The Alberta Derby is being held at Evergreen Park for the fourth time.

“The Alberta Derby is one of the most prestigious events of the season for Alberta horse racing,” said Moon. “We are able to get the purse money above $50,000 thanks to several very generous contributors. It is the highlight event of the racing season at Evergreen. There are usually several thousand fans in attendance and many of them are dressed up in fancy hats and outfits. It’s Northern Alberta’s version of the Kentucky Derby.”

There are also lots of other important races throughout the season kicking off with the opener on Saturday, July 7. Racing goes every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. First race of the day goes at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in July (switching to 6 p.m. in August) and every Sunday at 1 p.m. over the summer.

The Alberta Derby At Evergreen Park includes a first-class brunch as well as a chance for the ladies to wear their fancy hats and win a prize. Brunch goes at 11 a.m. and racing starts at 1 p.m. Tickets are available at the Evergreen Park office in the ENTREC Centre or online at www.evergreenpark.ca

“The sport in Grande Prairie has grown more popular,” said Moon of the annual weekend summer races, which have an economic impact on the area estimated at several million dollars. “Each year our demographic gets younger and younger. Our attendance and handle also grew last season and expectations are, with the economy turning around, both will be even better this year.”

There is no admission fee to take in the races and both the Pines Restaurant & Casino and Pines Family Restaurant will be open before, during and after the races. There is also a kids’ play area.

Evergreen Park is one of only four locations in Alberta where both live and off-track horse racing (on screens in the Pines Restaurant & Casino) is offered.

Here is a list of all of the Stakes Program races at The Horses At Evergreen Park this summer:

JULY

Saturday, July 7: Alberta Community Thoroughbred Racing Association (ACTRA) Alberta Bred Stakes. For three-year-olds and up Alberta-bred fillies and mares over six furlongs. Purse is $7,600 plus horsemen’s fees of $150. There is a claiming price of $5,000.

Sunday, July 8: Alberta Community Thoroughbred Racing Association (ACTRA) Alberta Bred Stakes. For three-year-olds and up Alberta-bred colts and geldings over six furlongs. Purse is $7,600 plus horsemen’s fees of $150. There is a claiming price of $5,000.

Sunday, July 8: Sprint Series Race No. 1. Thoroughbreds three-years-old and up racing over 5 ½ furlongs for a purse of $7,000 plus $100 horsemen fees.

Sunday, July 8: Jerry Stojan Memorial Trials. For quarter horses over 300 yards and $11,500 in purse money up for grabs in the finals on July 22.

Saturday, July 14: Marathon Series Race No. 1. Three-year-old thoroughbreds and up over a mile with a purse of $7,000 plus $100 horsemen’s fees.

Sunday, July 15: Distaff Series Race No. 1. Fillies and mares three-years-old and up racing over 5 ½ furlongs for $7,000 in purse money plus horsemen’s fees of $100.

Sunday, July 22: Empire Oilfield Solutions Grande Prairie Derby. Three-year-old thoroughbred allowance stake race over a mile with $13,000 purse plus horsemen’s fees of $150.

Saturday, July 22: Sprint Series Race No. 2. Thoroughbreds three-years-old and up racing over six furlongs for a purse of $7,000 plus $100 horsemen fees.

Sunday, July 22: Jerry Stojan Memorial Finals. For quarter horses over 300 yards and $11,500 in purse money. The trials were held on July 8.

Saturday, July 28: Marathon Series Race No. 2. Three-year-old thoroughbreds and up over 1 1/6 miles with a purse of $7,000 plus $100 horsemen’s fees.

Sunday, July 29: Peace Country Derby. For three-year-old quarter horses over 400 yards with a purse of $16,000.

Sunday, July 29: Distaff Series Race No. 2. Fillies and mares three-years-old and up racing over six furlongs for $7,000 in purse money plus horsemen’s fees of $100.

Sunday, July 29: John MacLeod Memorial. A quarter horse race over 870 yards with a purse of $8,000.

Sunday, July 29: Grande Prairie Sprint. For quarter horses three-years-old and up over 110 yards with a purse of $8,000 and horsemen’s fees of $100.

AUGUST

Saturday, August 4: Marathon Series Race No. 3. Three-year-old thoroughbreds and up over 1 1/8 miles with a purse of $7,000 plus $100 horsemen’s fees. Claiming price is $7,500.

Saturday, August 4: American Quarter Horse Racing Challenge Series John Deere Juvenile Challenge Trials. Quarter horses racing over 350 yards looking to get into the final August 19 for a purse of $18,500.

Sunday, August 5: Alberta Derby. For three-year-olds over 1 1/6 mile with a purse of $50,000 plus added fees. Brunch at 11 a.m. and post time is 1 p.m.

Sunday, August 5: Sprint Series Race No. 3. Thoroughbreds three-years-old and up racing over 6 ½ furlongs for a purse of $7,000 plus $100 horsemen fees.

Saturday, Aug. 11: Grande Prairie 440 Trials. Sponsored by Evergreen Park and the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association, this race goes 440 yards for a chance at the Aug. 26 final and $16,000 in purse money.

Sunday, August 12: Distaff Series Race No. 3. Fillies and mares three-years-old and up racing over 6 ½ furlongs for $7,000 in purse money plus horsemen’s fees of $100.

Sunday, August 12: Evergreen Park Distance Challenge Trials. Quarter horses racing over 870 yards looking to get into the final on August 26 and a chance at part of the $16,500 purse.

Sunday, August 19: American Quarter Horse Racing Challenge Series John Deere Juvenile Challenge Finals. Quarter horses racing over 350 yards with a purse of $18,500. Trials were held on August 4.

Sunday, Aug. 26: Grande Prairie 440. Sponsored by Evergreen Park and the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association, this race goes 440 yards for a chance at the $16,000 in purse money. Trails were held on Aug. 11.

Sunday, August 26: Evergreen Park Distance Challenge Finals. Quarter horses racing over 870 yards looking to get a share of the $16,500 purse. Trials were held on August 12.

Sunday, August 26: Mr. Mike’s Paint The Park Purple – Race For The Cure. This race is six furlongs for fillies and mares with a purse of over $8,500. The day is a fundraiser for pancreatic cancer and includes a 50-50, silent auction and Frisbee toss for a big prize.

 

For more information contact:

Evergreen Park General Manager Dan Gorman: 780-532-3279

The Horses At Evergreen Park Manager Pat Hill: 780-357-2855