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FIVE IN EMPIRE OILFIELD SOLUTIONS GP DERBY 

When pondering which horse you think will win the Empire Oilfield Services Grande Prairie Derby on Sunday, and career winnings is important to you, chances are when you head to the betting booth you’ll be putting your hard-earned cash down on Wilko’s Agreement.

The Alberta-bred three-year old, trained by Rodney Cone and owned by Indyrock Racing, has collected $17,151 in earnings since its first race in August of 2017. Jockey Rey Williams will be aboard on Sunday.

If career first place finishes matter, then Wilko’s Agreement and Chilcotin Hill will no doubt look appealing to you.

Both Wilko’s Agreement and Chilcotin Hill have two wins including one this year and one last.

Local fans may recognize Chilcotin Hill. That win came on July 7 in an allowance race at The Horses At Evergreen Park.

Chilcotin was bred in British Columbia and is owned and trained by Randy Hudson. Jockey Andrew Wright is in the saddle Sunday leaving from gate No. 5.

There is a total of five horses in the Empire Oilfield Grande Prairie Derby – the first of four highlighted races at the Horses this Summer. The others are the AQHRA Peace Country Derby on July 29; the Alberta Derby at Evergreen Park on August 5; and the Mr. Mike’s Paint The Park Purple – Race For The Cure on August 26 to wrap the racing season.

Three of the horses were bred in Alberta, one in B.C. and one in Washington.

The Washington-bred horse, Catfish Tuesday, is owned and trained by Lyle Magnuson, the top trainer at The Horses At Evergreen Park last year. Magnuson is also the trainer of the four Evergreen Park Racing Club 2018 horses.

Catfish Tuesday, with $4,806 in career earnings, leaves from the No. 1 gate on Sunday with jockey Larris Allen behind the reins. Local fans saw Catfish Tuesday on July 7 at The Horses At Evergreen Park when he took third in an allowance race.

Wilko’s Agreement is out of gate No. 2, with Let ‘Em Reign to the right in gate No. 3.

Let ‘Em Reign, an Alberta-bred owned and trained by Lionel Joseph and ridden by Ridge Balgobin Sunday, has $3,818 in career earnings – all at Northlands Park in Edmonton.

Joseph also trains and co-owns with Leroy Blake, Alberta-bred Preacher Men, out of the No. 4 gate. Preacher Men, with $1,760 in career earnings, is being ridden by Wilmer Galviz.

The Empire Oilfield Services Grande Prairie Derby, post time 3:05 p.m., is for three-year-olds only and they will be chasing a purse of $13,000 over a mile around the J.D.A. Raceway oval at Gordon Badger Stadium.

The day is being used by sponsor Empire Oilfield Services to celebrate the fact they have opened a new facility in Grande Prairie.

Empire’s emphasis is also on family, so Sunday there will be a bevy of new fun and interactive activities and contests for children. That family fun will now continue every Sunday.

The Derby is the sixth of the seven-race day on Sunday, finishing up with the $20,000 Jerry Stojan Memorial – a 300-yard quarter horse race.

The weekend of racing kicks off Friday at 6:30 p.m., continues Saturday with a 6:30 p.m. opening post and then wraps up with the Empire Oilfield Services Grande Prairie Derby with the first race of the day at 1 p.m.

There is no admission charge to watch the live pari-mutuel races and there are two restaurants (one for families) and a casino at Gordon Badger Stadium.