Nick McDonald has been around horse racing pretty much all of his life.
So it’s understandable he wanted to put his new company’s named on one of the most prestigious race days of the season at The Horses At Evergreen Park.
Welcome to the Empire Oilfield Solutions Grande Prairie Derby . . . on Sunday, July 22 at J.D.A. Raceway.
“Having a title sponsor back for the Derby is huge for the sport in Grande Prairie,” says Evergreen Park Marketing & Sponsorship Manager Don Moon. “It allows us to break the GP Derby away and stand on its own.”
For the past three years the GP Derby has been part of Alberta Derby Day.
“The GP Derby got lost a bit during the Alberta Day festivities. Thanks to Nick and Empire Oilfield Solutions we can now have another big race day at The Horses At Evergreen Park.”
The additional funds to the purse don’t hurt either.
“Part of the Empire Oilfield Solutions contribution is some cash to the Derby purse so, hopefully, that will mean a better field of top-end horses battling for the roses at the finish line.”
The purse is now at $14,500 and could hit over $15,000 with horsemen’s fees added.
The Empire Oilfield Solutions Grande Prairie Derby is a one mile, three-year-old thoroughbred allowance stake race. If more than eight horses enter the selection for the Derby will be based on money earned.
McDonald, whose family has owned and trained horses for years, doesn’t have a horse right now that qualifies for the Derby, but he’s looking.
“I think it would be great if the sponsor of the race had a horse or two running in it,” said Moon. “Just like anyone else Nick’s horses would have to meet all of the conditions set for the race, but it would be pretty cool to hand over the Empire Oilfields Solutions Grande Prairie Derby horse blanket to Nick and his family in the winner’s circle.”
There is no admission fee to the Empire Oilfield Solutions Grande Prairie Derby and post time for the first race is 1 p.m.