The Evergreen Park Racing Club knows all about the trials and tribulations of horse racing.
In 2017 the Club had its best horse, Command The Land, claimed in the spring at Northlands Race Track in Edmonton. It was a good opportunity to advise Club members about that little-known, for outsiders, aspect of the sport.
In 2018 the Club found out what it’s like when horses break down after a couple of their steeds couldn’t perform to their full potential over the summer at The Horses At Evergreen Park.
Another learning lesson for members, who discovered keeping a race horse running can be a tenuous situation.
In another twist of fate for members, and those who were looking forward to watching him run at The Horses At Evergreen Park in July and August, on Sunday the 2019 Club lost a horse when My Samurai Warrior (with Norm Tremblay listed as owner until the remainder of the Club HRA licence registrations are forwarded) was claimed at Century Mile Race Track & Casino.
My Samurai Warrior is now in another owner’s barn leaving the Club with two horses – Mon Mousse and Why Frank. Both are expected to race once more in Edmonton before moving to Grande Prairie for The Horses At Evergreen Park.
It was a bit of a good news/bad news kind of day for the Club with My Samurai Warrior.
The good news was he set a track record for Century Mile by winning the one mile race in 1:37.03 and taking home the lion’s share of the $11,500 purse putting $6.900 into Club coffers. It was his second win in two starts in Alberta.
The bad news came after the race when it was revealed a claim had been put in on My Samurai Warrior taking the horse out of Club hands.
It also means My Samurai Warrior cannot race in Grande Prairie, even with the new owner, as it has to remain in Edmonton for the remainder of that meet per claiming rules.
But even the claiming situation had some good news with it.
The claiming price was $8,000 so the Club netted $16,900 on the day – leaving the Club with a substantial plus in regards to how much the horse initially cost and expenses incurred.
Biggest loss is to the racing public in Grande Prairie, who won’t get to see a great horse compete at The Horses At Evergreen Park this summer.
There will, however, be lots of other great local horses to cheer on – including some owned by owner Chuck Stojan, who has been a long-time supporter of The Horses At Evergreen Park and always brings quality stock in July and August.
Stojan, who owns Stojan’s Power Sports & Marine in Grande Prairie, was a three-time winner at Rocky Mountain Turf Club in Lethbridge on the weekend.
He won twice on Saturday – a six-hundred yarder with Free Thought and over four-hundred yards with Stripsteak on Saturday – and a 300-yarder with Clear To See on Sunday. The firsts won him a total of $14,168.
Jack Bolin of Beaverlodge also got his photo taken in the winner’s circle in Lethbridge.
His horse, Coriandrum, won a 51/2 furlongs race on Sunday allowing the long-time owner to pocket $2,147.
Many of the owners in Lethbridge will be moving their horses north to Grande Prairie for the summer meet in the pines at Evergreen Park.
Other long-time locals had success at the Edmonton track too.
A horse called Racing The Wind, owned by GP’s Ed Welsh and Deltin Stables, was first in a one mile race for fillies and mares on Sunday. That run netted $5,700 for the win.
The same day Barb Side of Grande Prairie won a biggie. Instant Wyn crossed the finish line first in a 6 ½ furlongs race that helped her pocket $10,701 of the $16,501 purse.
Horse racing fans are reminded 12 months of the year the Pines Restaurant & Casino offers off-track betting. There are a dozen screens in the Pines showing races from across North America. There are betting machines available as well as programs for all the races shown on the screens. The Pines is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.