BIG DAY FOR QUARTER HORSES
The Alberta Derby thoroughbred race at Evergreen Park was a big event last Sunday, but also making as much noise at J.D.A. Raceway were some top-end quarter horses.
And they were running for a lot of money!
Veteran local owner Chuck Stojan knows that because he grabbed $23,521 from one of those races.
Stojan’s horse Getit Hot (photo right) won the $48,003 Adequan Derby Challenge on Sunday.
It was a regional final that earned Stojan the right to take Getit Hot to the Bank of America Challenge Championship Oct. 26 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“These are some of the best quarter horses in Western Canada,” said Stojan, who is delighted the Bank of America has sponsored five big quarter horse races at Evergreen Park this year.
The second B of A race held on Sunday was the $28,802 Evergreen Park Distance Challenge – won by Gone To Be Bright (photo below) for owner Gonetothebrightside Syndicate. Gone To Be Bright, as a regional winner, also has the option of going to Albuquerque in October.
The Adequan Derby Challenge was over four-hundred yards and featured seven horses. Ricardo Moreno was in the saddle for Stojan in that race and William Leech, who filled in as trainer for Alberta Derby winner Exactly, is Getit Hot’s trainer. Leech also trains You Have No Equal, who finished seventh for owners Kathy McNiven and Luis Alvarez in the Adequan.
Papas Coleen, owned by Fort St. John’s Donalda Cochrane and trained by local trainer Darcy Hawkes, was second in the Adequan Derby Challenge race followed by Chasin Harm.
Leech kept the streak going as trainer of Gone To Be Bright (winner of $14,978 for first) in the Evergreen Park Distance Challenge – over 875 yards – with Moreno in the saddle again. He also trains Blink And Shes Gone (owned by Gonetothebrightside), the fifth place finisher, while Grande Prairie’s Nellie Pigeau looks after fourth place finisher Its Official for Bruce Fenton.
Cruisin For Chicks finished second in the EP Challenge while Glittering Blue was third.
If the winners of the two big quarter horse races can’t make it to Albuquerque the second-place finishers will be eligible.
Regional races for the right to attend the championships in Albuquerque have been going on since early in the year across the United States and into Mexico and Brazil. Evergreen Park is the only race track in Canada that hosts regional Bank of America competitions.
The remaining three of the five regional finales will be held on Sunday, Aug. 18 at The Horses At Evergreen Park.
They are the Bank of America Championship Challenge ($35,00 US purse over 440 yards for three-year-olds and older); John Deere Juvenile Challenge ($25,000 purse over 350 yards for two-year-olds); and the ARC Distaff Challenge ($15,00 purse for three-year-olds and older fillies/mares).
Racing at J.D.A. continues this weekend, with a now opening post time. First race Friday and Saturday will be at 6 p.m. and Sunday they’re off at 1 p.m. This weekend is the last that includes a Friday. All remaining races will be Saturday and Sunday starting August 10.
Admission to racing is free and the Pines Family Restaurant and Pines Restaurant & Casino are open before and after racing.