The TARA Energy Services Community Outdoor Rink at Evergreen Park is now open.
The rink, which is 150 feet by 60 feet, is located in the TARA Centre Parking Lot A.
Rink hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Skaters are asked to leave by 10 p.m. as the gates to the parking lot will be locked at that time and we don't want people locked inside having to spend the evening in their vehicle.
Alberta Health Services protocols will be in place including social distancing and household grouping. A maximum of 10 people at one time will be allowed on the rink. We asked that if there are people waiting to skate those on the ice be considerate in regards to time spent skating.
Anyone using the rink does so at their own risk and will not hold Evergreen Park or the County of Grande Prairie responsible if injury occurs.
There are no washrooms available. Benches will be installed at either end of the rink and those changing into their skates on the bench are asked not to sit with someone outside their household.
Evergreen Park would like to thank TARA Energy Services, Big Stick Rentals, Elite Vac & Steam, Aquatera, Dynamic Energy and Moe Trudeau from MT Actions Photography, the Ice Man, for their help building the
Grande Prairie’s Nellie Pigeau was the busiest trainer at The Horses At Evergreen Park at JDA Raceway this summer.
She was also the winningest.
Fifty-one times Pigeau watched horses she trains leave the gates and 13 times they won; 12 times they finished second; and 10 times they ended up third. That means 69% of the time they were a win, place or show and 25% of her starts were victories. CLICK HER FOR COMPLETE STORY
There were lots of happy people at JDA Raceway at Evergreen Park on the weekend, but likely none more delighted than Don Danard, Don Knight and Chuck Stojan.
Those three were the winners of the biggest races on Days 11 and 12 of the 14-day season of The Horses At Evergreen Park. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
The Horses At Evergreen Park returned to JDA Raceway at Evergreen Park on the weekend
It opened with six races on Saturday and continued Sunday with seven races.
All of the races are live-streamed and betting is available online through Expressbet and HPI Bet. Click on the logo to choose the link to the betting service you prefer.
The race meet continues until Sunday, August 23.
A limited number of spectators are allowed as the race meet opens. Click on the banner above to order your free tickets online for the weekend races.
Race days are Saturdays and Sundays between July 11 with one Friday on the schedule – July 31. All of the Saturday-Sunday races will have a 1:15 p.m. first post time while the July 31 post will be 5:15 p.m.
Also, with AHS Phase 2 protocols now in place Evergreen Park will be able to offer its facilities for weddings - both outdoor and inside. The Park has a variety of buildings able to support with ease the maximum attendance allowed by AHS.
Meeting rooms, again with a large-capacity availability, are also available for companies and others.
The Evergreen Park TARA Centre Kitchen, as restaurants around the city have opened, is now back to its normal outside and inside catering program. Anyone interested in having their event catered, whether it is at their building or the TARA Centre, can phone 780-532-3279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order or go online here to place an order.
Other parts of the Park are also open including the archery range and horse club venues – all following AHS guidelines.
The Grande Sunset Theatre is offering weekend outdoor movies from the TARA Centre Parking Lot A all summer long. A permanent 40-foot screen was erected in the lot and up to 700 vehicles can be accommodated.
The slot machines, VLTs and off track betting kiosks are all open at the Evergreen Park Casino.
And the Casino Restaurant as well as the Pines Family Restaurant are welcoming customers as well at JDA Raceway.
There are eight screens showing races from across North America, two betting kiosks and race track programs for those who like to play the ponies
Temperature checks are in effect and face masks will be mandatory for all Casino slot/VLT customers. Hand sanitizers are available at the entrance/exit. All Alberta Health Services safety protocols are in place in both the Casino and restaurants. Social distancing is in effect in the Casino and restaurants (masks not mandatory) so all guests can feel safe when they play the slots or sit in the restaurants and enjoy a meal.
Check out the new Casino restaurant menu here.
The Horses At Evergreen Park has a new race secretary.
Jason Teague is now responsible for putting together the entries for the 15-day summer season of pari-mutuel horse racing at JDA Raceway.
Teague was born and raised in Edmonton, where he still resides. He and his wife, Christian, have two children – Braden and Jaleigh.
The sport has been part of his life for decades.
“I was introduced to horse racing over 40 years ago when my parents, Ruth and Chester, owned and raced horses,” he says. “I bought my first horse in 1993.”
He raced and bred horses until taking a racing officials’ position at Northlands Park in Edmonton in 1999.
“I started out as the clerk of scales and patrol judge until 2001 when I took on the position of paddock judge and assistant race secretary,” he says.
His first race secretary role was in 2009 at Northlands.
“I became the race secretary at Northlands park for the thoroughbreds and in 2011 I also became the race secretary for the Standardbreds,” he says. “I worked at Northlands Park until December of 2018 when racing ended after a lengthy history at Northlands.
In 2016, he was elected into the Jockey Club of Canada, “which I consider a great honor”.
He loves the work.
“Horse racing is my passion and I enjoy the people involved. The long hours of work that comes along with the job is not for everyone, but when it is your passion its worth it. Even after these many years I continue to learn something new every day.”
The job, in some ways, is like being a referee. Tough decisions have to be made and you aren’t going to please everyone.
“If I have learned one thing in this industry, as much as you want to you cannot make everyone happy.”
Teague says he would like to thank Evergreen Park General Manager Dan Gorman and Racing Manager Pat Hill for the opportunity to come to Evergreen Park and to do “something I love”.
Racing fans have an opportunity to check out Teague’s work on entries when The Horses At Evergreen Park continue this Saturday and Sunday at JDA Raceway with 1:15 p.m. posts each day. Racing continues until Sunday, August 23 every Saturday and Sunday with the exception of a Friday, July 31 race card at 5:15 p.m.
Admission is free (visit www.evergreenpark.ca to get tickets, but there will be some walk-up available) and masks are mandatory.
If you are unable to attend there is a Lifestream of the racing available through the Park website and you can also sign up to bet online through Xpressbet.com and HPIbet.com.
All of the races will also be shown on the screens in the Evergreen Park Casino. There are betting kiosks in the Casino.
Horse racing fans in the Peace Country, again in 2020, will be able to watch some of Canada’s best quarter horses compete on JDA Raceway during The Horses At Evergreen Park in July and August.
The Bank of America Challenge Championships has returned with five Canadian championship events again this year. Evergreen Park is the only race track in Canada taking part in the program. Other regionals are in the United States, Mexico and Brazil.
With $140,000 in purse money from the five races on JDA Raceway and a chance to compete in the championship finals in Albuquerque, New Mexico – and hundreds of thousands of dollars in purse money – Evergreen Park will be hosting some high-quality quarter horses.
Since the Bank of America Challenge Championship began in 1993, the program has distributed more than $65 million to quarter horse breeders and owners.
The program's primary focus is on horses three years old and older. When the Challenge began in 1993, it was founded with the intention to help owners, trainers and horses reap the rewards of longer racing careers. Only a small percentage of quarter horses are still stakes-calibre beyond the age of four, but those that have not been retired or transferred to the breeding sheds have become some of the biggest superstars in racing.
Once a horse enrolls into the Racing Challenge program, it is eligible to participate in any Challenge Championship race offered.
The five divisions of the B of A Challenge Championship program cover a wide spectrum of competition:
In 2019 Grande Prairie’s Chuck Stojan won three of them – Geitithot (Adequan), True Copy (Distaff) and Stripsteak (B of A Challenge)– win Canadian titles and advance to the championship in New Mexico. Stojan was also selected as the Owner Of The Year at the finale.
Painted Wagon, owned by Bucky Stockwell, won the John Deere Challenge in Grande Prairie and Gone To Be Bright, owned by Gonetothebrightside Syndicate, took the Distance Challenge.
This program is not only a boost for the local race program, but for quarter horses across Alberta and Western Canada.
“The Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association is trying to do everything they can to work with all tracks to get the best quarter horse racing here and staying in Alberta,” said Evergreen Park Racing Manager Pat Hill. “These races help and support quarter horse associations in both the U.S. and Canada.”
The JDA Raceway track has one of the highest percentages of quarter horse races in Canada where both quarter horses and thoroughbreds race on the same track.
“We usually like to do a third of our purse structure to run quarter horses racing … and this includes the Challenge races,” said Hill. “Our great track is one of the reasons these important quarter horse races are featured here. Having these races helps enhance the barn population.”
The Downs At Albuquerque is hosting the champion finals Oct. 24 for the second year in a row this fall.
“We commend the people behind The Downs at Albuquerque on their deep commitment to the sport of quarter horse racing,” said American Quarter Horse Racing Association Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber. “They have undertaken a significant task in renovating this historic racetrack, supporting integrity measures and making the Challenge Championships a truly special event.
“If you've not been to Albuquerque, it is a wonderful holiday destination, and The Downs is a great racetrack to enjoy, as it showcases one of the greatest nights in sport,” she added.
Two of the regional championships at JDA Raceway will be in July and three will be in August.
To view the Challenge complete schedule click here.
The racing season begins on JDA Raceway on July 11 and continues weekend until the final day of racing August 30. Here is the schedule.
In between there’s a lot of stuff going on at the 35th annual Foster’s Peace Country Classic Agri-Show March 12-14 at Evergreen Park. And it’s all free admission!
Click on the Show logo to the right for a complete list of days and times for all events.
The pancake breakfast, free to the public, starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday in the foyer of the TARA Centre.
And at 10 a.m. the big Show gets underway. It goes 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Concessions will be open in the TARA Centre and Drysdale Centre all three days. City of Grande Prairie is the Thursday Day Sponsor; ATB is the Friday Day Sponsor; and William Joseph Communications is the Saturday Day Sponsor.
It is the largest agricultural show of its kind in northwestern Alberta and one of the largest in western Canada. Click on Events Schedule, Horse Program Schedule or Speaker Schedule for detailed information on those events.
Hundreds of exhibitors will be on site both inside and outside the TARA Centre- which is also being used for speaking seminars all three day and exhibitors filling Evaskevich Hall, NuVista Energy and Salons C & D and the hallway in the MD of Greenview North Wing. The MD of Greenview North Wing is also where the annual Peace Crafts & Creations Show & Sale will be held all three days of the Show.
The foyer of the TARA Centre is the location of the Michener Allen Bids From Kids Auction starting on Saturday at 1 p.m. On the same day, at 11 a.m. in the IPAC Room, there will be an auctioneer class put on by Michener Allen. Children can get “cash” to bid on auction items by taking a Food Bank item to the ATB booth in Evaskevich Hall on Saturday before the auction.
The GP Safe Communities Kidz Zone will be set up outside and inside Keddie’s Korner in the TARA Centre foyer all three days of the show. There will be farm safety demonstrations for the youngsters.
Also, in the Kidz Zone, will be Trinity Body Art doing face painting all three days of the Show – for a minimal fee.
While the TARA Centre is the focal point of the show, it is one of several venues at Evergreen Park used during the Agri-Show.
Both the Drysdale Centre and Lewis Hawkes Pavilion will be hosting major events including the Northern Classic Bull Sale on Friday at 1 p.m. and the Keddie's Horse Program and Petting Zoo all three days and the Country Junction Feeds Youth Livestock events on Saturday starting at 9 a.m.
Clarkson Hall, newly-renovated thanks in part to a Canada 150 grant, will be where the County of Grande Prairie Farm Family of the Year is celebrated on Friday with a banquet for about 500. The County Farm Family Luncheon will be taking place in the Kin Club Room in the TARA Centre on the same day.
The Wanham Plowing Match Thunder In The Park II Skijoring winds things up. Skijoring features skiers and snowboards being pulled behind horses, over jumps and around a race circuit. It starts at 6:30 p.m. under the lights at JDA Raceway and there is no admission charge.
Adults who would like a bite, beer and a bet can visit the Evergreen Park Casino during the Show. It is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. The Pines Family Restaurant will also be open during Show hours. It is located in the Gordon Badger Stadium, beside the casino.
“Tradition, community spirit, and the opportunity to keep abreast of new technology – these are at the heart of the appeal agricultural exhibitions have long held for Alberta’s rural communities.
“This show presents a tremendous variety of displays and exhibits, and provides information on all aspects of farming and rural life. There truly is something for everyone at the Peace Country Classic Agri-Show.”
Those words were spoken by Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture LeRoy Fjordbotten just before the first Agri-Show in 1986. They still apply today as we are about to celebrate the 35th Agri-Show at Evergreen Park.
Whether you are a farmer looking to talk to manufacturers and distributors; want to sit in on a seminar to learn more about some aspect of the agricultural industry; or are an urban family looking to experience a taste of rural life the Agri-Show is the place to be.
The Horses At Evergreen Park will be running over 21 days in 2020.
The two-month race season at J.D.A. Raceway at Evergreen Park will begin Saturday, July 11 and conclude on Sunday, August 30.
There are some changes for 2020.
Racing will be mainly Saturdays and Sundays only in July (with the exception being Friday, July 31) and then switch to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for all of August.
There has also been a slight change in post time on Saturdays in July. First post for every Saturday race in July, as well as Fridays and Saturdays in August, will be 6 p.m. First post on all Sundays will remain 1 p.m. as it has in the past.
Click here to view the schedule.
“This creates more of a consistency,” said Evergreen Park Marketing & Sponsorship Manager Don Moon of the post time and day changes. “In the past we had started with a 6:30 p.m. post for the first month or so on the non-Sundays and switched over to 6 p.m. to ensure we weren’t running into darkness later in the summer, but now those Fridays and Saturdays will start at the same time all racing season.”
The fact the horse population has proven to be a little larger in August also helped with the decision to go three days per weekend that month.
Last year The Horses At Evergreen Park introduced several new initiatives – including the Wiener Dog Derby, Dino Derby, an honorary owner program for children, photo contest, art show to benefit injured jockeys, bacon fest, kid’s pick contest and a big hat contest – to go along with other events like the Alberta Derby, Mr. Mike’s Paint the Park Purple, Evergreen Park Racing Club and 4H Day that had been established for several years.
“We formed a racing committee and they did a great job getting these events off the ground,” said Moon. “The committee will be meeting early in the new year and there are some new ideas for 2020 that will be tossed about so, hopefully, we will be keeping most of last year’s first-time events and adding some new things to the mix for next July and August.”
Click here to see a review of the 2019 highlighted events.
Evergreen Park has a variety of sponsorships available for the horse racing season. For information contact Moon at 780-532-3279.
“Evergreen Park is the only venue in the Peace Country that offers live and off-track horse racing,” said Moon. “The Evergreen Park Casino & Restaurant has several screens, two betting kiosks and programs for racing across North America. We welcome everyone to come out and give off-track betting a try and then experience the live racing in July and August.”
The Evergreen Park Casino & Restaurant is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
Evergreen Park just ended a busy Christmas schedule highlighted by the Festival of Trees, Northern Spirit Light Show, Farmer’s Market Christmas Craft Sale & Show, the Evergreen Park Multi-Office Christmas Party and many other Christmas parties hosted in Park facilities like the TARA Centre, Drysdale Centre, Evergreen Park Kids Zone and Oldtimer’s Cabin.
The Christmas break was a good time for Park staff to take a breather. And they’re going to need it because things are going to get busier again soon.
The Largest Wedding Show in the Peace Country highlights the January schedule. It goes on Sunday, January 26 in Evaskevich Hall in the TARA Centre.
Tickets are available online at www.evergreenpark.ca and they are non-refundable. Online tickets are available until midnight Saturday, Jan. 25 for $20 and then $25 after midnight. At the door $25 starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 26. Children 12 and under are free and no advance ticket required.
There will be gift bags for brides and grooms; there is a licensed food and beverage lounge right inside the show; and free product samples and service demos.
There will be cash and carry deals on wedding dresses, jewellery, tiaras, wedding accessories and more; is a full menu canteen and a mother’s lounge; two fashion shows are planned – one at 11:30 a.m. and another at 2:30 p.m. – and there will be lots of prize draws throughout the day.
Next up is the annual Grande Prairie Petroleum Association STARS Hanger Dance, which goes Saturday, Feb. 1 in Evaskevich Hall in the TARA Centre.
The event goes from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and tickets are available by going to their website at email@example.com or phoning 780-830-7000.
The annual McGoverns RV & Marine Show & Sale goes in Evaskevich Hall in the TARA Centre at Evergreen Park from Feb. 14-23.
Admission is free and all of the latest trailers, RVs, boats as well as equipment and supplies will be on display.
It goes Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sunday.
The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce partners with the City of Grande Prairie; County of Grande Prairie; Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region; Farm Credit Canada; Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network; Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association; and the Municipal District of Greenview to host the annual Growing the North Conference – February 19-20 in the TARA Centre.
The Growing the North Conference is the largest economic development conference in Northwestern Alberta/Northeastern B.C.
The Game Country Archers are holding their annual indoor 3D shoot in the TARA Feb. 29 – March 1.
Those interested can pre-register at firstname.lastname@example.org
The largest event of its kind in northwestern Alberta, the Foster’s Peace Country Classic Agri-Show, goes March 12-14 at the Park.
It includes hundreds of exhibitors indoors and outdoors at the TARA Centre; the Peace Classic Bull Sale on the Friday, skijoring on Saturday, a kids auction on Saturday and a petting zoo all three days of the Show.
Back again for the third year in a row on Saturday, March 21 in Evaskevich Hall, NuVita Energy Salon and Salons C & D, is the Food & Beverage Expo. It includes dozens of exhibitors offering samples of food and beverages and goes from 5-10 p.m.
The Rising Above Hope Lives Banquet goes on Saturday, March 28 in the TARA Centre. it’s an annual fundraiser that has had great success at Evergreen Park.
Sports Expo – 3 to 5
Home & Garden Show – 17 to 19
NPBRA Spring Spectacular – 24 to 26
Crafts & Critters Show & Sale – 25
Peace Wapiti Academy Grad – 9
4-H Achievement Days – 9 and 10
Stompede – 27 to 31
Are you the company employee, group member or friend who is in charge of organizing the Christmas party this year?
Evergreen Park's Multi-Office Christmas Party on Friday, Dec. 13 in NuVista Salon and Salons C & D in the TARA Centre.
That event is more of a traditional Christmas party with a great Christmas-themed dinner; poutine bar later in the evening; comedian to entertain; DJ to provide dancing music; and prizes to be won.
Cost is $75 per person and you can also book tables of eight. We will make sure, no matter how many tables or seats you have, you will be seated together with your group.
Cocktails start at 6 p.m. and dinner is ready at 7 p.m. This is an 18-plus event.
You can book your table or seats for either party by clicking on the poster on this page.
If December 13th or 20th don’t work for you, the NuVista Salon and Salons C & D could be available for you on different days for your private Christmas party – each Salon holds 300 people can they can be combined to hold 600 or 900. There is also Evaskevich Hall as well as a variety of small rooms for parties from a dozen to 2,000 people.
Chefs Kelly Buyar and Jordan Bishop are ready to prepare your special Christmas party meal and the Evergreen Park facilities rental team are prepared to set up your room for your needs.
For more information call the Evergreen Park office at 780-532-3279.
It was difficult to tell who had the biggest smile on their face after the final day of racing at The Horses At Evergreen Park on Sunday – Nellie Pigeau, Blanford Stewart, Julia Lawrence or Waddyraptor.
They were all winners as another summer pari-mutuel racing season wrapped up on J.D.A. Raceway at Gordon Badger Stadium.
Grande Prairie’s Pigeau (photo right) was grinning because she walked off with the top trainer award at The Horses for the second year in a row.
She put a bow on it on Sunday with three firsts a second, third and fourth and two fifths in the eight-race finale.
Over the course of the July-August races at Evergreen she racked up 16 firsts, 11 seconds and 17 thirds working for a variety of owners.
Pigeau earned $73,339 on J.D.A. Raceway this year for her owners.
Stewart (photo below), from Jamaica, rode 28 winners at The Horses this summer as well as guiding steeds to 13 seconds, and 15 thirds. His winning percentage at Evergreen was 29% and he earned $103,934 in purse money.
He started racing in 2009 and since then has had about 1,500 mounts.
Stewart wrapped up the day Sunday with a second in the Mr. Mike’s Paint The Park Purple – Race For The Cure over six furlongs for a purse of $9,550. He helped owner Gordon Howg pocket $2,483 for that runner-up finish.
Event of Default, with Larris Allen on board, was the winner of that race. Trainer Lyle Magnuson, who had been in a battle all summer with Pigeau for top trainer, got to accept the blanket for owner Rocky Mountain Turf Club Stable from Mr. Mike’s owner Brad Richards.
Lawrence was giddy because she was the winner of the 50/50 draw pulled after the seventh race and then ended up winning the Frisbee toss that capped off the day. She gets a $1,000 gift voucher at Marlin Travel for being the best tosser of the day. Her Frisbee, while not making it into the big purple tractor tire target on the track, was the only one that was touching the tire.
Waddyraptor, sponsored by the County of Grande Prairie, was no doubt grinning, but it was difficult to tell.
He stood on the top of the podium, over top of the word “fastest” while Rexmagnusauer III (Marlin Travel) was “faster” and Runtime Terror (Hi Tech Business Systems) was “fast” in the first-ever Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum Dino Derby.
Fifteen dino racers took part in the Derby in what was a hilarious ending to the race season. All the fans left with smiles!
Before the day’s race card at The Horses At Evergreen Park started on Friday night, local owner Chuck Stojan was asked if he was going to head down to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Bank of America Challenge Championship on Oct. 26.
Stojan’s horse Getithot had qualified for the championship after winning the 400-yard Adequan Derby Challenge at Evergreen Park on July 28.
Stojan said he would go for sure if he had at least one more horse win the right to make the southern trip.
It didn’t take long for the decision to be made!
Minutes after that conversation Stojan’s horse True Copy (photo left) outraced five other horses to finish first in the Bank Of America ARC Distaff regional finale over 400 yards in the first race of the evening.
And to top it off, and help fill up his horse trailer, in the last race of the day – the 440-yard Bank Of America Championship Challenge – Stojan’s steed Stripsteak was the winner and also earned the right to head to Albuquerque.
Stojan might have made it a hattrick of B of A regional finals on Friday had another of his horses, Clear To See, not been scratched in the John Deere Juvenile 350-yarder in Race 4. His horse Good Kiddy was also scratched from the Challenge race.
The John Deere went to owner/trainer Buckey Stockwell’s Honeys Painted Pop, who earned the right to visit Albuquerque in October with the win.
Friday’s nights trio of regional finales wrapped up the five-event Bank Of America regional finals series at The Horses At Evergreen Park. The series attracts top quarter horses from across Western Canada.
On the same day Stojan’s Getithot won the Adequan, Gone To Be Bright won the 875 Evergreen Park Distance Challenge for Gonetothebrightside Syndicate and can join Stojan and Stockwell in New Mexico in the fall.
Jockey Ricardo Moreno was aboard both True Copy and Stripsteak and William Leech trains both horses for Stojan.
Stojan should be able to afford gas for the Albuquerque trip.
The three wins this summer earned him $67,186 with $43,665 of that coming on Friday night.
The final weekend of The Horses At Evergreen Park continues Saturday night with a 6 p.m. post and the season wraps up on Sunday with eight races and the Mr. Mike’s Paint The Park Purple – Race For The Cure! It’s a day to create awareness about pancreatic cancer.
Following the horse races the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum Dino Derby will be held.
Fifteen dino races will be leaving the starting gates looking to win the championship trophy.
There is no admission fee and families are welcome!
Chuck Stojan, after this weekend, may have a full load of quarter horses to take down to Albuquerque, New Mexico in October.
The long-time local owner already has one horse that has qualified for the Bank of America Challenge Championships – the most prestigious quarter horse championship in North America - in the American city after two B of A finales at The Horses At Evergreen Park and this Friday (Aug. 23) he has horses entered in the final three of five Challenge regional championships at J.D.A. Raceway this summer.
On July 28 on J.D.A. Raceway his horse, Getit Hot, won $23,521 of a $48,003 purse with a first-place finish in the 400-yard Adequan Derby Challenge. The same day a horse named Gone To Be Bright, owned by Gonetothebrightside Syndicate, captured the other B of A regional championship race – the 875-yard Evergreen Park Distance Challenge. Both horses are trained by William Leech.
Those two races started the five-event Bank of America regional finals at Evergreen Park.
On Friday the regionals, with the trips to Albuquerque up for grabs for all winners, start with the ARC Distaff Challenge over 400 yards. Stojan's True Copy is entered and leaves from Gate 3.
Others involved include High Gloss Black (1), First Prize Cruise (2), Knotty Knita (4), Shez My Hero (5), Blink And Shes Gone (6) and Atomic Blondie (7). Purse money is $22,253 and it is for three-year-old and older fillies and mares.
On paper the four-year-old True copy is the favorite with 10 wins, five seconds and a third in 18 lifetime starts and $88,585 in career earnings. First Prize Cruise, also four, is next at 17-4-1-7 and $25,760 and four-year-old Atomic Blonde has won $24,693 after 21 races with two wins, two seconds and six third.
Next up in the B of A regional is the John Deere Juvenile Challenge with a purse of $34,595.
Stojan’s horse, Clear To See (out of Gate 7), is in tough in this one. Clear To See has a win and third in two lifetime races and earnings of $3,838 while Double Cruise (Gate 6) has two
wins and a second in three career races and $21,134 in earnings; and Suits (Gate 8) has won $7,891 with a win and third in six races.
Others in the race, which is over 350 yards and for two-year-olds, include Allthespeedyouneed (Gate 1), Quarter Sawn (2), Honeys Painted Pop (3), Eyesa Cruiser (4) and Light Footed (5).
The Bank of America Challenge finishes up the high-profile regionals at Evergreen Park.
Stojan’s entries in that race are Stripsteak, gate No. 3, and Good Kiddy, out of gate No. 4. The race is over 440 yards with a purse of $39,457 and is four three-year-olds and up.
Stripsteak has nine wins, two seconds and a third after seven career races and $44,926 in earnings while Good Kiddy is 10-1-0-4 and $7,801.
All of the horses may be chasing JD Wagon Boss, out of Gate 1. The Boss has won $62,632 in 18 career starts with seven of them wins, three seconds and three thirds.
Gone to Be Bright, the Distan
ce Challenge winner, has a 19-4-5-0 record and $27,736 in earnings and is out of No. 2 while Walters Cartel (10-1-0-5 and $5,430) leaves from No. 5 in the five-horse field.
Leech, who filled in as the trainer for the Alberta Derby at Evergreen Park winner Exactly last month, has his hands full on Friday. Besides Gone to Be Bright, he trains True Copy, Blink And Shes Gone, Light Footed (which he also owns), Clear To See, Stripsteak and Good Kiddy.
The Bank of America Challenge Championships go October 26 at The Downs in Albuquerque.
The Horses At Evergreen Park go Friday and Saturday with a 6 p.m. post and Sunday starting at 1 p.m. Sunday is Mr. Mike's Paint The Park Purple - Race For The cure! The annual pancreatic cancer awareness day at the track. There is a silent auction, Frisbee toss for a $1,000 Marlin Travel gift certificate, 50/50 and purple cookies, bracelets and drinks for sale. The day also includes a Dino Derby, sponsored by the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum.
There is no admission fee.