The Official Website of Evergreen Park

Don Moon

Don Moon

Friday, 14 June 2019 13:26

Why Frank Up Next

The Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 will be looking for two in a row when Why Frank steps onto the dirt at Century Mile Race Track & Casino in Edmonton on Thursday, June 13.

On June 2, the last time a Club horse hit the track in Edmonton, My Samurai Warrior crossed the line in front, giving the Club its first victory.

Post time for Why Frank’s race is 7:47 p.m. and the 10-year-old Kentucky-born gelding is up against seven other horses in a seven furlongs race with a purse of $8,900. It’s a claiming race with a $5,000 value placed on the horses in the field.

There will be one familiar face at the gate when Why Frank leaves.

A horse named Spectrus was involved in Why Frank’s first-ever Canadian race in Edmonton on June 1.

Spectrus finished first in that mile-long run while Why Frank was fourth – 2 ¼ lengths back of Spectrus and 2 ¾ back of winner Boxer Boy.

Besides Why Frank, who leaves from Gate 6, there is some other local interest in the race.

Maggie’s Guy, out of Gate 4, is co-owned by local chuckwagon driver Mitch Sutherland and Factored In, from Gate 7, is owned and trained by Tom Rycroft.

The other Club horse, Mon Mousse, and My Samurai Warrior could get starts this weekend at Century Mile before moving to Grande Prairie for The Horses At Evergreen Park weekends July-August starting July 6.

The Horses At Evergreen Park return to JDA Raceway at Gordon Badger Stadium on Saturday, July 6.

The first weekend is Friday-Saturday only and then switches to Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the first weekend in August.

From August 10-25 they go Saturday and Sunday only.

Post time Fridays and Saturdays in July is 6:30 p.m. and August 6 p.m. All Sundays are 1 p.m.

There is no admission fee.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 13:11

First Club Win

MY SAMURAI WARRIOR GETS FIRST CLUB WIN

The start wasn’t so good, but it was the finish that was impressive Sunday afternoon at Century Mile Race Track & Casino in Edmonton.

Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 horse My Samurai Warrior, starting out of the No. 6 gate, stumbled at the start of the six furlongs run and fell behind early in the six-horse field chasing a purse of $8,900 in the third race of the day.

That was the only mistake the 10-year-old Kentucky born gelding made.

After the stumble it was full-steam-ahead.

At the quarter-pole My Samurai Warrior, with jockey Prayven Badrie aboard, was in fourth place; halfway through the race moved to third; and at the start of the homestretch was third and then took off from there winning going away 3 ¼ lengths ahead of runner-up Pakal – owned by Darcy and Janet Hawkes of Grande Prairie.

It was the first win of the season for the Racing Club after a fourth (My Frank) and 11th (Mon Mousse) on Saturday at Century Mile as the Club horses made their Canadian debut.

The win earned the Club $5,340.

My Samurai Warrior finished the six furlongs in 1:11.38, which was just off the track record of 1:11.18 for the distance set by Beach Mode the day before.

All three Club horses are expected to race at least once more in Edmonton before being transported to Grande Prairie for The Horses At Evergreen Park. The two months of racing at Evergreen Park start on Saturday, July 6 and go weekends until August 25.

Memberships in the Club are still available during June. Anyone interested in sign up on the Evergreen Park website at www.evergreenpark.ca or by calling the Park office at 780-532-3279.

Wednesday, 05 June 2019 10:39

Thursday Slots Tournaments To June 27

A slot tournament, open to anyone, will start at the Pines Restaurant & Casino on Thursday, June 6.

It is free to enter!

Registration is from 5-7 p.m. and play begins at 7 p.m.

The Pines Restaurant & Casino, located at Evergreen Park, is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

Phone 780-532-3265 for information.

Sunday, 02 June 2019 16:54

4th & 11th For Club Horses

Well that was an interesting day for the Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 horses at Century Mile in Edmonton.

Club horse Why Frank kicked things off with a solid fourth in a mile trot Saturday afternoon in Race 6.

Not a bad showing on an A Circuit track for a horse who will race mostly for the Club at the B Circuit oval at The Horses At Evergreen Park in Grande Prairie July and August.

Mon Mousse was up next in Race 7 over six furlongs finishing 11th out of 12 horses.

It was the first time the two American-born steeds had run in Canada.

Why Frank’s fourth, with jockey Prayven Badrie on board, earned the Club $575 of the $11,500 purse. Boxer Boy finished first winning most of the money putting $6,900 into the jeans of owner Beckham Ranch.

Spectrus was second and Gunslinger, owned and trained by Grande Prairie’s Tom Rycroft, was third in the six-horse field.

Why Frank was unhurried early and failed to threaten in the end finishing well back of winner Boxer Boy.

Mon Mousse earned some oats for himself with $120 in winnings for second-last ending up 11 lengths behind eventual winner Beach Mode, who took home $4,500 of the $8,155 purse. Damario Bynoe was in the saddle for the Club horse in that race.

If it’s of any consolation, Mon Mousse was the best Grande Prairie-owned horse in the race. Keene On Demand, owned by Tom and Clint Rycroft and trained by Tom, finished behind Mon Mousse in 12th place.

The third Club horse, My Samurai Warrior, makes its Canadian debut at Century Mile today. He is out of the gate at 2:45 p.m. and will be looking for the biggest share of a $8,900 purse in a race over six furlongs.

Grande Prairie’s Darcy and Linda Hawkes also have a horse in that race – Pakal.

Sunday, 02 June 2019 16:52

Club Horses Make Alberta Debut

All three Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 horses will make their Canadian debut this weekend at Century Mile Race Track & Casino in Edmonton.

First up are Why Frank and Mon Mousse on Saturday and then My Samurai Warrior on Sunday.

Why Frank, a 10-year-old gelding born in Kentucky, is involved in a one-mile race against six others for an $11,500 purse. It’s an $8,000 claiming race. It is Race 6 and post time is 4:15 p.m.

Jockey Payven Badrie will be aboard Why Frank. He has been in the saddle since 2011 with 821 starts and $1,001,806 in earnings.

Head trainer for the Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 horses this year will be Dale Greenwood. He started as a trainer in 1982 and has 6,550 starts and $8,639,057 in earnings.

Why Frank, out of gate No. 3, will be up against a pair of horses trained and owned by Grande Prairie’s Tom Rycroft – Gunslinger out of gate No. 5 and Dare To Enter leaving from No. 6.

The EP Club horse has had five starts this year, all in the U.S., with a second and two thirds. He has raced 75 times in his career with $250,993 in earnings.

Right after Why Frank leaves the track Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 horse Mon Mousse will enter it in race No. 7 with a 4:45 p.m. post.

Mon Mousse is an eight-year-old California-born gelding with five starts (a second and third) this year and $135,946 in career earnings after 60 starts – 12 wins, 12 seconds and four third.

He is running over six furlongs for a purse of $7,500 in a $4,000 claiming race against 11 other horses. Jockey Damario Bynoe, who has won $1,361,080 in 1,191 starts since 2014, is aboard Mon Mousse on Saturday.

Mon Mousse leaves from gate No. 5 and again is up against a Tom Rycroft-trained horse named Keene On Demand, leaving from gate No. 1. Keene On Demand is co-owned by Tom and Clint Rycroft.

On Sunday it’s Club horse My Samurai Warrior’s turn.

It’s race three on the card with a 2:45 p.m. post time.

My Samurai Warrior is a 10-year-old gelding born in Kentucky who has had three starts this year with a second and a third and 52 in his career with $233,718 in earnings.

The race is over six furlongs with a purse of $8,900 and a claiming fee of $5,000.

Again there will be some local competition.

A horse trained by Darcy Hawkes and owned by Darcy and Janet Hawkes, called Pakal, leaves from gate No. 3 up against My Samurai Warrior out of gate No. 6 in the six-horse race.

There are also a number of local owners and trainers competing at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club in Calgary this Saturday and Sunday.

Club members are reminded they can watch, and bet on, all the races from Edmonton at the Pines Restaurant & Casino at Evergreen Park. It is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

Those former members who have not renewed for this year yet can do so by calling the Evergreen Park office at 780-532-3279 or going online at www.evergreenpark.ca

Thursday, 30 May 2019 13:14

Dad Beats Lad At Opener

FIRST CENTURY MILE WIN GOES TO LOCAL

Dad had more wins, but the lad ended up with more money as local trainers/owners made their mark at the first-ever day of racing at Century Mile Race Track & Casino in Edmonton on Sunday.

Dad Tom Rycroft (photo right) will forever be able to say he won the first-ever race at the new facility, located south of the city of Edmonton near the International Airport.

In the opener his horse, Born In A Breeze, ran down the leader on the mile course, with jockey Rigo Sarmiento on board, and trotted off with top money of $15,000 in the $25,575 event run over 5 ½ furlongs.

Tom both trains and is part-owner, along with Dale Stark and Lewis Mailer, of Born In A Breeze.

The son, Tim Rycroft, can say the horse he trains, Trooper John, got a second in the first-ever race at Century Mile.

Trooper John, former winner of the Canadian Derby and Alberta Horse of the Year, had the lead coming home, but was run down by Born In A Breeze. Trooper John won $11,148 for his efforts for the ownership group from Riversedge Racing Stables.

Regal Max, who had won the Alberta Derby at The Horses At Evergreen Park last summer, was fifth in the six-horse field.

Tom and his group finished the day with two wins, a second and two sevenths taking home $25,074 while horses trained by Tim had a first, two seconds and two fourths and earned $26,058.

Tom’s other win came in the fourth race of the day – over five furlongs. In that one Unspoken Assassin finished first and put $5,160 into the pockets of the ownership group.

Tim’s lone win was in Race 8 when Stone Carver crossed the line first after five furlongs winning Riversedge $12,420.

Grande Prairie’s Darcy Hawkes was trainer of two horses for local owner Dianne Delaney on Sunday.

Mr. Pucci took a second in Race 8 winning $4,140 while Amy Jean was fifth in Race 7 and paid for some oats with $414 in earnings.

Grande Prairie’s Ed Welsh and his Deltin Stables group will be looking for better things later after their horse, Onetogo, was eighth in the ninth and last race of the day.

Attendance for the opener was 5,000 and the handle was $200,000.

Local race fans can start watching for the three Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 horses – Why Frank, Mon Mousse and My Samurai Warrior – at Century Mile.

They will be on their way soon from Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona where they started the 2019 racing season.

The Club horses will train and race at Century Mile before moving to Grande Prairie for The Horses  At Evergreen Park in July and August.

All races from Century Mile, and other tracks around North America, are available to watch on 12 screens at the Pines Restaurant & Casino at Evergreen Park. There are also betting machines and programs for all races are available.

On Saturday, May 4 the Pines is hosting a party for the Kentucky Derby. There will be cash and other prizes available on Derby Day. The Pines is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

Monday, 27 May 2019 10:22

Evergreen Gem In The Forest

The Grande Prairie Regional Agricultural & Exhibition Society has roots that stretch back to 1910 – four years before Grande Prairie became an official village.

Today the Society, which oversees the development and daily operations of Evergreen Park, continues to operate as a charitable non-profit . . . but there have been a few other changes.

Back in 1910, the first agricultural fair and rodeo was held in what is now downtown Grande Prairie at a location near where the current farmer’s market is located on 101 Ave. and 101 St.

It was an outdoor experience with displays of vegetables, canned goods and needlework and livestock events held nearby.

Over the years the “fairgrounds” moved to several locations - including a permanent race track and buildings on the city’s east side - and today the Society is proud to call Evergreen Park, and its 1,200 acres on the south side of Grande Prairie, home.

The move to the southern outskirts of the city took place in 1982. Since it first opened, Evergreen Park has featured what is considered one of the best horse racing facilities in western Canada including a large covered grandstand, barns, buildings and other amenities.

A full-service restaurant and a casino with 99 slot machines and VLTs - the Pines Restaurant & Casino - is part of the Gordon Badger Stadium complex that includes the grandstand overlooking the sand and loam JDA Raceway oval measuring 5/8th of a mile.  A family restaurant was added in 2017.     

Canadian Professional Rodeo Association competitors as well as World Professional Chuckwagon Association, Western Chuckwagon Association – behind the reins of thoroughbreds - and All Pro Canadian Chuckwagon pony drivers compete annually on the track during Stompede in the spring – usually late May into early June. The best cowboys from Canada and many from the U.S. and other countries take part in Stompede’s rodeo.

For two months in the summer – July and August – Horse Racing Alberta takes over the track weekends giving local bettors a chance to wager on their favorite jockey or horse at The Horses At Evergreen Park on JDA Raceway.

Evergreen Park has hosted prime ministers, RCMP Musical Rides, logger competitions, county fairs, forestry shows, petroleum shows, weddings, graduations, outdoor movies, Special Olympics, archery competitions, agri-shows, volleyball tournaments, home shows, RV shows, sports expos, dog shows, wedding shows, roller derby, car shows, monster trucks,  seminars, retreats, meetings, horse competitions, conventions, Nitro Circus, mud bogs, MMA fights, equestrian competitions, national conferences and many other shows, acts and events since the move south of the city.

With away from the “fairgrounds” east of the city came another change.

Evergreen Park, while certainly capable of hosting a “fair” of any size, became much, much more than a “fairground”. It is the largest multi-purpose, multi-facility and most-used major venue north of Edmonton.

With 500,000 visitors annually the road into Evergreen is well travelled year-round.

During the course of a year most city and county residents of greater Grande Prairie have taken in at least one “event” at the park whether it be Stompede, Festival of Trees, Wedding Show, outdoor skating rink or one of the many trade shows held on the grounds. During that same time thousands from around the Peace Country – which encompasses northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia – make the short trek to the Swan City to take advantage of Evergreen and what it has to offer.

In the winter the indoor horse stalls are usually full. It is the perfect venue to train or just pleasure ride on a daily basis in one of the two heated indoor arenas – the Drysdale Centre and Lewis Hawkes Pavilion. In November-December the Heavy Horse Pull Club’s Northern Spirit Light Show delights upwards of 40,000 annually.

Travellers from around North America stop by during May to October to take advantage of the Evergreen Campground – which features 76 spots, all equipped with electricity, water and a dumping station along with a general store and playground. It is just steps away from The Pines Restaurants, the casino, ball diamonds, archery centre and the TARA Centre and the many events held during the spring and summer at the Park.

The TARA Centre has helped turn Evergreen Park into the largest full featured exhibition facility north of Edmonton.

 The TARA Centre was opened in 2008 and is 105,000 square feet. It features a 46,200 square-foot venue, called Evaskevich Hall, which has hosted concerts by the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Serena Ryder, Big Wreck, Hedley, Blue Rodeo and Paul Brandt and is used for trade shows, graduations and other events where lots of room is needed. It also houses three 6,600 square foot salons (one of them named NuVista Energy Salon) and four meeting rooms in the 2,000 square foot range each.

There is also a huge foyer in the TARA Centre as well as administration offices for Evergreen Park staff.

Clarkson Hall is a 9,600-square-foot building that has been part of Evergreen since Day 1. It hosts weddings and other events for up to 500 people. It underwent a major renovation making it one of the best wedding/banquet facilities in the area. A rustic log building, the Oldtimer’s Cabin, is also available for use for groups of up to 50.

Evergreen Park also features an archery centre as well as an equestrian complex that includes permanent jumps and water hazards. The great expanse of Evergreen Park also allows competitive cross-country horse competitions to take place using the equestrian facility, the track and the picturesque trails through the spruce and pine trees throughout the park.

The Park features an indoor playground located in Badger Stadium that includes bouncy castles, tot spot and a private party area from October to April.  

The Park is also home to the Centre For Resource Excellence and Innovation, which has won an award for its tree planting pilot project and the hosts Grande Prairie Minor Baseball Association and its 12 diamonds.

Located on the southern outskirts of the city of Grande Prairie - population 68,000 - Evergreen Park is just minutes away from hotels and shopping centres.

Evergreen Park – experience it!

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 10:15

McGoverns Campsite At Park Open

t was minus-1 when the CLOSED sign came down at McGoverns RV & Marine Campground at Evergreen Park Wednesday morning.

Not exactly ideal camping weather, but for campground manager Mark Sather (photo) the most exciting time of the year.

He’s back in business for another camping season and will be on duty overseeing the facility until he puts the CLOSED sign back up at the end of September.

The campground Sather maintains is nestled in the quiet and picturesque beauty of Evergreen Park on the outskirts of the City of Grande Prairie and is a great place for mid-week or weekend getaways as well as a place to stay while attending events at Evergreen Park. There are daily, weekly and monthly rates available.

There is always something going on at the Park campers can take in whether it is a rodeo or chuckwagon racing; concert, convention, trade show, MMA fights or pow wow in the TARA Centre; or baseball tournament, archery event, trail riding and running, live horse racing, trotting around one of the two indoor riding arenas ... or just enjoying a nature walk.

Campers, when they get tired of their own cooking or need some entertainment, can head over to the Pines Restaurant & Casino or Pines Family Restaurant. Along with 99 slot machines and VLTs, the casino also offers off-track horse racing with a dozen screens showing races from across North America. There is also live music on weekends at the Pines and often mid-week free-to-play slot tournaments.

Anyone holding a wedding at the Park can have up to 10 spots at the campground put on hold for their guests for the big day.

The campground offers free wi-fi, firewood, fire pits, safe and visible children's playground, very clean public washroom/shower and laundry facilities as well as a dumping station.

Daily rates are $35, weekly they are $200 and monthly $600.

For more information or to book a reservation contact Sather at 780-933-1464 or campgroundmanager@evergreenpark.ca or phone the Evergreen Park office at 780-532-3279.

Here are the features and amenities at the campground, which has over 70 camping spots:

  • Full-service sites complete with power, water & sewer
  • Free wi-fi
  • 30-amp electrical service
  • Clean public restrooms
  • Modern/clean shower facilities no extra charge
  • Laundry facilities
  • Safe and visible playground area complete with modern equipment
  • Picnic tables, fire pits & firewood
  • Walking distance from The Pines Restaurant & Casino and Pines Family Restaurant
  • Between two championship golf courses
  • Archery range
  • Walking/running path
  • Horse trails
  • Short drive to centre of city
  • Best weekly and monthly rates (power included) in Grande Prairie area
Wednesday, 01 May 2019 08:38

FIRST CENTRY MILE WIN GOES TO LOCAL

Dad had more wins, but the lad ended up with more money as local trainers/owners made their mark at the first-ever day of racing at Century Mile Race Track & Casino in Edmonton on Sunday.

Dad Tom Rycroft (photo right) will forever be able to say he won the first-ever race at the new facility, located south of the city of Edmonton near the International Airport.

In the opener his horse, Born In A Breeze, ran down the leader on the mile course, with jockey Rigo Sarmiento on board, and trotted off with top money of $15,000 in the $25,575 event run over 5 ½ furlongs.

Tom both trains and is part-owner, along with Dale Stark and Lewis Mailer, of Born In A Breeze.

The son, Tim Rycroft, can say the horse he trains, Trooper John, got a second in the first-ever race at Century Mile.

Trooper John, former winner of the Canadian Derby and Alberta Horse of the Year, had the lead coming home, but was run down by Born In A Breeze. Trooper John won $11,148 for his efforts for the ownership group from Riversedge Racing Stables.

Regal Max, who had won the Alberta Derby at The Horses At Evergreen Park last summer, was fifth in the six-horse field.

Tom and his group finished the day with two wins, a second and two sevenths taking home $25,074 while horses trained by Tim had a first, two seconds and two fourths and earned $26,058.

Tom’s other win came in the fourth race of the day – over five furlongs. In that one Unspoken Assassin finished first and put $5,160 into the pockets of the ownership group.

Tim’s lone win was in Race 8 when Stone Carver crossed the line first after five furlongs winning Riversedge $12,420.

Grande Prairie’s Darcy Hawkes was trainer of two horses for local owner Dianne Delaney on Sunday.

Mr. Pucci took a second in Race 8 winning $4,140 while Amy Jean was fifth in Race 7 and paid for some oats with $414 in earnings.

Grande Prairie’s Ed Welsh and his Deltin Stables group will be looking for better things later after their horse, Onetogo, was eighth in the ninth and last race of the day.

Attendance for the opener was 5,000 and the handle was $200,000.

Local race fans can start watching for the three Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 horses – Why Frank, Mon Mousse and My Samurai Warrior – at Century Mile.

They will be on their way soon from Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona where they started the 2019 racing season.

The Club horses will train and race at Century Mile before moving to Grande Prairie for The Horses  At Evergreen Park in July and August.

All races from Century Mile, and other tracks around North America, are available to watch on 12 screens at the Pines Restaurant & Casino at Evergreen Park. There are also betting machines and programs for all races are available.

On Saturday, May 4 the Pines is hosting a party for the Kentucky Derby. There will be cash and other prizes available on Derby Day. The Pines is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

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