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Don Moon

Don Moon

Saturday, 13 July 2019 09:54

Club Horses Hit GP Track

The waiting is over!

Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 members will be able to watch both of their horses compete this weekend at The Horses At Evergreen Park.

Mon Mousse hits the track on Friday and Why Frank is out of the gates on Saturday.

Four other horses will be trying to out-run Mon Mousse when they leave the gates at 8:10 p.m. in race No. 5 on Friday.

The race is over seven furlongs with a purse of $4,050 and a claiming price of $2,000.

Mon Mousse, with Carl Hebert in the saddle, leaves out of gate No. 2 while He's Big Time leaves from No. 1; Esteem's Dream from No. 3; We Taught Ed from No. 4; and Zar's Star from No. 5.

Hebert is also in the saddle over Why Frank on Saturday.

There are eight horses in that race. Starting from gate No. 1 they are Master's Bluff, Wood Machine, Herculan, Klondike Ike, Red Wings, Endless Courage, Prairie Plan and then Why Frank on the outside in No. 8.

The race is over seven furlongs with a purse of $4,500.

It is race No. 3 at 7:20 p.m.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019 20:38

Good Start For Pigeau

GOOD START FOR GP'S PIGEAU

Grande Prairie's Nellie Pigeau walked off with the Top Trainer award after The Horses At Evergreen Park's two-month summer run in 2018.

After the first weekend of racing for 2019 - Saturday and Sunday at J.D.A. Raceway - Pigeau is on track for back-to-back awards.

The veteran trainer had seven horses entered on the weekend and left Gordon Badger Stadium with three wins, a second, third and two fourths. There were 12 races over the two days at Evergreen Park.

Two of those Pigeau wins came on Saturday - Swift Sally Swift and Olddogs N Children in six furlong races.

On Sunday, Awesomeagainagain got her a win in a 5 1/2 furlong run.

Local trainer/owner Jack Bolin also did well on the opening weekend.

He had two wins, a second, a third, a fourth and a fifth.

Both wins came on Sunday - Uncle Kimo in a 6 1/2 furlong race and Major Magic over four furlongs.

Pigeau's main competition for the award last year was Lyle Magnuson, who also had three wins, including a victory in the biggest race of the weekend.

A horse he trains and owns, Doc Radke, won the $7,210 Sprint Series opener in the last race of the weekend on Sunday. Pigeau's horse Naomi's Gift was fourth in that race.

Racing continues this weekend - Friday, Saturday and Sunday - with the feature race being the J.D.A. Grande Prairie Derby on Sunday. Opening post Friday and Saturday is 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Fans are invited to bid on horse-related artwork created by local artists. Proceeds from the silent auction will go to the Grande Prairie Injured Jockey Foundation.

There is no admission fee and the Pines Restaurant & Casino and Pines Family Restaurant are open before and after the races.

Tuesday, 09 July 2019 18:16

Win And Claim For Club Horse

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.
Wednesday, 26 June 2019 15:03

Stakes Book Available

If you’re a horse owner looking for a place to run your quarter horses or thoroughbreds this summer look no further north than J.D.A. Raceway at Evergreen Park in Grande Prairie.

The Horses At Evergreen Park is a 20-day smorgasbord of events, racing and other, held on weekends for the months of July and August in a picturesque setting of pines just south of a city of almost 70,000 people. First race is Saturday, July 6.

You can view the Stakes Program here .

J.D.A. Raceway has a clay base and sand surface and is considered one of the safest, and horse-friendly, tracks in North America.

“Over 37 years ago the board members of the Grande Prairie, Agricultural and Exhibition Society built Evergreen Park in one of the most beautiful places on earth,” says long-time track manager Doug Love. “They acquired the proper equipment to maintain the track. With the proper equipment, and a commitment from board members and management, it makes my job easier to make this track what it is today.”

This spring work, including hundreds of loads of new material, was completed on the track. It will be the second time the track has undergone a revamp since Love took over in 2008.

“Evergreen Park has invested in its race track to make sure it is kind to horses,” says Love, whose work is so cherished he was at one time the World Professional Chuckwagon Association main man making sure tracks where the WPCA performed could be the best they could be.

Evergreen Park is considered a jewel in the forest and sits on 1,200 sandy acres. Besides a 2,700-seat stadium that includes a family restaurant, it also has an adults-only restaurant and a casino – the Pines Restaurant & Casino – which is open daily 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Evergreen Park has the largest convention centre, the TARA Centre, in northern Alberta and hosts over 600 large and small events annually.

Horse owners can cater to their animals while housing them in modern covered barns/stalls. Hundreds of horses can be housed comfortably. There is also camping facilities for those involved in racing with electricity and water and a dumping station.

The area offers all the amenities of a mid-sized city including art gallery, museum, indoor and outdoor pools, dozens of restaurants and bars, a movie theatre with 10 screens, fitness centres, paved trails winding through the centre of the city, two championship golf courses within minutes of the Park, lakes and rivers and lots of outdoor activities including walking and riding trails throughout the Park.

The newest dinosaur museum in the world, the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, is just minutes west of the city in Wembley.

One of the highlights of the racing season is the Alberta Derby – being held on Sunday, July 28 this year. Four horses from last year’s Derby competed in the Canadian Derby in Edmonton.

The Grande Prairie Derby, like the Alberta Derby a longer race for thoroughbreds, is being held on July 14 this year while the Mr. Mike’s Paint The Park Purple – Race For The Cure goes on the final day of racing August 25.

Evergreen Park will be hosting the Bank of America Evergreen Park Championship Challenge (440 yards); Adequan Evergreen Park Derby Challenge (400 yards); John Deere Evergreen Park Juvenile Challenge (350 yards); Evergreen Park Distaff Challenge (400 yards); and the Evergreen Park Distance Challenge (870 yards) this summer. 

“The Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association and the American Quarter Horse Association have worked in conjunction with Evergreen Park for many, many years, bringing the Challenge races to the Evergreen Park each season,” said Evergreen Park Racing Manager Pat Hill.

The Challenge races at Evergreen Park are used as a regional qualifier with the winners advancing to the Bank of America Challenge Championship at The Downs in Albuquerque, NM on October 26. Over $100,000 in purse money comes along with the five races with the biggest being the Bank of America Championship at $35,000 American.

Altogether, between trials and finals, there are 28 stakes-related races this year.

There is no admission fee to watch The Horses At Evergreen Park. Except for Friday, July 5, racing goes Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until Sunday, August 4. It then switches to Saturdays and Sundays only until the finale on August 25. All Sunday post times are 1 p.m. while Friday and Saturday first post times in July are 6:30 p.m. and then 6 p.m. in August. There are no lights at the track, but in the summer northern Alberta days are very long.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019 22:03

Why Frank Fifth

Spring “training” for the Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 continued on the Circuit A track at Edmonton’s Century Mile Race Track & Casino on Thursday as the three Club horses prepare for their Circuit B season at The Horses At Evergreen Park in Grande Prairie in July and August.

For the second time in two weeks Club horse Why Frank hit the track and for the second time there was no win, place or show for the Kentucky-born 10-year-old.

On Thursday in an eight-horse field over seven furlongs Why Frank ended up fifth – 6 ¾ lengths behind winner Stockwatcher. On June 1 Why Frank was fourth in his first race in Edmonton.

On Thursday, Why Frank chased through the final turn within striking distance of the leaders, but then faded into the stretch. He had moved up to as close as fourth halfway through the race five lengths from the lead.

Jockey Prayven Badrie was on board, helping the Club earn $178 for the fifth place finish.

It was Why Frank’s eighth start of the season (six of them in Arizona including a fifth for the Club on April 22) and 78th of his career.

A couple of local owners had better luck.

Owner/trainer Tom Rycroft was second with Factored In while a horse co-owned by local chuckwagon driver Mitch Sutherland, called Maggie’s Day, was third.

The only local win on Thursday was a horse named Proud and Loud, trained by Tim Rycroft, in the sixth race of the day over 6 ½ furlongs.

On Sunday the Club looks to get back in the winner’s circle when Club horse My Samurai Warrior leaves the gates at 3:37 p.m. in a one mile race for a purse of $11,500. You can watch and bet on that race, at many others from around North America, at the Pines Restaurant & Casino. The Pines is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

The first time My Samurai Warrior stepped onto the track in Edmonton the 10-year-old Kentucky-born gelding was a winner, earning the Club $5,340 in a six furlongs battle against five other horses.

On Sunday he is again up against five other horses – with two local connections.

Local owner Jack Bolin has Empire Ruler entered in the race while owner/trainer Tom Rycroft is hoping Dare To Enter will finish first.

It will be My Samurai Warrior’s 54th start of his career and fourth of the season, with three of those in Arizona. He has won $237,670. Badrie is again in the saddle for the Club horse this weekend.

Local owners/trainers are entered in races both at Century Mile and at Rocky Mountain Turf Club in Lethbridge this weekend.

To check out when they race visit the Equibase site here.

All the Century Mile and Lethbridge races will be shown on the screens at the Pines. There are two betting machines and programs available for all the tracks featured.

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.

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.

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.

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