Now the pressure is on My Samurai Warrior!
On Monday the first horse up for the Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 was Why Frank.
He finished in fifth place in a 7 ½ furlong race at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona.
On Tuesday, the second Club horse, an eight-year-old named Mon Mousse, improved on that placing with a third in a 1 1/16 mile race at the same venue – but on the dirt track and not grass like Why Frank raced on.
My Samurai Warrior will be the last Club horse to get a start and Club members are no doubt hoping he’ll continue the improvement. His first start for the Club is pending.
On Tuesday, at least for most of the race, Mon Mousse looked like he might be a winner. He led at the ¼, ½ and ¾ poles setting the pace, but yielded in the drive to the finish line finishing behind winner Jack Mormon (who was claimed after the race) and runner-up Durtdobber, who were neck-and-neck at the end. Mon Mousse was 3 ¾ back.
Jockey David Lopez, who was on Why Frank Monday, was aboard the Club horse, which earned $679 for the show position. Race purse was $7,000.
The race can be viewed here: http://www.turfparadise.com/race-replays--live-video.html It is Race 7 on April 23.
There were eight horses in the field and, besides winner Jack Mormon, two others were claimed – Cedar Rapids and Toccet’s Charm.
Their Turf Paradise experience is likely now over for both Why Frank and Mon Mousse. They, along with My Samurai Warrior, will be shipped to Alberta in early-May and will train and compete at the new Century Mile track in Edmonton until the end of June before moving to Grande Prairie for The Horses At Evergreen Park July and August.
The Club is taking memberships. Interested “owners” can sign up through the Evergreen Park website at www.evergreenpark.ca (go to Online Tickets at top of page) or phone the Park office at 780-532-3279 for information on how to join.
Evergreen Park is one of just a handful of venues in Alberta that offers both off-track and live horse racing. There are a dozen screens in the Pines Restaurant & Casino to watch racing from tracks around North America and elsewhere, two betting machines and a program printer. The Pines is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily and offers 99 slot machines and VLTs as well as chef-inspired meals.
Evergreen Park is located on the south end of the city of Grande Prairie just off of Resources Road and Hwy. 668.
The first race for the Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 is in the books.
Club horse Why Frank finished fifth in an eight-horse race at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday afternoon.
The race was over 7 1/2 furlongs and Why Frank spent most of the race mid-pack and was five wide coming down the stretch, but couldn't put a rally together to catch eventual winner Bourque. A horse named Elwood was second, Tyler's Tek third and Temple Keys fourth.
Jockey David Lopez was aboard Why Frank helping the Club earn $276. The purse was $9,500.
Monday's race was likely the last in Arizona for Why Frank, who is expected to be transported to Alberta in early-May to compete at Century Mile in Edmonton in May and June.
The Evergreen Club has two other horses stabled at the track at Turf Paradise.
Mon Mousse hits the track on Tuesday at 5:13 p.m. in Race 7 for a purse of $7,000. The race, which includes seven other horses, is over 1 1/16 miles.
The third Club horse, My Sumurai Warrior, may, or may not, get a start in before joining Mon Mousse and My Frank for the trek north.
After training and racing in Edmonton the three Club horses will venture to Grande Prairie for The Horses At Evergreen Park in July and August.
Anyone who hasn't purchased their Club membership online at www.evergreenpark.ca or phone the Evergreen Park office Monday to Friday at 780-532-3279 for information on how to sign up.
The Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 stable of horses is filling up.
Why Frank, Mu Samurai Warrior and Mon Mousse will be flying the Club’s colors as the horses finish up their time in Arizona.
The trio was purchased by Club manager Norm Tremblay last week.
“The plan is to race them once more in Phoenix, ship them to Edmonton in early May and then have them ready for The Horses At Evergreen Park in Grande Prairie in July and August,” said Tremblay.
All three are stabled at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona and two of them will be racing there next week.
Why Frank has collected the most in purse money of the three ($250,993) with 12 wins, 19 seconds and 17 thirds in 75 races since first hitting the track in 2012.
Its best year was 2016 with $40,925 in earnings and an average of $5,846 per start after seven starts.
Why Frank has raced five times this year with a second, two thirds, a fourth and a fifth in five races with $4,757 in earnings.
He was foaled on April 29, 2009 in Kentucky and has competed in some prestigious races including the Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile (third place) and Luke Kruytbosch Stakes (second). All but one of Why Frank’s races have been at either Turf Paradise or Canterbury Park in Minnesota.
My Samurai Warrior, foaled in Kentucky on March 14, 2009, has run to $233,718 in earnings since its first race in 2012. In 52 starts he has nine wins, five seconds and six thirds including a second and a third in two races this year and $2,628 in purse money.
Its best year was in 2014 with $53,970 in winnings after a first and third in nine starts.
My Samurai Warrior has competed on quite a few American tracks with starts at Turf Paradise; Canterbury; Oaklawn Park (Arkansas) Del Mar, Santa Anita, Betfair, Golden Gate and Fairplex in California.
Mon Mousse was foaled in California on April 26, 2011 and has $135,946 in earnings after 60 races since starting on the track in 2013.
Five of those starts came this year with s second and a third and $2,829 in earnings.
The horse had a big year in 2016 earning $52,240 after five wins, four seconds and a third in 14 races.
Turf Paradise has been Mon Mousse’s home for most of the last two years, but the horse has also raced at Golden Gate, Los Alamitos, Sacramento, Santa Anita, Fresno, Santa Rosa, Oak Tree and Stockton in California.
Club members will get to cheer on, and place bets on, two of the horses next week as they appear on the screens at the Pines Restaurant & Casino from Turf Paradise.
On Monday in race No. 8 (5:44 p.m. GP start time) Why Frank leaves the gate against eight other horses in a 7 ½ furlong battle for a purse of $9,500.
On Tuesday it’s Mon Mousse’s turn against seven other horses in a 1 1/16 mile run for a purse of $7,000. That race, No. 7 on the schedule, starts at 5:13 p.m. Grande Prairie time.
The Pines Restaurant & Casino, located at Evergreen Park, is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. It features a dozen screens showing live horse racing, two betting machines and a program printer.
Memberships in the Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 are just $250 and can be obtained online at www.evergreenpark.ca Information on the Club is available by calling 780-532-3279.
This is the third year for the Club. In its initial year members got to visit the winner’s circle four times and last year three times.
Members hoping to get a live look at their horses before The Horses At Evergreen Park can do so by travelling to Edmonton where the new Century Mile track will be opening near the Edmonton Airport on April 28.
Sky Promise had some big wins in 2018 and is looking to pull off another one in Toronto on April 18.
The Kentucky-born thoroughbred, now four years old, is a finalist for the top 2018 three-year-old award at the Jockey Club of Canada Sovereign Awards.
Grande Prairie’s Norm Tremblay, who is manager of the Evergreen Park Racing Club, is co-owner of Sky Promise along with Rick Wiest, Clayton Wiest and R6 Stable.
Sky Promise had an amazing year in 2018 winning the Manitoba Derby followed by the Canadian Derby and then the B.C. Derby.
From those three races alone Sky Promise earned Tremblay and his co-owners $248,400. In two years of racing Sky Promise, who has yet to run in 2019, has put $289,439 into the jeans of the owners.
Sky Promise has a record of four wins, three seconds and three thirds after 19 stars – 10 of those in 2018.
Neepawa and Lookin To Strike are his competition on April 18.
Neepawa, born in Ontario, won just twice in 2018, but one of those was a biggie – the Breeders Stakes at Woodbine in Toronto worth $240,000 for the win.
Chiefswood Stables owns Neepawa and has seen the horse collect $294,863 over its career along with two wins, a second and a third in 12 starts over two years of racing.
Looking To Strike, also Kentucky-born, has the most wins (five in 11 starts over two years) of the three, but has earned the least amount of money at $196,394. Its biggest win was in 2018 at Woodbine with $75,000 collected for a victory at the Ontario Derby.
The Jockey Club of Canada was founded in 1973 by E.P. Taylor to serve as an international representative of the Canadian thoroughbred industry. The mission of The Jockey Club of Canada is to promote and maintain a high standard for thoroughbred racing and breeding in Canada at a level which is recognized internationally for the benefit of all those interested in the sport.
Barry and Janice Sather’s Singles Cruise was a three-time stakes winner in Canada in 2018. She’s now a stakes winner at Los Alamitos as well after outdueling Valentin Zamudio’s Callender by a nose to post an upset victory in the $20,000 James Smith Memorial Handicap on Sunday at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Carlos Huerta for trainer Paul Jones, Singles Cruise broke sharply from post number seven and took the lead shortly after the start. Callender came flying to her inside, but Singles Cruise did not back down on the way to recording her fourth stakes victory and seventh in 13 career starts. A 12-1 longshot in this race, Singles Cruise covered the 350-yards in :17.630.
“She’s been a nice filly,” Jones said. “She won a (Grade 3) futurity in Canada. The Sathers sent her here to run in the 2018 Grade 2 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos. She’s just a good filly. She ran second in her last race. Tonight she had the perfect trip. She had good break and a nice, clean run. She really ran well. This is probably her best race. I’ve trained a few horses before for the Sathers. I actually sold them a horse a long time ago. They’re really nice people and they love their horses. I’m sure they’ll be really thrilled about this one. It’s nice to win one for them.”
Bred by Dr. Steve Burns, the Favorite Cartel filly won the Jerry Stojan Memorial Stakes and the Evergreen Park Juvenile Challenge at The Horses At Evergreen Park in Grande Prairie. She also won the Grade 3 Canada Quarter Horse Cup Futurity at Century Downs located in Southern Alberta. Following a fifth place finish in the John Deere Juvenile, Singles Cruise had done well at Los Alamitos. She won her trial to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Championship and finished eighth to multiple stakes winner Powerful Favorite in the final. She came into the James Smith after running second to Juan Carlos Chavez’s Striver in the Dreaming Sweet Handicap. Singles Cruise earned $11,000 for the win to take her career earnings to $83,377.
The Sathers of Beaverlodge, Alberta, have been one of the top Quarter Horse owners in North America. In 2016, they were the leading owners of the AQHA Racing Challenge program, becoming the first from outside the United States to win that title in more than 15 years. The couple also won the Canada Quarter Horse Cup Futurity in 2014 with their talented colt Cruisinfourabruisin. In 2013, the Sathers were named the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association’s leading owners and Breeders of the Year.
Ridden by Ruben Lozano, Callender earned $4,500 for running second. He was followed across the wire by Bos Time Machine, Majestic Mr Perry, Striver, Bolt For Gold, Cavuto, Stel Eagle Friends and Jess Bein Me. Razzel Dazzel was scratched.
- Story by Los Alamitos Race Course
Organizers are already working on the 2020 version of the Foster’s Peace Country Classic Agri-Show.
President Calvin Kirkham says this year's edition (the 34th) was very well attended.
"Thursday was good, Friday was excellent, and (the) same with Saturday. There was lots of interest in the horse program and the cattle program. I think we're very satisfied with it."
He thinks there are a couple of main reasons for the strong attendance.
"I think the weather had a lot to do with it. It wasn't too bad. Then, school was out (for the Mighty Peace Teacher's Convention). That helps, too."
Kirkham says new events at this year's Agri-Show got great reviews. Skijoring on Friday night was among the new features this year.
"They said it was excellent. They had lots of participants. There was a whole bunch from the Grande Prairie Ski Club come up and they really enjoyed it they said."
Kirkham says feedback from the exhibitors was all positive as well.
He adds some new things are being worked on for the 35th edition next year, but is not saying yet what those might be.
The 2019 edition of the Agri-Show ran Thursday through Saturday last week at Evergreen Park.
Click here for Everything GP video on Agri-Show.
- By Everything GP
It has a new name – Foster’s Peace Country Classic Agri-Show – but everything you liked about it is back … and more!
The 34th annual Agri-Show goes March 7-9 at Evergreen Park and once again it is chock full of things to see and do. Click on Schedule of Events to the left for details.
When you arrive at the Park one of the first things you will notice are the large pieces of agricultural machinery around the TARA Centre parking lot.
With temperatures expected to be spring-like all three days of the Show it’s a good time to be outside for a little fresh air and help shake off that Cabin Fever that is more prevalent in February than any month. Hurray for March!
Over 100 exhibitors displaying everything agricultural-related, and otherwise, will be set up in the TARA Centre for all three days. If you need a combine that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars … the TARA Centre is the place! Of, if you just want a hot dog those are available at the Ritchie Bros. Concession in both the TARA Centre and Drysdale Centre.
The main venues for the Show are the TARA Centre, Drysdale Centre and Lewis Hawkes Pavilion, but other locations are being used too.
For the first time at the Show, there will be Thunder In The Park. It’s a skijoring competition as part of the Keddie’s Horse Program. It goes in the Wapiti Parking Lot, just south of the Lewis Hawkes Pavilion on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The “track” will be lit so the thrills and spills can continue into the evening.
You can click on the poster right for a link that takes you to a registration form … if you are interested in being a participant in the thrills and spills.
And if skijoring isn’t thrilling enough for you, register for the Medieval Mounted Gaming clinic. It goes 11 a.m. each day in the Lewis Hawkes Pavilion.
Lori Smith is a Senior Marshall in the equestrian arts for Avacal (the division that Alberta falls under in the Society of Creative Anachronism- Kingdom of Avacal) and her skills lay specifically in the medieval military styled games used for training horses and riders.
She will be holding a clinic, open to spectators to watch, during all three days of the Show.
A complete list of Keddie’s Horse Program events is available by clicking on the Keddie's Horse Program logo to the left.
The prices for bulls early in the year have been good, so expectations will no doubt be high for the annual ATB Northern Classic Bull Sale.
It goes in the Drysdale Centre on the Friday of the show at 1 p.m. and over 70 bulls are expected to go on the block in what is normally a jam-packed venue.
The Drysdale Centre is also the venue for the AFSC Petting Zoo. It is one of the most popular features of the Show, especially for the little ones, and always features some interesting and exotic animals and birds.
It is also where the Youth Program will be held on Saturday starting at 9 a.m.
And speaking of kids, the Bio-Cycle Solutions Kidz Zone is back again this year.
It is located in the foyer of the TARA Centre. There will be free movies and face painting by Trinity Body are in the Keddie’s Korner room as part of the Kidz Zone and Bio-Cycle Solutions will be handing out free passes to the Evergreen Park Kids Zone during the show … while they last!
The Evergreen Park Kids Zone is located in the Gordon Badger Stadium at JDA Raceway and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Again this year the Sexsmith Seed Cleaning Plant is sponsoring the wagon rides. You can jump on at the TARA Centre and get dropped off at the Drysdale Centre/Lewis Hawkes Pavilion and then hop back on for the trip back to the TARA Centre after you have visited the Keddie’s Horse Program, AFSC Petting Zoo or ATB Northern Classic Bull Sale.
This year the Michener Allen Kids Auction goes on Friday at 1 p.m. in the TARA Centre. You can get auction “cash” by bringing a Food Bank donation and dropping it off at the ATB booth in the Main Hall between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. There is also a free auctioneer “school” for kids starting at 11 a.m. in the IPAC Room in the TARA Centre.
The County of Grande Prairie is involved in a big way with the Agri-Show again this year. They are sponsoring the Farm Family Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. in the FMC Room (Kin Room) in the MD of Greenview North Wing and then the Farm Family banquet at 6 p.m. in Clarkson Hall.
The City of Grande Prairie is the Thursday sponsor and the Canadian Canola Growers Association is sponsoring both Friday and Saturday.
Both the Pines Family Restaurant and Pines Restaurant & Casino are open during the Show. The family restaurant hours are Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Pines Restaurant & Casino is open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
The Pines Restaurant & Casino also features off-track racing. You can watch and bet on, at one of two self-bettors, races from across North America.
The IPAC Room is also being used as a Family Room during the Show. There are defibrillators in the TARA Centre, Lewis Hawkes Pavilion and Gordon Badger Stadium.
On Thursday and Friday, Neil Wiens, who revolutionized the ag nutrient industry with Bio-Sul Premium Plus, will be doing presentations called Seaweed Or Cash Crop? As well as May The Force Be With You – Bio-Sul Halo Effect. He is sponsored by DeBolt Ag.
He talks at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday in the Chamber of Commerce Room in the MD Of Greenview North Wing. Each presentation is for an hour.
Also on Thursday in the same room, from 3:30-4:30 p.m., Pierre Trudel of FBC will be offering Top Tax Tips For Agri-Business.
On Friday, MNP will be making some presentations in the FCC Room in the foyer of the TARA Centre.
MNP’s Tracy Leishman, CPA, CA; Todd Strang (KMSC); Dwayne Peters, CPA. CA; and MNP’s Joe Renooy, CPA, CA will be talking about Farm Land Succession Options at 10:30 a.m. At 1 pm. Leishman, Renooy and MNP’s Dwayne Peters, CPA, CA will be speaking about Tax Changes & Farm Risk Management.
On Friday and Saturday in the FCC Room, Carol Bouck, Foster Park Brokers Farm Team Lead, will be speaking about Farm Insurance 101. Friday’s talk starts at 3 p.m. and Saturday’s at 1 p.m.
Evergreen Park is proud to have a long-time Peace Country family name now part of its most prestigious annual agricultural event.
The Peace Country Classic Agri-Show, started at Evergreen Park in 1986, will now be called Foster’s Peace Country Classic Agri-Show. The initial agreement will be for five years.
“The board of directors of the Show are pleased to welcome Foster’s on board as the naming rights sponsor of the agri-show as we head into the 34th annual event March 7-9,” said board president Kelvin Kirkham. “Foster’s has been an agri-show supporter for many years both as an exhibitor and a sponsor and have been very active in the community for many decades. We are delighted to have the Foster’s family join the Evergreen Park and agri-show family.”
Kirkham is far left in the photo that also includes, from left to right, Dave Martin, Nicky Hemingson and Clinton Slette of the Agri-Show board and from Foster's Shayne Sieker, Jesse Foster and Jason Hipkins.
The company began in the 1950s when Johnny Foster established the Beaverlodge Seed Farm in Beaverlodge. Later known as Foster’s Seed and Feed, the company grew to be the largest privately-owned buyer and processor of creeping red fescue in Western Canada.
The business first expanded in the mid- ‘90s when the focus changed from being solely a creeping red fescue-based company to a total farm solution for their customers. This meant adding such products and services as cereal and canola seed, chemical, field scouting and fertilizer sales to the portfolio.
Another expansion in 2008 introduced a sister company known as Foster’s Agri -World. The natural transition into the sales and service of agricultural equipment has been one with much success, as customers know and trust Foster’s industry knowledge and abilities. Foster’s has continued to grow its portfolio throughout the years to include such manufacturers as Bourgault, Versatile and CLAAS.
In 2014, Foster’s expanded again with the opening of Foster’s NAPA Auto Parts at its Agri-World location in Beaverlodge. The addition of NAPA Auto Parts has continued their commitment of customer service to the people of Beaverlodge and the Peace Country.
In 2016, expansion continued with a new Agri-World location in Fairview, Alberta. This location was brought on board to better meet the wants and needs of its customers, whether it is on the equipment or the farm service side of the business.
In 2017, Foster’s Seed and Feed expanded into Fort St. John opening a warehouse to better serve their customers throughout the B.C. Peace.
The latest Foster’s expansion was in 2018 when they acquired Kubota Country in Fairview.
Their reputation is built on integrity and delivering high quality product and service. They are proud of their deep roots in agriculture and the community.
Singles Cruise was foaled in California on January 27, 2016.
Last Saturday she celebrated her birthday a little early – with a victory in a Winter Derby Trials race at Las Alamitos Race Track in Cypress, California.
As a result, Singles Cruise’s birthday present to owners Janice and Barry Sather of Beaverlodge is an appearance in the Winter Derby Final at Los Alamitos on February 9.
Singles Cruise, with jockey Saul Ramirez Jr. aboard, was up against seven other horses in Saturday’s 400-yarder for three-year-olds winning in a photo finish (photo left) in 19.984 – less than a second off the track record of 19.067 set by Chivalry Sr in 2011.
Heading into the race she was one of the long shots at 33-1 odds. I Like My Chances, who was 43-1, finished second at 19.992 and Ladys A Cartel, 8-1 odds, third in 19.997.
Singles Cruise was tied for fifth/sixth (with Terrific First Down) following four trial races on the weekend while I Like My Chances was eighth and Ladys A Cartel nine of 10 horses who advanced to the $198,700 final on February 9.
The top qualifier for the Winter Derby Final was Powerful Favorite, who ran a 19.789 in its trial.
The Winter Derby features top quarter horses from across North America.
“It’s so tough to qualify for these big ones,” Janice Sather said of the Grade II Winter Derby Final. “Barry and I were hollering so hard I thought we both might have heart attacks.”
Singles Cruise paid $68.80 to win, $28 to place and $9 to show.
The three-year-old had five wins and a third after nine races in 2018 racing for the first time in 2019 at Los Alamitos on the weekend.
At the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association awards celebration at the end of the 2018 season she was named Champion Two Year Old and Grand Champion Running Horse.
Singles Cruise won three out of four races in Grande Prairie at The Horses At Evergreen Park including the Evergreen Park Juvenile Challenge on August 19; the Jerry Stojan Memorial Stakes on July 27; and the Jerry Stojan Memorial Futurity Trial on July 8. On August 4 she was third in the EP Juvenile Challenge Trial.
Racing at Evergreen Park returns this summer on July 6 and continues weekends until August 25.
Chuck Stojan was named Champion Owner and also had the Champion Distance Horse and Reserve Champion (Free Thought); and Champion Three Year Old (Stripsteak).
Singles Cruise, owned by Janice and Barry Sather of Beaverlodge, was the Champion Two Year Old and Grand Champion Running Horse. They also own Lucky Royal Rabbit, who was Champion Claiming Horse.
Nellie Pigeau, the top trai
ner from the 2018 The Horses At Evergreen Park, was trainer of Its Official, who won the Champion Alberta Bred Filly/Mare. Its Official is owned by Bruce Fenton.
Donalda Chochrane of Fort St. John was the owner of the Champion Alberta Bred Two Year Old Filly – a horse named Papas Coleen.
It is going to be an exciting season quarter horse racing at The Horses At Evergreen Park in July and August.
In part because the racing schedule includes five Bank of America Challenge races – three more than in 2018.
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).
Purse money from just those five races totals over $100,000 including $35,000 for the Bank of America Championship Challenge.
Evergreen Park will also once again be hosting the Alberta Derby in July.
The racing season at Evergreen Park opens on July 6 and concludes on August 25 with races every weekend.
Quarter horse owners from Canada and the United States will be looking north next summer when The Horses At Evergreen Park return for the July-August pari-mutuel racing season on JDA Raceway at Gordon Badger Stadium.
And for good reason.
The summer schedule in Grande Prairie this year includes five Bank of America Challenge races – three more than in 2018.
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).
“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.
Two Evergreen Park regional winners appeared at the Bank Of American Challenge Championship at the Los Alamitos Race Course in California in November.
A horse named Singles Cruise (photo), owned by Janice and Barry Sather of Beaverlodge, finished a close fifth in the John Deere Juvenile Classic Championship while Glittering Blue, owned by Cody Eagle Bear, finished sixth in the Distance Challenge Championship.
JDA Raceway is the only facility in Canada hosting Bank of America Challenge competitions. All the other regional qualifiers are from tracks in the United States and Mexico and, tentatively, one in Brazil.
Evergreen Park hosts a long list of Challenge races including the Bank of America Championship Challenge, Merial Distaff Challenge, John Deere Juvenile Challenge, Adequan Derby Challenge, Pfizer Starter Allowance, Red Cell Distance Challenge, Zoetis Starter Allowance, Evergreen Park Bonus Challenge and Evergreen Park Maiden Challenge. Some of these races have been renamed depending on the sponsorship.
“We also work in conjunction with the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association each year to promote their stake races,” said Hill. “Included in those races are the Jerry Stojan Memorial and the Grande Prairie Sprint. At just 110 yards the Sprint is the shortest race of the year at The Horses At Evergreen Park.”
Evergreen Park averages 40-plus quarter horses races each year, along with 10-plus stake races.
“Evergreen Park - along with Horse Racing Alberta, AQHRA & A.C.T.R.A. Associations, trainers & owners - takes great pride in hosting the ‘Class B’ track races in July and August,” said Hill.
Evergreen Park also hosts the Alberta Derby, Empire Oilfield Solutions Grande Prairie Derby and Mr. Mikes Steakhouse Paint The Park Purple – Race For The Cure, which is a fundraiser for pancreatic cancer research.
There will be 20 weekend racing days at The Horses At Evergreen Park next summer starting July 6 and winding up on August, 25.
Evergreen Park is pleased to announce its newest, and most high profile, naming rights sponsor.
The Tara Energy Services name will now appear on the Park’s main venue – formerly called ENTREC Centre.
The facility will now be called the TARA Centre effective January 1, 2019 continuing for a minimum of five years.
Tara Energy Services’ main goal is to provide superior service and equipment to the oil and gas sector in Canada and the United States. With over 500 employees in both Canada and United States, Tara Energy has become one of the foremost providers of production testing and flow back services and equipment in North America.
In addition to its business activities, Tara Energy has always had a focus on contributing to and interacting with the local community through continued support of local non-profit and charitable organizations. They enjoy and take pride in their involvement of vital programs within the Peace Region and in other communities in which they operate.
“Securing the naming rights to this facility is a huge opportunity for Tara Energy Services,” said Scott Bissell (standing in photo right), one of the owners of Tara Energy Services in Canada and the USA. “We are pleased to align our Company with the Evergreen Park organization in continuing to provide entertainment as well as event space for special interest groups and not-for-profit foundations for people all over the Mighty Peace.
“Having a first-class facility such as the TARA Centre will allow Grande Prairie to prosper and grow for many years to come.”
Tara Energy Services was welcomed to the Evergreen Park “family” by General Manager Dan Gorman and Evergreen Park board president Brad Richards on Dec. 14 at a press conference.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with Tara Energy and to having our feature facility named the TARA Centre”, said Gorman. “During our conversations with Scott the past few months it has become apparent to us both that our cultures are very similar.”
“Our belief in a strong ‘guest-first’ attitude and approach; great staff relationships; and support; and a belief in supporting and enhancing the community are part of both of our cultures.
“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Tara Energy Services as a major sponsor of Evergreen Park, and we look forward to working together on many ventures in the future.”
The TARA Centre at Evergreen Park is the main event space at the Park with over 225 events there in the last year. It was opened in 2008 and features 105,000 square feet of event space. The facility has hosted concerts by the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Serena Ryder, Big Wreck, Hedley, Blue Rodeo, Nelly and Paul Brandt and is used for trade shows, graduations and other events where large floor space is required. Fundraisers in the building raise over $1,500,000 annually for local charities.
“It is a great fit for both of us- we thank Scott and the Tara Energy Services team for choosing Evergreen Park to partner with,” said Gorman.
First even in the newly-named facility is XFFC’s Festival Of Fists 3, held on the same day as the naming rights announcement.
Seventeen times Evergreen Park Racing Club 2018 horses left the starting gate in 2018 and 11 times the Club steeds finished in a win, place or show position.
The Club had four horses running in races at Rocky Mountain Turf Club in Lethbridge and in Grande Prairie at The Horses At Evergreen Park – Swiss Skimmer, Brave Julian, Supah Spirit and Diamond Cut.
Swiss Skimmer, born in California in 2012, put the most money in the Club coffers.
She netted $7,867 for the Club including $3,975 for winning a 6 ½ furlong race at Evergreen Park on August 19. Over the spring-summer racing season Swiss Skimmer also had a second, third, fourth and sixth.
The second, on June 30 in Lethbridge, came in a seven furlongs race and earned the Club $2,912.
Brave Julian, born in 2008 in California, crossed the finish line first in that race at Rocky Mountain Turf Club.
He also had a second, fourth and two fifths.
Both Diamond Cut and Supah Spirit raced in Lethbridge and Grande Prairie, but their appearances were limited because of injuries.
Supah Spirit, born in Arizona in 2013, had two seconds, a third and a fourth for the Club winning $2,722 in total racing twice in Lethbridge and twice in Grande Prairie.
Diamond Cut left the starting gate three times as a Club horse with two of those at The Horses At Evergreen Park.
She was born in California in 2012 and managed a second and two thirds racing as a Club horse while helping put $2,110 into the Club bank account.
Club membership was down about 25 over 2017, but it still turned out to be a break-even season with no red figures.
In 2017, the first year of the Club, the four Club horses – Extreme Spell, Red ‘N Black Attack, Dman Doughty and Command The Land - ran 13 times with four wins, two seconds and two thirds.
The Evergreen Park Racing Club 2019 will kick off in the spring with a social at Evergreen Park.
Anyone interested in being a member (just $250) can click on Online Tickets above and do so online or drop into or phone (780-532-3279) the Evergreen Park office.
Singles Cruise broke well and was a solid second for most of the race, but was overtaken at the finish line by three other horses in the $125,000 John Deere Juvenile Classic Championship at the Los Alamitos Race Course near Los Angeles Saturday night.
Owned by Janice and Barry Sather of Beaverlodge, the two-year-old went into the California race - part of the Bank Of America Challenge - after dominating in Alberta this year.
The California-bred won three out of four races in Grande Prairie at The Horses At Evergreen Park including the Evergreen Park Juvenile Challenge on August 19; the Jerry Stojan Memorial Stakes on July 27; and the Jerry Stojan Memorial Futurity Trial on July 8. On August 4 she was third in the EP Juvenile Challenge Trial.
She has won five of seven races she competed in during her first year of racing finishing up the summer at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club in Lethbridge where, on Oct. 6, she was first in the Canada Cup Futurity Trial following that up with a win in the Canada Cup finale on October 21.
Going into Saturday's race Singles Cruises’ had earned almost $70,000.
She helped the Sathers pocket $7,500 for the fifth place in Los Alamitos.
Before the gate opened Singles Cruise was rated at 18/1 and lined up in the No. 2 slot to the right of favorite Kr Hi Five, who won the 350 yard race in 17.670.
Singles Cruise chased the winner in second for almost 325 yards before being caught by runner-up Stevieb Flashcash (17.793) and Jess Send It and Allyson Wonderland, who finished in a dead heat for third at 17.813
Singles Cruise, with jockey Saul Ramirez Jr. aboard, finished in 17.670 in the nine-horse field.
Another horse that competed at the Horses At Evergreen Park this past summer also raced at Los Alamitos Saturday - in the $100,000 Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship over 870 yards.
Glittering Blue, owned by Cody Eagle Bear and ridden by E. Gomez, was up against five other horses in that race and finished sixth.