The prestigious Alberta Derby has historically been held in Calgary and Lacombe, but it will be held in Grande Prairie for the first time this year. Evergreen Park General Manager Dan Gorman explains it will be held on July 26th, in conjunction with the Grande Prairie Derby.
“Two big races: the GP Derby will be hosted again with a $15,000 purse on that Sunday, and for the first time ever up in Grande Prairie, we’re proud to host the Alberta Derby at Evergreen Park which will showcase a $40,000 purse.”
That’s thanks to three local horse enthusiasts who are putting forward the funding with Evergreen Park. Local horseman Ed Welsch expects to see a higher level of racing.
“We anticipate there’ll be quite a few horses come from Edmonton for that race. Any time you elevate the purse money, you elevate the quality of the horse, and that’s why we expect quite a few horses out of Edmonton.”
Both races are for three year old horses, with the Alberta Derby lasting an extra sixth of a mile.
Gorman adds that the park had its first race last Friday and saw one of the biggest turnouts its had in the past 15 to 20 years. Gordon Badger Stadium is considered one of the best race tracks in Alberta.