For what’s believed to be the first time ever, two days of horse racing at Evergreen Park had to be cancelled over the weekend. Marketing & Sponsorship Manager Don Moon says they were able to race in the rain Friday, but there was too much water for the horses and jockeys to be safe Saturday and Sunday.
“Our track is sand and loam so it soaks up pretty good, but it just couldn’t soak up as much as we’d hoped so it kind of all drained off into the infield a little bit.”
In Moon’s five years with Evergreen Park, he hasn’t seen a race cancelled due to rain but remembers one due to wildfire smoke in 2017. Moon adds that it is very unusual for the park to lose two of three days of racing, and no one can remember another time that has happened since the racing at Evergreen started in 1982.
Because Sunday’s race schedule also included the Empire Oilfield Solutions Grande Prairie Derby, next weekend will feature a double Derby Day. Sunday was also supposed to feature the Jerry Stojan Memorial race, and Moon says both have been moved to this upcoming weekend.
“On Friday we’re going to have the Jerry Stojan Memorial race, a quarter horse race, and then on Sunday the Empire Oilfield Solutions GP Derby is going to be held the same weekend as the Peace Country Derby,” he explains. “Saturday will probably be a reasonably full card because we’ll have to make up a few races.”
The biggest derby of the year in Grande Prairie is two weeks away. The Alberta Derby will be held at the J.D.A. Raceway on Sunday, August 5th. Moon says this Wednesday is the deadline for entries.
“It’s one of the most prestigious races in all of Alberta; the purse is over $50,000.”
The event is also billed as one of the most fun of the season, as attendees dress up and wear their finest derby hats. This year there will be a prize for best-dressed child as well as man and woman.