If you’re headed to The Horses At Evergreen Park this weekend, be sure to don your most posh hat, fanciest ropers, and biggest belt buckle, because the Grande Prairie Derby is back and ready to rumble. The two-day race card will feature 15 races, with 88 horses set to thunder out of the gates.
There will be six races on Saturday and nine on Sunday, with the first post for both starting at 1:15 p.m. The Grande Prairie Derby will the second to last event of the weekend, slated as Race 8 with a 4:10 p.m. start time on Sunday.
Two trainers from the Grande Prairie area are entered in the derby. Kathy McNally is in charge of Blue Jewel, starting the No. 1 hole, and Clinton Rycroft is in charge of King Klover, in the No. 2 hole. They will both be competing to take home a $13,750 purse over the one-mile heat against three other horses.
Also from Grande Prairie, Charles “Chuck” Stojan will be looking to add to his world-record quarter horse win streak in the Evergreen Park Distance Final on Saturday. His nine-year-old California-bred horse currently boasts 17 victories in a row— six of which have been previously claimed at Evergreen Park.
The record was officially set last year when the horse, Free Thought, also nicknamed “Big E”, won his 16th straight victory at Century Downs in Balzac, just north of Calgary. Free Thought usurped a horse named Snowbound Superstar, who won 15-straight races between 2006 and 2009.
The Distance Final will mark the 50th race in the horse’s career. Since first hitting the track in 2013 for Stojan, Free Thought has claimed 27 wins, 10 seconds, six thirds and $109,728 in purse money. The purse for the Distance Final on Saturday is $6,400.