03/06/2014 11:50AM

Northlands Park: Canadian Derby tops $1.87 million stakes schedule


The Canadian Derby will serve as the main event at the 2014 Northlands Park meet. The Grade 3, $200,000 feature headlines 37 stakes totaling $1.87 million.

The midsummer fixture for 3-year-olds is the richest race in Western Canada and will be contested over 1 3/8 miles on Saturday, Aug. 16. Last year, Broadway Empire followed up his easy win in the Canadian Derby with an upset over heavily favored Departing in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. Broadway Empire is currently in training at Turf Paradise, but his trainer, Robertino Diodoro, isn’t sure where or when he will make his next start.

Supporting the Canadian Derby are the $50,000 Westerner for 3-year-olds and up and the $50,000 Sonoma for 3-year-old fillies. Leading up to the festivities is the $75,000 Edmonton Distaff for fillies and mares on Friday, Aug. 15.

Canadian Derby Day traditionally has the largest attendance and handle ($1,160,650 last year) at the meet. Coming in a distant second is Fall Classic Day, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 20. Headlining the seven stakes restricted to Alberta-breds is the $50,000 Breeders’ Handicap for 3-year-olds and up.

The most important race for 3-year-olds and up is the $100,000 Speed to Spare scheduled for Monday, Sept. 1.

Following guidelines set by the North American International Catalog Standards Committee, the Jockey Club of Canada removed black-type status for 13 stakes at Northlands, including the $50,000 Alberta Oaks.

The 78-day meet begins Friday, May 2, and concludes Oct. 25. Racing secretary Jason Teague said the total purse money budgeted for the meet is $9.2 million.

For the first month, racing will be held on Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays. Wednesdays will be added starting June 4.