03/29/2013 12:31PM

Northlands Park: Canadian Derby tops $2.1 million stakes schedule

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Northlands Park has scheduled 37 stakes races worth $2.1 million for the 80-day meet that begins May 3 and concludes Oct. 14.

The highlight of the year is the Grade 3, $200,000 Canadian Derby. The premier race for 3-year-olds will be contested over a grueling 1 3/8 miles on Aug. 17. The Canadian Derby is the only graded race at the meet. It will be supported by the $75,000 City of Edmonton Distaff for fillies and mares and the $50,000 Westerner for 3-year-olds and up.

The Alberta Fall Classic, featuring seven stakes restricted to Alberta-breds, is set for Sept. 21. Headlining the stakes-rich card is the $50,000 Breeders’ Handicap for 3-year-olds and up.

The $100,000 Speed to Spare for 3-year-olds and up is the richest stakes for older horses at the meet. The 1 3/8-mile feature will headline the Labor Day card, Monday, Sept. 2.

The $50,000 Harvest Gold Plate for 3-year-olds and up and the $50,000 Duchess of York for fillies and mares will headline the closing-day card.

Northlands will experiment with racing Monday afternoons for the first time. Sundays have been dropped, and beginning July 1 post time for the 10 Monday cards will be 1 p.m. Mountain.

“Sundays haven’t been that strong in recent years, and we think we can increase our export numbers by running on Mondays,” said Chris Roberts, venue director at Northlands.