03/12/2003 1:00AM

Stampede: Alberta Derby June 14


The Alberta Derby, a Grade 3 race worth $100,000, will be the main event at the Stampede Park meet in Calgary, Alberta, again this year. The Alberta Derby, to be run June 14, heads a list of 12 stakes races worth a total of $550,000.

Barry McGrath, Stampede Park's racing secretary, said that the only changes on the schedule are the conditions of the Duchess of York, Herald Gold Plate, and Penny Ridge, which formerly were handicaps but will be run under allowance conditions this year.

The Breed Improvement Program, managed by the Alberta division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, will pay a bonus of $10,000 to any Alberta-bred winner of an open stakes race at Stampede. There are no restricted stakes races on the schedule.

Funding for the new program comes from the province's regulatory body, Horse Racing Alberta, which receives a share of the province's handle and slot machine revenue.

The 43-day Stampede meet will run from April 4 through June 15 with racing Fridays through Sundays, Wednesdays beginning April 16, and the holiday Monday, May 19.

* Horse Racing Alberta announced last week that it has extended Stampede Park's license by two years, through 2005, but will continue its search for a long-term licensee during that time.

Last spring, Horse Racing Alberta solicited bids from groups interested in operating a racetrack in Calgary and received applications from both Stampede Park and a group proposing a new racetrack. Horse Racing Alberta was not satisfied with either bid and Stampede was granted a one-year license.