Wednesday, 22 August 2018 15:20

89th Canadian Derby Draw Order

Written by Northlands Park Staff

Gem Alta

pp1 6/1

Owner: Riversedge Racing Stables
Trainer: Tim Rycroft
Jockey: Rigo Sarmiento

Expectations were high as Gem Alta started his career at Tampa Bay Downs at 7/2. There were a trio of turf tries next before he shipped to Northlands Park for the Riversedge Racing Stables. It didn’t take long for him to find the winners circle locally, winning impressively with a stretch run that stamped him as a major player going forward. Gem Alta stretched out next in an allowance non-two race, and smashed all expectations winning off by nine lengths.

The unique distance of this race should be right up Gem Alta’s alley. The dam sire, A.P. Indy, won the Belmont (1 ½ miles) and the Breeders’ Cup Classic (1 ¼ miles) in 1992, his three year old season. A.P. Indy was the leading sire in North America in both 2003 and 2006.

The sire of Gem Alta, Gemologist won the Kentucky Jockey Club at two, and then a major Kentucky Derby prep in the Wood at Aqueduct.

2018 Northlands Park leading trainer Tim Rycroft and owners Riversedge Racing Stables have had plenty of success in this race with Academic and Trooper John.


pp2 10/1

Owner: Team Valor International and Highfield Investment Group Inc.
Trainer: Greg Tracy
Jockey: Keishan Balgobin

Pickford blazes into the Canadian Derby with a pair of bullet work outs since his first spin around the Northlands Park oval in the Count Latham. Unlike a few others in this race, he didn’t make the trip to Grand Prairie, instead stayed home to train and improve.

Pickford broke his maiden at Churchill in his second trip to the track, overcoming some traffic trouble to fight back and win by a head. He just missed at Oaklawn in his next start, and then won two starts later defeating a salty field with a number of next out winners.

His sire Hat Trick was an international monster. He won a pair of Group 1’s, was 8/21 in his life and banked more than $3 million dollars. Pickford’s dam Chantilly Nayla was a stakes winner, and Grade 2 placed in the Beaumont at Keeneland.

Part owner Team Valor International has found success all over the globe, headlined by Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom.


pp3 3/1

Owner: Carson, Clayton, Cory and Rick Wiest, R 6 Stable and Norman Tremblay
Trainer: Robertino Diodoro
Jockey: Rico Walcott

A start in the Canadian Debry at Northlands Park will be the six different track for the well-travelled Hyndford.

Following his maiden breaking score in just his second lifetime start, Hyndford met up with one of the leading horses of his generation, and the winner of the Arkansas Derby, Magnum Moon. Following that runner up effort he took on the eventual second choice in the Kentucky Derby, My Boy Jack, in the Rebel at Fair Grounds. A win at Belmont followed before the private purchase that landed him with the current connections.

Hyndford’s sire Street Cry won the Dubai World Cup and the Grade 1 Stephen Foster in 2002. In his progeny lies the great Zenyatta, and 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense. The mare Niji’s Grand Girl was Grade 2 Stakes placed in the 2011 Fair Grounds Oaks.

Trainer Robertino Diodoro is no stranger to the Canadian Derby, having his charge cross the wire first three times.

Sky Promise

pp4 2/1

Owner: Clayton and Rick Wiest, R 6 Stable and Norman Tremblay
Trainer: Robertino Diodoro
Jockey: Rico Walcott

If there is a racetrack in the Southeastern USA, chances are Sky Promise has made a stop there. He began his career at the prestigious Keeneland spring meet, before trying Churchill, Arlington, Ellis, Kentucky Downs, Fair Grounds and Turfway Park. Even with all that travel, and top quality competition, Sky Promise shows up with an effort each and every time. Looking through his running lines, it is littered with Graded stakes competitors including Sniper Kitten, Tap Daddy, Snapper Sinclair and maybe best of all Blended Citizen.

Sky Promise was claimed two starts back for $40,000 from Churchill Downs. He took the month of July off before showing up in the Manitoba Derby at Assiniboia Downs. Rico Walcott made the trip to Manitoba to ride for Robertino Diodoro, and after some quick early fractions Rico made them all pay late as he and Sky Promise came rolling to win by seven and a half lengths.

Sky Promise is by Sky Mesa who won his first three starts including the Grade 2 Breeders Futurity at Keeneland and the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga. Trainer Robertino Diodoro is no stranger to the Canadian Derby, having his charge cross the wire first three times.


pp5 12/1

Owner: White Pine Ranch
Trainer: Elige Bourne
Jockey: Dane Nelson

An astute claim from his career debut for just $12,000, Shimshine has since won half of his 12 starts and is closing in on $200,000 in the bank. With wins as a two year old in the Birdcatcher and Premiers Futurity, and as a three year old in the Western Canada, Shimshine has easily found the winners circle more times than anyone else in this group. He has been less than 3-1 in his last nine starts, and should offer a little more value today.

Shimshine and Regal Max have met eight times, with Shimshine holding a 5-3 advantage.

His sire Wilko was quite the globetrotter. He started his career in Europe before shipping to Lone Star Park and winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Unfortunately, that was his lone victory in North America. He was kept with top company and picked up placings in the Hollywood Futurity, Santa Derby and Big Cap. Wilko even finished second in the Dubai World Cup in 2006.

Regal Max

pp6 10/1

Owner: Almac Racing Stable and Kerredge Farm
Trainer: Rick Hedge
Jockey: Shamaree Muir

His barn name is ‘Ocho’. He was hip number 8 at the 2016, and sold for just $2,200. Twelve starts, three wins and $140k in purse money later, Regal Max and his connections stride into the Canadian Derby full of confidence. Regal Max easily won his last, which was the $50k Alberta Derby at Grand Prairie, beating a number of horses he will meet again today. With his front running win, he also wound up setting a track record at Evergreen Park.

The only time that Regal Max has missed the board in his 12 starts was in his debut when going just three and a half furlongs. He clearly has flourished with more ground thrown at him. His sire Max Forever won the Grade 3 Long Branch at Monmouth Park back in 2003. Regal Max’s dam My Miss Emily started her career at Hastings Racecourse, and won the Timber Music as a two year old. Trainer Rick Hedge stopped riding full time in 1987 with more than 1,600 wins to his credit.

Day Raider

pp7 9/2

Owner: Canyon Farms
Trainer: Craig MacPherson
Jockey: Antonio Reyes

Day Raider will be looking to raid some purse money as he ships in from Hastings Racecourse for the Canadian Derby. He is fresh off the biggest win in his young career, where he rallied strongly in the stretch to get up and win the Sir Winston Churchill Derby Trial defeating the favored Apalachee Bay.

The 1-3/8th mile distance of the Canadian Derby looks to be perfect for the son of New Year’s Day, as he seems to get stronger the further he runs. We didn’t get to see New Year’s Day try any classic distances, but he was impressive in the three starts he made. He easily broke his maiden in just his second trip to the track, and then captured the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in late running fashion at 10-1.

The owners, Canyon Farms, are trying to add to their already impressive trophy shelf. They bred and owned the 2012 Queens Plate winner, Strait of Dover. Lord Shogun won the Alberta and Manitoba Derbies in 2002; and in 2006 captured the Northlands Oaks with Starlite Strike. Regular rider Antonio Reyes has the mount.

Fort Mac

pp8 12/1

Owners: Kim Peacock and Lance Giesbrecht
Trainer: Dale Greenwood
Jockey: Denis Araujo

While he may have just the lone win on his resume, Fort Mac is never far away when the finish line comes. Rallying from the middle of the field, he finished 3rd in the last local prep for the Canadian Derby.

Fort Mac is by Big Brown, who was quite spectacularly talented when on the race track. He was seven for eight in his career, with signature wins coming in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Haskell. This is the first foal out of Givonna B, who is a half sister to True Metropolitan – a two time winner of the 1 3/8th miles Speed to Spare at Northlands, and who took home over $1.2 million in purse money with wins from Gulfstream to Woodbine and everywhere in between. This could have been the distance that Fort Mac has been waiting for.

Former trainer Lance Giesbrecht is a part owner of Fort Mac, and he is no stranger to local Derby glory. He won the Canadian Derby in 2005 with Alabama Rain for Peter Redekop, and won the Alberta Derby in 1999 with Digital Dan for Cecil Peacock. Lance finished up his training career in 2010 with almost 700 wins, and just over $9 million in purse earnings.

Red River Bear

pp9 20/1

Owner: Bear Stable and Riversedge Racing Stables Ltd.
Trainer: Craig Smith
Jockey: Amadeo Perez

Coming into this race Red River Bear may not have the credentials of some others in this race, but he also hasn’t gotten much of a chance to show it in 2018. He has been begging to route with maiden allowance company all season, and hasn’t gotten a chance to do just that. He wasn’t far behind Gem Alta when he broke his maiden, and could turn the tables on him with some added ground.

The pedigree for the Canadian Derby distance is strong for Red River Bear, with his full brother Double Bear running a huge race in 2017. More ground could lead to a running style closer to his brothers, where he wasn’t far from the early pace. The owners Bear Stable and Riversedge Racing Stables also teamed up in 2015 to win the Canadian and B.C. Derby with the filly Academic.

The 89th running of the Canadian Derby presented by Lexus of Edmonton West

Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino
Doors open: 9 a.m.
First post time is at noon.

Free admission and free parking with Players Club Card. Live coverage and post-race video at The 89th running of the Canadian Derby presented by Lexus of Edmonton West is one of the richest thoroughbred races in Western Canada. The $200,000 purse means the winner will receive a $120,000 paycheque.



WIN A LEXUS NX 300 F SPORT on race day in partnership with Lexus of Edmonton West. Following races 5, 6, 7 and 8, a lucky qualifier will be drawn; each qualifier will then draw a horse running in the 89th Canadian Derby race. The participant with the victorious horse, will win the Lexus NX 300 F-Sport! On August 25, join the lucky casino qualifiers as guests can still qualify on the day of the Canadian Derby. Be sure to head to the draw barrel on the tarmac for your free entry to become a qualifier! For more contest details, go to Must be present to win. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Draw barrel closes at race 7.

CANADIAN DERBY MERCHANDISE Opens at noon at Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino tarmac. No Derby is complete without a standout headpiece and at Edmonton’s social event of the year, the eye-catching accessories are endless. Stop by the merchandise tent to purchase official Canadian Derby merchandise or your own hand-crafted hat or fascinator from the locally owned and operated duo from Sheanna Creations. These unique designs range in selection from over-the-top extravagance to subtle elegance – it’s the perfect way to express your Derby style.

FASHION STAKES CONTEST SPONSORED BY ETNIA BARCELONA Think you are the best dressed at the Canadian Derby? Here is your chance to prove it. Get your photo taken at the Canadian Derby Fashion Stakes booth between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and fill out an entry form (one entry per person). The top 3 contestants in each category will be notified of their success and meet at the Etnia Photo Booth (East Tarmac) for qualification. The top three kings and queens of trackside glamour will take home fabulous Etnia Barcelona sunglasses.

DERBY BUCKET DRAW Head over to our Jockey Silks display located by the front entrance where you will find buckets hanging from the stall associated with each horse running in the Canadian Derby. One ballot is attached to each race program or can be obtained from Guest Services (only one ballot per person). Place your completed ballot in the bucket of the horse you believe will win the race. Once the race has finished and results are official, the winning bucket and corresponding ballots will be taken to the Tarmac Winner’s Circle where the three winners will be drawn. The guests who select the winning horse will have a chance to win a $1,000 casino voucher at the 8 p.m draw in the casino. Must be present to win. Must be 18+.

LITTLE BITS DAISY CORSAGES Little Bits Volunteers will be on-site selling daisy corsages from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. All proceeds go to benefit the Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Association, an Edmonton based non-profit organization that offers recreational riding programs with therapeutic benefits for children and adults with disabilities. Locations: Main Entrance, South Entrance (ramp), Roaming. In the event of unfavourable weather conditions, volunteers will be positioned inside the main entrance to Northlands Park.

Read 2097 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 August 2018 15:43