Canadian Derby returns to a sold-out crowd, but it’s smaller than you think

EDMONTON — The 91st Canadian Derby at Century Mile this weekend is sold-out, meaning only 200 people will be there for the biggest horse race in Alberta.

Organizers are limiting the audience numbers to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. That number is a fraction of the 8,000 spectators in attendance in 2019.

That’s why organizers say the 91st Canadian Derby will be run under the lights for the first time, to take advantage of more off-track wagering.

“It will feel a little bit different,” said Century Mile marketing manager Marina Law. “It’s still one of the biggest race days in all of western Canada. We are looking at 11 or 12 races.”

The race will also have more of a local feel because organizers say there will be fewer jockeys from outside of western Canada.

Law says the first race goes to post at 5:15 p.m. Sunday. She says she hopes the cool weather doesn’t impede the bold fashion choices.

“It does get chilly here at night, but obviously we still want you to dress up and wear your big fancy fascinators.”

The 91st Canadian Derby can be watched online or at the Century Mile casino and off-track betting lounge.

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