The Canadian Derby is set to ride into its new home at Century Mile Park this weekend.
The prestigious race for three-year-old thoroughbreds is being run outside of its traditional Northlands Park home for the first time since 1956.
The derby has a $250,000 prize purse and will draw some of the top horses and jockeys in Western Canada.
“Everybody wants to win the Derby,” said Matt Jukich, Century Mile racing manager. “It’s the event that people in town know that they want to come to the racetrack for derby day.”
The new venue means a longer race with the full mile Century Park track significantly longer than the five-eighths of a mile course at Northlands.
“They’re bigger turns,” said Jukich. “It’s a whole new ball game.”
In a change for spectators, most fans will watch the race from up-close on the tarmac given the smaller viewing area at Century Park.
The track is expecting about 8,000 fans for Sunday’s race.
“I think this will be a good jump-off point,” said Jukich. “[The] Derby will get bigger and better every single year.”
With files from Jeremy Thompson