5 Questions about the Canadian Derby Answered

Posted August 10, 2017 | Uncategorized

The biggest horse race in Western Canada is raring to go at Northlands Park on August 19! The Canadian Derby is in its 88th year and has a proud history in the City of Edmonton. People come from all over the province to see the running of this prestigious race. Here are some common questions that we receive about this spectacular event.

What is a Derby?

A derby is a race where only three-year-old horses can compete. There will be a series of 12 races beginning at noon. The Canadian Derby is the 11th race on the card, and will go at approximately 5:30 p.m. It’s a thrilling one and three eighths mile that takes approximately two minutes, 15 seconds.


How do I bet?

There will be plenty of windows open for you to wager on the races during the day. Here are some tips we can give you if you want to place any bets.

Watch the horses in the paddock: The behavior of a horse before a race can be an indication of how they will perform in the race. If a horse seems relaxed it’s a good sign. Check for anxiousness, excessive sweating or over excitability.
Wagering protocol: To place a bet the clerk will need to know the number, the race, the amount you’re betting and the type of bet. Northlands Park, Race 8, $10 win on 11.
Understand other types of wagers: There are also many more types of bets you can make. For more information on how to wager, check out this handy guide.

What do the Odds on a Horse Mean?

You are not betting against ‘the house’ but the opinion of other people when you place a bet at racetrack. The odds indicate what the people betting think the chances are of any given horse winning a particular race. The odds on a horse are often expressed as 2-1, 4-1, 9-2, 8-5 and so forth. Let’s say you start with $5, and bet on a horse with 4-1 odds. If that horse wins, you will win $20, and you also get your $5 bet back. So, your payout will be $25.

What do I Wear?

When you come to the Canadian Derby, dress to impress! You will see stylish people walking around on Derby day. Here are a few fashion guidelines to keep in mind.

• Bold and pastel coloured dresses and suits are a must
• Hats and fascinators are considered an essential part of the ensemble
• High heels are always a stylish way to complete your outfit; if you are on the grass on the infield, flats might be a better choice

• Light-colored shirts and smart, colourful ties
• Light summer suits and sport coat
• Khakis or dress pants
• Hats are key to finishing off your Derby look

For those watching from the infield bring bug spray, sunglasses and sunscreen to avoid any annoyances of sunburn and mosquitoes during the day.

For all the fashion lovers out there, the Derby festivities will have a Fashion Stakes contest that you can enter. You could walk away with prize money if your outfit places first, second or third place!


Where do I Park and how much is it?

You can park in the Northlands Park lot which has an entrance off of Borden Park Road. General parking will be $10 and you can purchase an advanced pass online. With the advanced pass you will be guaranteed a parking spot and express entry.

We hope that you have an amazing time at the Canadian Derby on August 19! If you need tickets, there are still some available in areas that are very affordable, but they are going fast!

We’ll see you at the races!