The Western Canadian Derby Series, previously involving the $125,000 Manitoba Derby at Assiniboia Downs, the $200,000 Grade 3 Canadian Derby at Century Mile racetrack in Edmonton, and the $125,000 Grade 3 B.C. Derby at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver has been revised to now remove the Manitoba Derby for the 2024 race season due to the continued federal quarantine of the backstretch barn area of Assiniboia Downs.

A mid-June discovery of equine infectious anemia (EIA) that infected one horse at Assiniboia Downs triggered the quarantine by the Canadian Food & Inspection Agency (CFIA). Though every horse in the barn area subsequently tested negative, a 45-day quarantine of the area was imposed and will continue until the entire equine inventory is tested again. A continued negative result will ultimately lift the quarantine.

“The second and final Coggins testing is currently scheduled for Monday, July 29 with results proposed to be released on Friday, August 2. Entry date for the $125,000 Manitoba Derby is Thursday, August 1. As there is not certainty to the results, date of release of that information, and the lifting of the current quarantine, it is only responsible to remove our race from the series this year and adjust the bonus opportunities,” said Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn regretfully.

“We are still hopeful that entries for the Manitoba Derby will be strong, but we have to acknowledge that in the unlikely scenario of another horse testing positive for EIA or any delay in the removal of the quarantine, that access to the backstretch for horses not already on the property will be denied.”

The removal of the Manitoba Derby will now see the series reduced to the Canadian and B.C. Derbies and as such the previous $100,000 three leg sweep opportunity has also been discontinued. However, of important note, the $25,000 Owner/Trainer Point System Bonus will remain in place.

“Though we are understandably disappointed by the unfortunate absence of the Manitoba Derby and how it has affected our series, all parties agreed that it was important to still recognize and reward the valued owners and trainers who will compete in the remaining two races with the participation and results-based bonus system that was initially offered,” said Allen Goodsell, Racing Manager, Century Casinos.