Locals Look to Upset Oklahoma Derby (Grade 3)

Poseidon’s Way (4), under Luis Quinonez, edges Hillbilly Royalty (3) by a head in a Remington Park allowance race on Aug. 22 - Photo credit: Dustin Orona Photography


OKLAHOMA CITY – The Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby has been set after the post-position draw held in the Remington Park racing office this morning. A field of 12 will contest the 1-1/8 miles in the headline event on a stakes-laden program for Sunday, Sept. 27 that begins at 1:30pm-central.

Hall of Fame Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will attempt to win his second consecutive Oklahoma Derby with Desert Dynamo. The 2014 edition went to Tonito M. who traveled to Oklahoma City from Hollendorfer’s southern California barn to score. Desert Dynamo made the similar trip and arrived at Will Rogers World Airport this morning to begin local preparation.

Desert Dynamo has been tabbed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite by Remington Park odds-maker Rick Lee. Desert Dynamo was third in his most recent start, the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 29. Jockey Mario Gutierrez will travel from California for the mount on Sunday.

Mobile Bay, winner of the Grade 2-$400,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 12 is second in the morning-line at 7-2 odds. Hall of Fame Jockey Edgar Prado will keep the mount he first rode in Bossier City, La. Prado won the 2011 Oklahoma Derby aboard Redeemed.

Souper Colossal, a second-place finisher in four consecutive races, is third in the morning-line at 9-2 odds. Trained by Edward Plesa, Jr., Souper Colossal has been the runner-up in consecutive graded races, the Grade 3-$300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx in Philadelphia on Aug. 29 and the Grade 2-$750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 1. Jockey Paco Lopez retains the ride on Souper Colossal as he has been the colt’s pilot in seven of his nine career races.

The field for the 27th Oklahoma Derby, by post position and saddle towel order, with trainer, jockey and morning-line odds:

  1. Poseidon’s Way: Donnie Von Hemel, Luis Quinonez, 20-1
  2. Lucky Player: Steve Asmussen, Ramon Vazquez, 30-1
  3. Witt Six: Jerry Gourneau, C.J. McMahon, 20-1
  4. Mobile Bay: Victor Arceneaux, Edgar Prado, 7-2
  5. Desert Dynamo: Jerry Hollendorfer, Mario Gutierrez, 5-2
  6. Souper Colossal: Edward Plesa, Jr., Paco Lopez, 9-2
  7. Shotgun Kowboy: C.R. Trout, Cliff Berry, 15-1
  8. Bold Conquest: Steve Asmussen, Angel Cruz, 10-1
  9. Classy Class: Kiaran McLaughlin, Joe Bravo, 8-1
  10. The Truth Or Else: Kenneth McPeek, Calvin Borel, 6-1
  11. Tale Of Verve: Dallas Stewart, Jamie Theriot, 20-1
  12. Hillbilly Royalty: Donnie Von Hemel, Alex Birzer, 20-1

All but four of the dozen for the derby are now on the grounds at Remington Park. The remaining quartet (Classy Class, Souper Colossal, Tale Of Verve and The Truth Or Else) are scheduled to land at Will Rogers World Airport on Friday morning and then make their way to the track’s stable area.

Trainer Donnie Von Hemel has two entries from his barn in Poseidon’s Way and Hillbilly Royalty, book-ending the field from post number one and post number 12 respectively. That duo will attempt to help extend the Von Hemel record for most wins in the Oklahoma Derby to four. He previously won the race in 1989 with Clever Trevor, 1991 with Queen’s Gray Bee and 2007 with Going Ballistic. Von Hemel is Remington Park’s all-time leading trainer, currently with 965 wins.

Cliff Berry has the most jockey wins in the Oklahoma Derby, of those in this year’s race. He scored with Comic Truth in 2003 and then Mr. Pursuit in 2006. Luis Quinonez won the race in 2004 aboard Wally’s Choice while Jamie Theriot won in 2008 with Golden Yank.

Hall of Fame Jockey Calvin Borel will seek his first victory in the Oklahoma Derby aboard The Truth Or Else, trained by Kenneth McPeek. A winner of a 1-1/16 miles allowance event at Belmont Park on May 22, The Truth Or Else will come off a four-month plus layoff to compete in the derby.

At $400,000, this year’s Oklahoma Derby matches the previous four for the highest purse in the history of the race. The 2011 derby (won by Redeemed) was the first year of the run at the current purse level.

The Oklahoma Derby is the main event on a 10-race card that includes seven consecutive stakes events from races three thru nine. The total horsemen’s purses for the program stand at $1,173,255, securing the derby card as the richest for the 2015 Remington Park Thoroughbred Season.

The stakes races on Oklahoma Derby Day at Remington Park will be presented in this order:

Race 3: $50,000 Flashy Lady Stakes, fillies/mares, 3 and older, 6 furlongs, 2:28pm

Race 4: $100,000 Remington Green, 3 and older, 1-1/8 miles (turf), 2:57pm

Race 5: $150,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup, 3 and older, 6 furlongs, 3:26pm

Race 6: $75,000 Ricks Memorial, fillies/mares, 3 and older, 1-1/16 miles (turf), 3:55pm

Race 7: $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes, 2-year-olds, 6 furlongs, 4:24pm

Race 8: $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1-1/16 miles, 4:53pm

Race 9: $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3), 3-year-olds, 1-1/8 miles, 5:22pm

All Times are Central.

Open daily at 10:30am for casino gaming and simulcast racing, Remington Park features the Bricktown Brewery on the casino floor. Admission, general parking and valet parking are always free at Remington Park, home of the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sunday, Sept. 27.

Tracked by over 86,000 fans on Facebook and 6,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park is Oklahoma City’s only Racetrack & Casino and is located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit

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