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Oklahoma Derby Preview: Shippers Invade Sooner State
Shared Sense winning the Indiana Derby (Credit: Coady Photography)

Oklahoma Derby Preview: Shippers Invade Sooner State

The biggest day of the year for Oklahoma thoroughbred racing is set for this Sunday, and the headlining event is the $200,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3). This year’s race drew a solid field of 9, including 4 shipping in from out of town. Sunday’s 11-race card includes 7 other stakes. Local post time for the Oklahoma Derby is set for 7:12 PM CT. 

The 5/2 morning line favorite is the Brad Cox-trained Shared Sense, who was last seen finishing fifth in the Ellis Park Derby. Two starts back, the colt picked up a 3-length victory in the Indiana Derby (G3), the highlight win of his career. Richard Eramia will pick up the mount for this event, breaking from post 5. 

Another out-of-town shipper with a flashy resume is the Tom Amoss-trained Dean Martini. Two starts back, he defeated rivals by 3/4 of a length in the Ohio Derby (G3) for the second win of his career. Recently, he was a well-beaten sixth in the Ellis Park Derby. The leading local jockey David Cabrera picks up the mount, with the horse drawing the outside post 9. 

Mo Mosa ships in from Kentucky looking for his first stakes victory. The colt tried his hand in a couple of Kentucky Derby prep events during the spring, but he was well-beaten in both. Recently, he dropped down in class to an allowance race at Ellis Park, where he dominated the field by over 4 lengths. The Mike Maker-trained colt will be ridden by Ramon Vazquez in this spot, breaking from post 8. 

The full field from the rail out: Salow, Creative Plan, Rowdy Yates, Liam, Shared Sense, Code Runner, Avant Garde, Mo Mosa, and Dean Martini. 

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Top Choice 

#5 Shared Sense – He’s the conservative pick to win, but I like his class edge over my second and third choices. I also think Shared Sense has the best past race of anyone in the group, which came two starts back when he dominated the Indiana Derby (G3). If he can get back to that effort in this spot, then he should be able to take down this group. Trainer Brad Cox is red-hot coming into the race as well, another factor in his favor. Hopefully, we can catch a decent enough price on him to make a win wager reasonable. 

Horses to Use in Multi-Race Wagers

#7 Avant Garde – This up-and-comer rides a 4-race winning streak, all of which came in dominant fashion at Gulfstream Park since being claimed by Jesus Lander. His speed figures fit in well with this group, but this is a big class jump. Last time out, he defeated starter allowance company, but his other 3 wins came against claiming company. Still, the horse has plenty of promise, and it’s a good sign that they sent him all the way from Florida.

#8 Mo Mosa – He give stakes company a try once again after a blowout allowance victory at Ellis Park. Earlier in the year, he was well-beaten in both the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) and Arkansas Derby (G1), but after a brief freshening, he seems to have improved. You can expect an effort good enough to pull off the upset. 

#9 Dean Martini – The Ohio Derby (G3) winner will try his hand at another Derby that ends with the letter “O.” There is no reason to think that he can’t be a contender in this spot, and this race is fairly similar talent-wise. He has had a series of solid works at Churchill Downs leading up to this start, too. 

Exotic Players

#3 Rowdy Yates – Trainer Steve Asmussen has gotten a lot out of this Oklahoma-bred in his 11-race career, which includes victories in 4 stakes. He’s also won 2 at Remington Park, but he’s finished fourth in his last 3 starts at the higher levels. He might be just a touch overmatched here. 

Party Crashers

#2 Creative Plan – Right now, anything trainer Karl Broberg is sending to the track seems to be running very well. This gelding has won 4 of his last 5, including dirt allowances at Lone Star Park and Canterbury Park. This will be his first try in a stakes race, which is concerning, but I would look for him to outrun his odds. 

#4 Liam – The Liam’s Map colt ran a solid race last time out, defeating maiden special weight company over this track. There is no doubt he will need to take a big step forward off of that effort, but he does have a bit of a home track advantage over most of this field. If you want to play a big longshot, this one makes the most sense. 

Throw Outs

#1 Salow – This undefeated colt sparks some interest, but this will be his first start on dirt. If he takes to the surface, though, he’ll have a shot, because his speed figures are close to matching up with this group. 

#6 Code Runner – This Asmussen runner just hasn’t made much impact in a stakes, despite having plenty of chances. Look for that to continue in this spot, which came up a little more difficult than you might expect. 

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