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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Twin Creeks Racing Stable homebred Warrant won the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3) in the lead event of Remington Park’s stacked Sunday stakes action.
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The second-leading trainer in the country, Brad Cox, won his third Oklahoma Derby in a row with Warrant, tying Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Famer Donnie Von Hemel with most Derby wins here.
No one has ever won 3 in a row in this race. Cox’s win in this year’s edition of the Oklahoma Derby followed victories in 2020 with Shared Sense and in 2019 with Owendale. Cox’s three derby wins were with three different jockeys. Joel Rosario was the winner aboard Warrant on Sunday. Richard Eramia won last year for Cox and Florent Geroux the year before. Von Hemel’s trips to the winner’s circle came with Going Ballistic in 2007, Queen’s Gray Bee in 1991 and Clever Trevor in the first edition in 1989.
Warrant, a 3-year-old son of Constitution, out of the First Samurai mare Whisper Number, was cruising under Rosario after three-quarters of a mile in second during the 1-1/8 miles race. He was the 3-1 third choice in the betting and trailed only front-running 20-1 longshot Flash of Mischief in the stretch. They fought to the wire before Warrant finally prevailed by 1-3/4 lengths.
The 2-1 wagering favorite, Super Stock, who had won the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby in April at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., and the Ellis Park Derby in August, broke in the air at the beginning of the race. He managed to finish third, 2-1/4 lengths behind the winner after weaving in and out of traffic in the lane.
“It was a perfect trip,” Rosario said of Warrant’s race. “The more I asked him, the more he gave me.”
Rosario is the top rider in the country in horses’ money earned with $23,265,077, according to Equibase statistics. Cox is second in the nation, behind Steve Asmussen in a tight race, Asmussen with $24,447,196 to Cox’s $22,747,876.
Rosario looked like the top jock as he rode Warrant flawlessly, covering the distance over a fast track in 1:50.76. He paid $8.40 to win, $4 to place and $2.60 to show. The interior fractions were :23.56 for the first quarter-mile, :47.95 for the half-mile, 1:12.25 for three-quarters of a mile and 1:37.55 for the mile.
Warrant won the $300,000 Texas Derby at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, on May 31 and then was laid off until Aug. 7 when he raced in the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby. Mr. Wireless got the best of Warrant that day but couldn’t get a sniff Sunday, finishing fifth a little more than 8-1/2 lengths behind.
Warrant is owned by Twin Creeks Racing Stables (Randall Gullatt) of Versailles, KY. The connections’ only true concern for their horse was his racing under the lights.
“It didn’t seem to bother him, though,” said Rosario. “When we dove to the inside, he settled in and seemed very happy.”
This was the first Oklahoma Derby win for Rosario and for owners Twin Creeks Racing.
Warrant earned $240,000 from the purse for the win and improved his career record to seven starts, three wins, three seconds and one third for $634,700. He was bred by Twin Creeks Farm in Kentucky. The rest of the derby field finished in this order: Team Merchants (4-1) in fourth, Mr. Wireless (3-1) fifth, Defeater (5-1) sixth, Dial in for Lute (53-1) seventh and Parrot Head (73-1) eighth.
Concept was the only maiden in the field of the $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes for 2-year-olds Sunday at Remington Park, but it didn’t keep the young Gun Runner colt from bounding home in front for the country’s leading trainer Steve Asmussen.
“I can’t say how proud I am of the Gun Runners and how they’ve performed,” said Asmussen, who became the all-time winningest trainer in horse racing history this year, passing Dale Baird. “I wanted him in this race because he needs to be ready for the other two legs of this series. I couldn’t wait for a maiden race.”
The other two legs are the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes on Friday, Oct. 29 and the $400,000 Springboard Mile on Dec. 17.
Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., was in the saddle for Asmussen. Santana celebrates a two-year anniversary of winning seven times on Oklahoma Derby Day in 2019, all seven for Asmussen. He gunned Concept, a son of Gun Runner, out of the Cindago mare Majestic Jewel, from the gate first and never was headed to the wire. Tejano Twist, the even-money favorite, came within a head of getting past the front-runner but Concept found another gear and drove to a 1-1/2 lengths victory at 9-5 odds.
Concept was making only the third start of his career. He had run third in a maiden special weights race at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Texas, in the mud and then was put into the $100,000 Preview Gold Juvenile Stakes at Prairie Meadows in Iowa. He could do no better than fifth in that start. Sunday’s start was the first under Santana.
Concept is a Kentucky homebred by owners Tony Holmes and Winchell Thoroughbreds (Ron Winchell) of Las Vegas, Nev. He is one of many 2-year-old winners that have made their sire, Gun Runner, soar to the top of the national sire list for juveniles. The Thoroughbred Daily News’ sires list has Gun Runner in front with earners of $1,420,227. Gun Runner was a six-time Grade 1 winner on the track and was named Horse of the Year in 2017.
Asmussen said he looks forward to stretching Concept colt out in subsequent races. “These Gun Runners just get better the farther you go,” said Asmussen.
Gun Runner was a classic distance runner with wins in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at 1-1/4 miles at Del Mar, the G1 Clark Handicap at 1-1/8 miles at Churchill Downs, the G1 Whitney Stakes at 1-1/8 miles at Saratoga, the G1 Woodward Stakes at 1-1/8 miles at Saratoga, and the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap at 1-1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.
Gun Runner earned $15,988,500 in his racing career before becoming a top stallion.
On a bright, sunny day that began at first post with 91-degree temperatures, Concept shone bright as a star. He earned $45,000 for his owners and improved his record to three starts, one win and one third for a total bankroll of $52,362.
He covered the six furlongs in 1:10.12 over a fast track and made every pole a winning one. He set interior fractions of :21.96 for the first quarter-mile, :45.28 for the half-mile, and :57.41 for five-eighths of a mile.
“When the 2 (Tejano Twist) came up to me, he kept fighting; he fought to the end,” said Santana.
Concept paid $5.80 to win, $2.60 to place and $2.10 to show as the second wagering favorite. He finished 1-1/2 lengths ahead of Tejano Twist, the beaten even-money betting favorite. Pinky Ring Bling was third, beaten 17-1/2 lengths. The other finishers included Lansdowne and Malibu Thunder.
It was the fourth win in this Kip Deville Stakes for Asmussen, also taking the event in 2018 with B.B. Dude, 2014 with Bayerd, and 2013 with Aarons Orient. Santana has now won for him three times. Rosie Napravnik won on Bayerd. It was the first win in this stakes for the owners.
Sea Level broke her maiden at Indiana Grand on Aug. 23, flying home by seven lengths ahead of her competitors, and she proved that was no fluke, winning by daylight in the $51,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial Stakes to stay unbeaten.
Jockey Joel Rosario booted the 2-year-old filly home to the easy 3-3/4 lengths victory in her first try with stakes company. Trainer Brad Cox, second in the country in horses’ money earned, was confident in Sea Level’s talent and she answered the bell with a big win. She is a juvenile daughter of Exaggerator, out of the Exchange Rate mare Miss Kekoa and earned $30,000 for the win and bumped her bankroll up to $50,400 for owners Joni and Barry Butzow of Eden Prairie, Minn.
Cox currently trails only Steve Asmussen in the national trainers’ standings with his $22,485,876 in horse earnings this year to the leader’s $24,358,696.
Rosario sat in mid-pack on Sea Level for the first half-mile of the 6-1/2 furlongs race and asked her to run down the stretch after she had moved into second. With her final burst, the 9-5 second wagering favorite, passed the 8-5 betting favorite Hits Pricey Legacy to get up for the trophy. Hits Pricey Legacy was almost as big a winner in her first try for owner-trainer C.R. Trout of Edmond, Okla., She broke her maiden at Remington Park on Aug. 27, drawing away by 6-3/4 lengths. The filly would have to settle for runner-up status on this day, however.
Sea Level covered the 6-1/2 furlongs on a fast surface in 1:18.41 and cut into early fractions of :22:12 for the first quarter-mile, :45.23 for the half-mile and 1:11.57 for three-quarters of a mile. She paid $5.60 to win, $3 to place and $2.60 to show. She was bred in Kentucky by her owners.
Point Two (9-1) finished third, another 1-1/2 lengths back of the runner-up. The remaining order of finish was Soaring (4th), Eagle Express (5th), Summerjustbet Her (6th) and Texas Bluebonnet who was pulled up.
This was the first win in the Gaylord Memorial for all of the connections.
The E.L. Gaylord Memorial is named in honor of the late chairman and publisher of The Oklahoman, the state’s largest newspaper. E.L. Gaylord was a staunch supporter of Remington Park in the track’s early history.
Cinnabunny made all the money in the $50,000 Flashy Lady Stakes on Sunday night and was one of three stakes winners for the barn of trainer Brad Cox on the night.
Cox also won the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby with Warrant and the $51,500 E.L. Gaylord Stakes with Sea Level. All three wins came with the nation’s No. 1 jockey Joel Rosario in the saddle. Rosario sits atop the national jockey standings in horses’ money earned with $23,265,077 this year.
It was the first stakes win for Cinnabunny, a 4-year-old filly by Golden Lad, out of the Congrats mare English Mum. She has now won 6-of-12 starts lifetime, but this was the only one with black type. The filly has been close, even in graded stakes events, but couldn’t push through. Back in December of last year, she raced in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., and finished third, beaten only three-quarters of a length. She also had the lead in the stretch of the Grade 2 Inside Information Stakes in her next race at Gulfstream before fading to fourth. On Sunday, she would not be denied. Rosario made sure of that.
He let Cinnabunny settle in fifth for most of the first half of the race, then moving up to fourth as the 3-2 second favorite according to the betting public. By the time she reached the stretch, she had swooped past everyone and cruised home a 3-3/4 lengths winner. Along the way in the stretch, she passed 3-5 wagering favorite Casual, who was second, another 3-1/4 lengths ahead of third-place finisher Lastchanceforlove (19-1).
Rounding out the order of finish in the Flashy Lady was Canadian Ginger (4th), Cherished (5th) and Sweet Mary M.
Cinnabunny is owned by Madaket Stables (Solomon Kumin), Michael Dubb, Michael Anspach and Michael Caruso of New York City. She was bred in Pennsylvania by Shooting Star Stable. She pocketed $30,000 in first-place money from the purse. Her record now is 12 starts, six wins, one second and three thirds for a lifetime bankroll of $216,960.
Cinnabunny crossed the finish for 6 furlongs in 1:10.69 on the fast track. She made her driving move into fractions of :22.08 for the first quarter-mile, :45.49 for the half-mile, and had taken over when she hit the five-eighths mark in :58.03 seconds.
Cinnabunny paid $5 to win, $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show.
It was the first win in this stakes race for all connections.
The $75,000 Ricks Memorial was won by Golden Curl on Sunday at Remington Park. The 5-year-old mare scored by a half-length in the 1-1/16 miles turf event.
Owned by George Sharp of Phoenix and trained by Shawn Davis, Golden Curl was ridden to victory by Remington Park’s three-time defending leading jockey, David Cabrera. A daughter of Curlin from the Medaglia d’Oro mare Hailey d’Oro sat right behind the pace set by Klayton’s Kandy until the top of the stretch before dispatching that rival and then holding off a late charge by Valentines Day to triumph. Island Hideaway was third, three-quarters of a length behind the winner. Golden Curl handled the firm going in 1:42.51.
The remaining order of finish was Klayton’s Kandy (4th) Brandons Babe (5th), Zamzam (6th), Good Fight (7th) and Martz’s Mae (8th).
Klayton’s Kandy set the fractions of :24.06 for the first quarter-mile, :48.68 for the half-mile and 1:12.90 for three-quarters of a mile, before giving way early in the stretch.
Golden Curl was the betting favorite at 2-1 odds, paying $6.40 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.80 to show. The win was the fourth from 17 career starts for Golden Curl who made $45,000 to move her career earnings to $201,478. She was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings.
Golden Curl provided her connections with their first win in the Ricks Memorial. Trainer Steve Asmussen had won the previous three editions (2018-2020) but saw his streak end tonight when his charge Klayton’s Kandy finished fourth.
The Ricks Memorial is named in honor of the late Ran Ricks, Jr. who was the first owner with horses on the grounds at Remington Park. He was a multiple leading owner during the first eight years in track history before passing in late 1996.
Greeley and Ben extended his winning streak to nine in a row, taking the $150,000 David M. Vance Stakes at Remington Park, giving trainer Karl Broberg and owner End Zone Athletics of Mansfield, Texas, possibly the claim of the century.
Back on March 7 at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., Broberg claimed Greeley and Ben for $10,000. Since then, this 7-year-old gelded son of Greeley’s Conquest, out of the Langfuhr mare Traci’s Wild, has won 10-of-11 starts for Broberg and his last nine consecutive races. The David Vance Stakes was his first black type win, however.
“When did I know I had a stakes horse on my hands during the streak?” Broberg repeated the question. “Tonight when he hit the finish line. I have worked very hard to keep this horse out of spots like this.”
The public believed in Greeley and Ben long before Broberg evidently as they sent him off as the 3-2 wagering favorite. It’s understandable that it would be surprising to Broberg that his horse would be bet down as hard as he was.
This was the best bunch of sprinters ever assembled for the David Vance Stakes. Greeley and Ben would have to beat the all-time winningest horse in Remington Park history, Welder, with 16 wins over the surface; a horse, Long Range Toddy, who had won the $400,000 Springboard Mile here in 2018 and went on to compete in the Kentucky Derby the next year; Empire of Gold, who had run fourth in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Sprint to Whitmore; Share the Upside, who beat Whitmore at Oaklawn two years ago, and Nitrous, winner of the $175,000 Thanksgiving Classic Stakes at Fair Grounds in Nov. 2020.
Jockey Joe Talamo was thrilled to get the call to ride Greeley and Ben for the first time in the horse’s 26 starts. Talamo was thoroughly impressed.
“I’ll give you $10,000 for him right now,” Talamo said to Broberg. “Maybe more!”
Greeley and Ben was fourth after a quarter of a mile, sitting behind It Makes Sense (69-1), Share the Upside (15-1) and Empire of Gold (7-2). Welder, at 8-1 odds, broke poorly and closed slightly to finish fifth. It was only the third time in Welder’s career he was sent off at 8-1 odds or higher. The other two times came in his first career start at Remington Park on Nov. 5, 2015 at 49-1 when he ran second, beaten only a head, and at 9-1 in the $150,000 Hot Springs Stakes at Oaklawn on March 9, 2019 in a third-place finish to Whitmore.
Talamo was gushing about Greeley and Ben’s win afterwards.
“What a trip it was,” he said. “Hats off to Karl. I can’t take any credit. With that many wins in a row, he is just a great horse to ride. I’d sure like to ride him again. I just tried to be a good passenger. When he switched leads in the stretch, he went past those horses so fast, he was actually waiting a little bit when he got in front.”
In the end, Greeley and Ben won by 2-1/2 lengths over runner-up Mr Money Bags (7-1), who was another 1-3/4 lengths ahead of Long Range Toddy (10-1), who entered the night with three wins in five trips over the Remington Park track.
Greeley and Ben earned nine times the price Broberg paid for him in the initial claim – $90,000 for the victory – and that doesn’t even count the money from the other nine wins since he moved to Broberg’s barn. The winner’s record is now 26 starts, 16 wins, four seconds and one third for $454,398 in earnings. The reason Broberg claimed the horse this past spring was nothing he boasts about.
“I just thought he was a horse that looked like he was worth $10,000,” Broberg said. “If I said there was anything genius to it, I’d be making up a story. I’ll still be looking for a $10,000 starter allowance for him next time out.”
The winner covered the 6 furlongs in 1:09.79 on the fast track, racing into interior fractions of :21.98 for the quarter-mile, :44.29 for the half-mile and :56.50 for five-eighths of a mile. Greeley and Ben lit the track on fire with his previous win here, going 1:08.88.
“I thought we were the horse to beat based on numbers alone,” said Broberg.
Greeley and Ben was bred in Kentucky by the Millard R. Seldin Revocable Trust.
The rest of the final order of finish for the David M. Vance Stakes was Empire of Gold fourth, Welder fifth, Bybee (65-1) sixth, Share the Upside seventh, Nitrous (7-2) eighth and It Makes Sense ninth.
This was the first victory in the Vance for all of the connections.
There were several indications that Lady Mystify was going to bounce back to win the Grade 3, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks after a loss by 17 lengths in her previous race.
Consider these factors for the 6-1 outside shot in the seven-horse field of 3-year-old fillies:
All these factors kicked in for the Remington Park Oaks and, sure enough, Eurton had not shipped one horse to shine shoes. She broke well from the gate in the 1-1/16 miles race and sat just back of the two early speed fillies, My Girl Red and Lovely Ride. Those two set all the pace for her as she sat in the garden seat with Prat chilly. When the time was right, Prat asked her to run and she went to the lead after 6 furlongs. She cruised to a three-length victory at generous 6-1 odds. She paid $14 to win, $5 to place, and $2.80 to show across the board.
This daughter of Bernardini, out of the Unbridled’s Song mare J. Quirk, earned $120,000 for owners Ex-Line Border Racing (Ryan Exline), SAF Racing and Richard Hausman of Pasa Robles, Calif., and improved her record to six starts, three wins, one second and one third for $217,520 in her bankroll. It was the first stakes victory of her young career.
“She broke really well for me,” said Prat, “and we had a good trip. I gave her a little breather on the backstretch and that’s why she gave me so much in the stretch. She was very calm before the race, so I felt good.”
Lady Mystify covered the distance in 1:44.13 over the fast main track after chasing fractions of :23.60 after a quarter-mile, :47.29 for the half-mile, 1:11.80 for three-quarters of a mile and 1:37.40 for the mile. She was bred in Kentucky by Scott and Evan Dilworth. She finished ahead of 8-5 second favorite Pauline’s Pearl, who was a head in front of third-place finisher Amendment Nineteen, the post-time even-money favorite.
The remaining order of finish was Bobbin Tail (4th), Lovely Ride (5th), My Girl Red (6th) and Hailey’s Melody (7th).
The Oaks win was the second for Eurton, who shipped Grade 1 winner Champagne Room to win the race in 2017. The rest of the connections of Lady Mystify enjoyed their first Remington Park Oaks victory.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Spooky Channel, winner of Sunday’s $100,000 Remington Green Stakes, bled greed with his turf breeding on the top and bottom of his pedigree.
It doesn’t get much better than English Channel’s bloodlines on top and Kitten’s Joy on bottom when it comes to horses that flourish greensward. That’s pretty much Spooky Channel’s family tree and he has proven it to be true to form with 10 wins in 24 trips over grass courses, including this one in the Remington Green. English Channel and Kitten’s Joy have more grass winners than blades of grass on the Remington Park course, it seems.
English Channel was a Champion Horse on the grass with $5.3 million in earnings, winning six Grade 1 races, including the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Spooky Channel is out of the Kitten’s Joy mare Spooky Kitten, which means more turf racing prowess. Kitten’s Joy has been the No. 1 sire on grass in North America multiple times and was a multiple Grade 1 stakes winner with more than $2 million banked on turf.
Kitten’s Joy was voted the Champion Male Horse on the grass in 2004 despite running second to Better Talk Now in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. He has produced about 100 stakes winners as a sire and saw his stud fee rise from $25,000 to $100,000 because of his progeny’s prowess on the grass.
Spooky Channel looked just like his daddy on Sunday, skimming over the grass like a skipped rock and gliding home a winner in the 1-1/8 miles race by three-quarters of a length over runner-up Sunlit Song, last year’s winner of this race. Spooky Channel was made the 5-2 favorite by the betting public and bettors sent Sunlit Song away at 4-1 odds. The third-place finisher was Tut’s Revenge (7-2), another three lengths back.
Spooky Channel, with jockey James Graham getting a leg up from trainer Jason Barkley, paid $7.20 to win, $4 to place and $2.60 to show across the board. The 6-year-old gelding is owned by NBS Stable (Art Neuhedel) of Gardner, Kan. He was bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm. This is another horse with an amazing sale price. He was purchased out of the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearling Sale for $10,000. Spooky Channel earned $60,000 for this win and improved to 24 starts, 10 wins and four seconds for $511,722 in earnings.
It was Graham’s first win in the Remington Green, although he did take home an Oklahoma Derby victory with Lone Sailor in 2018, his only Oklahoma Derby mount. It was also the only Remington Green win for the owner and Barkley. The gelding’s winning time was 1:47.01 over the firm turf. He came from 10th in the early going to pass nine other horses for the victory. He was still in fourth as they came into the stretch, but found the afterburners down the lane. The amazing part of his run from the back of the field is that the early fractions weren’t blistering. The early speed went :23.55 for the first quarter-mile, :47.28 for the half-mile, 1:10.54 for three-quarters of a mile and 1:35.06 for the mile. The pace picked up swiftly in the last half of the race.
An indication of just how good this grass horse is may have been his victory in the Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston Race Park at 1-1/2 miles on Jan. 31 this year.
The remaining order of finish in the Remington Green was Popular Kid (4th), Spirit Animal (5th), Don’task Don’ttell who was the pace-setter before fading in the final furlong (6th), Megacity (7th), Guided Missile (8th), Singapore Flash (9th), Carlea’s Dream (10th) and Fred’stwirlincandy (11th).
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