Alternation won a prolonged stretch battle with Prayer For Relief to score by a nose in Saturday night’s $200,000 Governor’s Cup at Remington Park. The heavy wagering favorite at 3-5 odds, Alternation became a millionaire with his earnings for winning the Governor’s Cup, Remington Park’s top race for older horses this season.
Placed at the front from the outset by jockey Luis Quinonez, Alternation was immediately in a 1-1/8 miles duel with Prayer For Relief as the pair took turns setting the pace. After allowing his rival a half-length advantage with three furlongs to go, Alternation was asked for his best by Quinonez and took the lead at the top of the stretch.
However, Prayer For Relief was not going away without a fight under veteran jockey Mark Guidry. The two colts went back and forth with a nose advantage for the final furlong until Alternation managed to inch ahead in the final strides to score by a nose in 1:49.27 seconds over the fast track.
“I just had to let him do what he does,” said Quinonez of Alternation’s effort. “I know my horse is going to try hard. He’s a fighter and I knew he wasn’t going to let me down.”
Alternation won his fifth stakes race of the year from six attempts for trainer Donnie Von Hemel of Piedmont, Okla.
“I thought it was a tremendous effort tonight. We gave six pounds to the horse we almost got be by,” Von Hemel said, referring to Alternation carrying 124 pounds to the 118 toted by Prayer For Relief. “It was a big effort by both horses. To go the last eighth of a mile in 12-seconds flat, that’s racehorse right there.”
Owned by Josephine Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stable of Versailles, Ky. and bred in Kentucky by her Pin Oak Stud, Alternation won his ninth career race from 15 attempts and earned $120,000 for the effort to move his career earnings to $1,032,727.
A colt by Distorted Humor from the Seattle Slew mare Alternate, Alternation won his second race at Remington Park from four attempts. He was the runner-up in the 2011 Oklahoma Derby here, finishing ahead of Prayer For Relief who was third in that same race.
Alternation paid $3.20 to win and $2.10 to place. Prayer For Relief paid $2.20 to place.
David M. Vance Sprint
In just his ninth lifetime start, Alsvid won his fourth career stakes-races in dramatic fashion after being bottled up between horses for much of the six-furlong $103,000, David M. Vance Stakes.
Trained by Chris Hartman, Alsvid raced between horses and just behind the front pair of Apprehender and Joe Hollywood until jockey Chris Landeros angled him to the outside for his winning rally through the stretch.
“I had to wait longer than I wanted to run off the turn, I thought I could split the 7 (Okie Ride) but he was running a big race and wasn’t giving way,” Landeros noted. “He’s such a mature horse that when I set him down for the wire he went for it. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet.”
Alsvid is owned by Black Hawk Stable of Jim and Jo Brenda Rodgers from Elk City, Okla., and earned $60,000 for his owners, growing his career earnings to $241,465. He covered the six furlongs in 1:08.78 seconds over the fast track and paid $8 to win, $3.20 to place and $4 to show.
Okie Ride threatened from a stalking position but could not go with the winner and finished second to pay $8.60 to place and $3.80 to show. Apprehender showed good speed throughout and grudgingly gave way at the rail to pay $3.20 to show.
A 3-year-old gelded son of Officer from the Afternoon Deelites mare Reagle Mary, Alsvid was a popular winner at Remington Park last year at age two, winning the $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes, also at six furlongs. He won a pair of stakes races at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa earlier this year before finishing fifth and last in the Iowa Derby, which was won by Hansen the 2011Eclipse Award winning champion 2-year-old.
Remington Park’s 2012 Thoroughbred Season continues on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 17 & 18. The $50,000 Red Earth Stakes for Oklahoma-breds over the turf is the lead race on Friday night. The $100,000 Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Handicap over the turf has the spotlight on Saturday night. The first race both evenings is at 6:30pm.
Open daily at 10am 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.
Remington Park, with over 18,000 fans on Facebook and 3,000 Twitter followers, 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 remingtonpark.com.