Will Rogers Downs presented two divisions of the Oklahoma Stallion Stakes for 3-year-olds on Kentucky Derby Day, May 4, and progeny of stallions standing at Oklahoma Equine swept the exacta in the fillies race. In the one-mile affair contested over a sloppy track, Hard Cider enjoyed a stalking trip under jockey Garrett Steinberg and then seized command in the stretch to draw clear by 3 ½ lengths. The daughter of Liquor Cabinet (Ire), who became her sire’s first stakes winner, stopped the timer at 1:41.40.
Bred and owned by 7 Cedars Farm and trained by Clinton Stuart, Hard Cider appears to be finding her stride as a 3-year-old. It took the Oklahoma-bred eight tries to break her maiden, but she did it in style with an 8 ½-length romp on April 9 at Will Rogers. That set her up for another big win in the Stallion Stakes, and now her record stands at 9-2-1-1 with earnings of $58,447. She is out of the Oklahoma-bred mare Alley’s Account, by Alamocitos.
Liquor Cabinet, who was last year’s leading freshman sire in Oklahoma, has jumped out to the early lead on the state’s second-crop list this year. The Hennessy stallion ran first or second in 10 of his 12 career starts, including a win in the Grade 3 Aqueduct Handicap in New York. Hard Cider is one of 34 foals in his first crop to reach the track.
Circle S Ranch Inc.’s homebred Mari’s Big Rock, a daughter of Oklahoma Equine stallion Diamond, set the early pace and held on to finish a clear second. The filly is still a maiden but has hit the board in five of seven starts with earnings of $29,828. Cody Worst rode her for trainer Tim Williams.
Favored Rah Rah Rachel, winner of the fillies division of the Oklahoma Stallion Stakes run in November at Remington Park, took third for owner Iron Oaks LLC, trainer Gene Jacquot and jockey David Cardoso. She is a daughter of Mighty Acres stallion Air Commander.
Lady Bison (by Burbank) and Pippa Okie (by Cavvy) completed the field.