One day after Serge Ibaka the basketball player helped the Oklahoma City Thunder upset the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Playoffs, Ibaka the racehorse captured the $55,000 Cherokee Nation Classic Cup Stakes at Will Rogers Downs. Bred and owned by Doug Wall, the 5-year-old gelded son of Texas stallion Uncle Abbie won the Oklahoma-bred stakes in a time of 1:42.01 for a mile and 70 yards over a muddy (sealed) track. C.J. McMahon rode the 7-5 favorite to a 3 ¼-length win for trainer Bret Calhoun.
This marked Ibaka’s ninth career win in 19 starts and pushed his earnings to $358,319. He now has six career stakes wins, with his previous five coming in the Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star Park, Texas Stallion Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park, Texas Heritage Stakes at Sam Houston, OKC Turf Classic Stakes at Remington Park and Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds. The gelding has proven to be effective on both wet and dry dirt tracks and on the turf, and he’s also found plenty of success against open company. His sire Uncle Abbie stands at Key Ranch near Salado, Texas.
Hal Browning and David Faulkner’s homebred Lingerlonger, a gelding by JEH Stallion Station stallion Mr. Nightlinger and winner of the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile in 2013, finished second.
Ann Sachdev and Lori Bravo’s Okey Dokey Kyle, a two-time winner of the Oklahoma Stallion Stakes and a son of Raywood Farm stallion Tactical Cat, took third.