The Grade 3, $424,000 Oklahoma Derby went to the lone Oklahoma-bred in the race, Shotgun Kowboy, who seized the lead early in the 1-1/8-mile event and never looked back. Shotgun Kowboy became the second Oklahoma-bred to win the race after Clever Trevor took the inaugural running in 1989 when it was known as the Remington Park Derby.
Owned, trained and bred in Oklahoma by C.R. Trout of Edmond, Okla., Shotgun Kowboy made just his second start of the year in the Oklahoma Derby. Jockey Cliff Berry, who will retire after this Remington Park season, was aboard for the win. He allowed his mount to go to the front shortly after the start where he let him roll from that point.
“I wanted him to get out of the gates good and I was surprised I was there,” Berry said afterwards from the winner’s circle. “I took a big hold of him but nobody came up to him. He was cruising so I let him do it. I was thinking at the three-eighths pole, ‘please, don’t falter.’ Then I was thinking ‘come on finish line!’”
The finish line arrived with Shotgun Kowboy a half-length better than Desert Dynamo, who made a bid with a rally in the stretch but could not get past the resilient winner. Mobile Bay moved six-wide around the final turn and still managed to gain into third, 4-1/2 lengths behind the winner. Souper Colossal was fourth after being boxed in traffic much of the race.
Trout’s strategy for Berry was an easy one: let the rider figure it out. “You couldn’t have asked for a better ride than what Cliff Berry gave him. I told him, ‘he’s your horse for the next couple of minutes, you do whatever you want to do,’ and he did.”
Shotgun Kowboy handled the 1-1/8 miles in 1:48.91 over a fast surface. It was the fastest time for the Oklahoma Derby since Pleasant Prince won the 2010 edition in 1:48.81.
The Oklahoma Derby win is the first for Trout in his fourth attempt. His best prior effort came when Maysville Slew finished fourth in 1999 behind Temperence Time.
Berry won his third career Oklahoma Derby, in his final year of riding. “That’s awesome to go out like that.” Berry also won the Oklahoma Derby in 2003 aboard Comic Truth and 2006 aboard Mr. Pursuit.
Away as the wagering favorite at 5-2 odds, Shotgun Kowboy paid $7.60 to win, $4.40 to place and $3.20 to show. Desert Dynamo paid $5.20 to place and $3.60 to show. Mobile Bay paid $3.20 to show.
Shotgun Kowboy won his fifth race from seven career starts, all at Remington Park. The winner’s share of $264,000 increases his career earnings to $493,994. He is a gelding by Kodiak Kowboy from the Siphon (Brz) mare Shotgun Jane.
The complete order of finish in the Oklahoma Derby was: Shotgun Kowboy, Desert Dynamo, Mobile Bay, Souper Colossal, Bold Conquest, Witt Six, The Truth Or Else, Tale Of Verve, Poseidon’s Way, Classy Class, Lucky Player and Hillbilly Royalty.
Trout won two other races on the Oklahoma Derby undercard with Bring It On Dude in the $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes and High Price Hit in the finale. He gave plenty of credit to his crew for the success on the biggest day of the season at Remington Park.
“We’ve trained awfully hard, we’ve been blessed and we’ve got a great team. I’ve got Jeff Garretson out the house, Daniel Ortiz and the grooms here. They all just do a super, super, job.”
For a complete recap of the Oklahoma Derby undercard races, go to remingtonpark.com.