The annual super-card of stakes races for Oklahoma-breds is set as Remington Park is proud to host Oklahoma Classics Night this Friday. The 10-race program features total purse money of more than $1.2 million.
The $175,000 Classics Cup will cap the evening and features four of the top five finishers that competed in the race a year ago, including the victor, Imahit. Making another attempt at Imahit will be: Ted’s Folly (2nd in 2013); Z Rockstar (3rd) and Evansville Storm (5th).
A couple of new foes are in the Cup mix this season with 3-year-old Ibaka joining the fray. Fresh off his seventh-place finish in the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby on Sept. 28, Ibaka will bid to start another winning streak in the Cup. He had a five-race skein end with his performance in the derby.
The Cup contender with the most career wins at 11 overall is Z Rockstar. Tabbed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite by Remington Park odds maker Rick Lee, Z Rockstar won the prep race for the 1-1/16 miles Cup on Sept. 27. In that one-mile allowance event, the 5-year-old defeated both Imahit (2nd) and Evansville Storm (3rd) in that race.
Owned and bred by Robert Zoellner of Tulsa, Okla., Z Rockstar will bid to help fill the void left in the Zoellner operation by the retirement of She’s All In who had won four straight Classics events with a four-year dominance of the Distaff.
Z Rockstar is trained by Donnie Von Hemel, the all-time Oklahoma Classics leader in wins with 25. The 5-year-old gelding will be ridden by Luis Quinonez, a 13-time Classics winning jockey.
The top earner in the Cup is Ted’s Folly with $452,280 in total money. Now trained by Boyd Caster, Ted’s Folly was the 2011 Remington Park Horse of the Meeting when he won six consecutive races including the Classics Juvenile. Ted’s Folly topped that 2011 campaign by winning the Springboard Mile, the richest 2-year-old stakes race on the local schedule.
The $175,000 Classics Cup field, by program and post-position order, with trainer, jockey and morning-line odds:
1. Evansville Storm: Tyrone Shaw, Terry Thompson, 7-2
2. Ibaka: Bret Calhoun, Lindey Wade, 10-1
3. Z Rockstar: Donnie Von Hemel, Luis Quinonez, 6-5
4. Imahit: C.R. Trout, Jareth Loveberry, 2-1
5. Self Destruct: Jose Gamez, Belen Quinonez, 30-1
6. Ted’s Folly: Boyd Caster, Jose Medina, 20-1
7. Shellac: Dana Whited, Glen Murphy, 20-1
The Cup will serve as the finale on the Classics Night program that starts at 7pm. The rest of the evening’s races, with approximate post times, include:
Race 1: $130,000 Distaff Sprint, 6 furlongs, 7pm
Race 2: $40,000 Filly & Mare Starter Allowance, 7 furlongs, 7:28pm
Race 3: $40,000 Starter Allowance, 7 furlongs, 7:56pm
Race 4: $130,000 Distaff Turf, 7-1/2 furlongs, 8:24pm
Race 5: $100,000 Juvenile, 6 furlongs, 8:52pm
Race 6: $100,000 Lassie, 6 furlongs, 9:20pm
Race 7: $130,000 Sprint, 6 furlongs, 9:48pm
Race 8: $145,000 Distaff, 1 mile-70 yards, 10:16pm
Race 9: $130,000 Turf, 1-1/16 miles, 10:44pm
Race 10: $175,000 Cup, 1-1/16 miles, 11:12pm
The Oklahoma Classics Primetime Pick Four will include a $30,000 minimum wagering pool guarantee on Friday night. The Pick Four starts in race 7 with the Sprint and concludes in race 10 with the Cup.