The $400,000 Oklahoma Derby, the marquee event of the Remington Park Thoroughbred Season, drew a field of 10 this morning in the racing office. The race will headline a stellar program on a special Sunday card on Sept. 30, beginning at 1:30pm.
The Oklahoma Derby group of 3-year-olds will test the 1 1/8 miles in race nine on Sunday, Sept. 30. The derby is slated for a start at 5:14pm.
In an extremely competitive Oklahoma Derby, Called To Serve has been tabbed as the 7-2 morning-line favorite by a slim margin over many in the race. Remington Park odds-maker Jerry Shottenkirk notes the wide-open event.
“This was probably the toughest line to make in the history of the Oklahoma Derby, any of four horses could probably be favored,” Shottenkirk said. “Called to Serve is the slight morning line choice because he is coming off the best effort around two turns. Next in line are Daddy Nose Best and Willy Beamin at 4-1 with Prospective at 5-1. Called to Serve closed stoutly in the West Virginia Derby and just missed finishing third, a length behind Macho Macho and Bourbon Courage. Macho Macho came out of that race and was a troubled second in the Pennsylvania Derby (Sept. 22) while Bourbon Courage was the easy winner of the Super Derby (Sept. 8). Called to Serve likely will benefit from a rapid pace.”
Called To Serve will be ridden by Daniel Centeno, competing in his first race at Remington Park.
National Racing Hall of Fame jockeys are slated to ride in the Oklahoma Derby. Edgar Prado, inducted into the hall in 2008, won the 2011 Oklahoma Derby on Redeemed and will come back to ride Willy Beamin on Sunday. Kent Desormeaux, inducted in 2004, will have the mount on Politicallycorrect.
The starting gate will have winning streak runners book-ending the field. Grade 1 winner Willy Beamin is in post 10 on the outside, boasting a winning streak of six races. On the inside of the gate in post one is Diamond Joe, a winner of nine consecutive events and the North American leader by wins in 2012.
Willy Beamin gave racing fans a flashback to the way horses competed in the early part of the 1900s in August at Saratoga. He won the $150,000 Albany Stakes for New York-breds on a Wednesday and then came back in 72 hours to win the Grade 1, $500,000 King’s Bishop Stakes on Saturday against open company. During his winning streak he has won three stakes races and prevailed at distances of seven furlongs to1-1/8 miles.
Diamond Joe, the pride of Nebraska racing, won eight straight this year in his home before moving to Remington Park to prep for the Oklahoma Derby by winning an allowance event on Sept. 14 for his ninth consecutive score. Diamond Joe is sired by 1995 Oklahoma Derby winner Dazzling Falls. Trainer Chuck Turco has handled the conditioning of both Dazzling Falls and his son Diamond Joe.
A pair of Oklahoma Derby entrants raced on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year. Prospective and Daddy Nose Best were both in the Kentucky Derby with the former going on to start in the Preakness Stakes. Both are graded winners this year with Prospective scoring in the Grade 2, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby in March and Grade 3, $100,000 Ohio Derby in July. Daddy Nose Best won the Grade 3, $200,000 El Camino Real Derby in February followed by a triumph in the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby in March.
Speightscity joins Prospective and Daddy Nose Best as alums from the 2011 Breeders’ Cup juvenile races in their 2-year-old seasons. Speightscity and Prospective took part in the $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile finishing ninth and 13th respectively. Daddy Nose Best took part in the $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, finishing sixth.
The $400,000 Oklahoma Derby field, by post position and program number, with trainer, jockey and morning-line odds:
1. Diamond Joe, Chuck Turco, Cliff Berry, 10-1
2. Called To Serve, Peter Eurton, Daniel Centeno, 7-2
3. Politicallycorrect, Wesley Ward, Kent Desormeaux, 12-1
4. Prospective, Mark Casse, Jermaine Bridgmohan, 5-1
5. Ted’s Folly, Wilson Brown, Jose Medina, 20-1
6. Master Rick, Steve Asmussen, Gerard Melancon, 10-1
7. Daddy Nose Best, Steve Asmussen, Corey Nakatani, 4-1
8. Suns Out Guns Out, Dale Romans, Corey Lanerie, 15-1
9. Speightscity, Gary Contessa, Irad Ortiz, 15-1
10. Willy Beamin, William Cesare, Edgar Prado, 4-1
The entire 10-race program on Sunday carries horsemen’s purses of $1,124,700. The other four stakes races on the card include: the $50,000 Ladies on the Lawn Stakes (race 5); the $250,000 Remington Park Oaks (race 6); the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup (race 7) and the $125,000 Remington Green Stakes (race 8).
Remington Park live racing takes place Thursday, Sept. 27 thru Sunday, Sept. 30 this week. The first race on Thursday, Friday and Saturday is at 6:30pm. The Oklahoma Derby Day program on Sunday starts at 1:30pm.
Friday night, the Remington Park stakes series for 2-year-olds begins as the $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes is presented.