The 21st edition of the Oklahoma Classics, a night of divisional stakes racing for Oklahoma-bred Thoroughbreds at Remington Park, was expected to be a final sendoff party for millionaire She’s All In. The top Oklahoma-bred in training did not disappoint as she won her record fourth consecutive $129,500 Classics Distaff, presented by the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, and left the track a winner… one last time.
Owned by Robert Zoellner of Tulsa, Okla. and trained by Donnie Von Hemel, She’s All In has been ridden regularly by Luis Quinonez over the past two years. He let her talent do the work, sitting just off the early pace then moving to the lead going into the final turn. She’s All In rolled to an easy 6-1/4 length win in her swansong, covering 1 mile-70yards in 1:42.92 with plenty left in reserve over the fast track.
“I hate to see here go, I’m going to miss her,” Quinonez said. “She’s been good to me. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
She’s All In won her 16th race from 38 career starts with 11 of them coming at Remington Park from 14 starts here. The Distaff winner’s share of $77,700 boosts her final career earnings to $1,102,489. Bred by Zoellner, She’s All In is a 6-year-old mare by Include from the Hickory Ridge mare Georgia OK. She is slated to be sold in November as a potential broodmare.
“It’s bittersweet. It’s her last race. I’m pretty emotional right now but what a ride,” Zoellner said with elation. “Four (Distaffs) in a row. I want to thank Donnie (Von Hemel), Luis Q and Joe Flemmings, my farm manager. What a great job everybody’s done with this mare. It’s been so much fun. I wish everybody out there can experience what I’m experiencing right now.”
The super-favorite in the wagering at 1-9 odds, She’s All In paid $2.20 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. Pets Superstar was along for a distant second to pay $6 to place and $4.20 to show. Foreign Sultress was another 2-1/4 lengths behind in third and returned $2.60 to show.
She’s All In has won every Classics Distaff since 2010 and ends her Remington Park career perfect at the Distaff distance of 1 mile-70 yards, winning all six of her starts at the measure. Overall, she earned $520,144 of her total bankroll at Remington Park.
She’s All In gave Von Hemel a training triple on the night and his all-time leading 25th Oklahoma Classics win in the process. The Distaff triumph was the 13th Classics win for Quinonez.
$158,000 Chickasaw Nation Oklahoma Classics Cup
The richest race on the Classics card took a backseat to the She’s All In retirement party but a future Oklahoma-bred star may have come of age in winning the 2013 Classics Cup. Imahit, a colossal 4-year-old gelding, ran a near perfect race to have something left for the final quarter mile and then pulling away to win by 1-1/4 lengths.
Owned, trained and bred by C.R. Trout of Edmond, Okla., Imahit was ridden by Ken Tohill. He had Imahit placed in mid-pack in the field of eight, waiting about four lengths off the pace duel of My Brother Don and Polka Joke going into the final turn of the 1-1/16 miles. At that point, Tohill moved Imahit to the outside where he smoothly went to the lead, while going three-wide, by the time the field reached mid-stretch.
Z Rockstar was the first to reach the early leaders and briefly had the advantage in the lane. However, Imahit took it away from Z Rockstar about as quickly as he had gained it. Imahit comfortably drew away for victory in 1:44.16 over the fast main track. Late-running Ted’s Folly closed for second, a neck ahead of Z Rockstar who held third.
The even-money wagering favorite, Imahit paid $4 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.60 to show. Ted’s Folly returned $4.20 to place and $2.80 to show. Z Rockstar paid $2.80 to show.
The win was the fifth from 14 career starts for Imahit, a son of Whywhywhy from the Sahm mare Halo Hit. He has won four of his races at Remington Park and earned $94,800 for the Cup score to move his overall money to $245,336.
The Cup win was the third overall Classics score for Trout and the second for Tohill.
$120,850 Oklahoma Classics Distaff Sprint presented by Global Gaming Solutions
Eye Love Jeanie needed every bit of the six-furlong distance to win the $130,000 added Classics Sprint, when she gained the lead in the final jump to defeat the pace-setting and even-money wagering favorite, More Than Even.
Winning jockey Luis Quinonez maintained his position at the rail to win with a dramatic winning margin of just a head for trainer Donnie Von Hemel. The Robert Zoellner-homebred 3-year-old daughter of Showing Up from the Awesome Again mare First At The Wire, covered the distance in 1:11.25 and paid $6.40 to win, $3.00 to place and $2.20 to show. More Than Even returned $2.60 to place and $2.10 to show. Lesley Be Judged ran third and paid $3.20.
Eye Love Jeannie won her third career race, all at Remington Park, from six lifetime starts. The first-place check of $72,510 now gives her $123,721 overall.
$116,950 Oklahoma Classics Sprint presented by Kaw Nation
Winless in seven starts in 2013, Chuck rallied strongly from off the pace to win the Classics Sprint.
Patiently ridden by jockey Belen Quinonez, Chuck, a three-year-old colt by Evansville Slew from the Marquetry mare Holdthebaby, was swung out wide at the top of the stretch to out-duel Right Squall and rundown the 1-2 favorite Okie Ride, who was seeking his third-straight Oklahoma Classics Sprint.
“Donnie (Von Hemel, trainer) told me to break, and since we were in the one-hole, to just to sit there and bide my time,” Quinonez noted. “I didn’t expect to be that close, I thought I was going to be farther back. I was three lengths behind the speed and I knew I had tons of horse. At the head of the lane, I swung him out and hit him a couple times and he went on. It was pretty nice.”
Trained by Donnie Von Hemel and owned and bred by Norma Lee Stockseth of Corpus Cristi, Texas, Chuck has now recorded all three of his lifetime wins at Remington Park, boosting his lifetime earnings to $150,128. The 20-1 longshot paid $42.40 to win, $16.80 to place and $6.00 to show. Right Squall paid $6.40 to place and $3.20 to show. Okie Ride set the pace and tired in the stretch to finish third and pay $2.10 to show.
Chuck provide Belen Quinonez with his second career Oklahoma Classics win.
$120,850 Oklahoma Classics Distaff Turf presented by Cherokee Nation Entertainment
With limited racing experience over the turf course, Fast Resource won the Classics Distaff Turf, in just her second race over the grass. Trained by Roger Engel, the 4-year-old Bob And John filly was bred by Dr. Dan W. White, and won for owners Young Stables LLC and K and J Hall of Oklahoma City.
Winning jockey Cliff Berry gained clear sailing at the top of the stretch when Sooner Superstar was angled to the outside, allowing Fast Resource to power to the lead along the rail. Berry felt fortunate to get free from traffic.
“I was following (Ken) Tohill (on Sooner Superstar) all the way and he moved out around the horse on the lead (Katour). It all panned out at just the right time.”
“This filly has gotten better and better,” Engel noted. “Sometimes it just takes a while to develop them. She’s learned to lay off the pace and have a kick on the end. I’m very proud of her.”
The 2-1 wagering favorite, Fast Resource paid $6.20 to win, $4.00 to place and $2.60 to show. Sooner Superstar, who won the Red Earth Stakes at 16-1 in her previous start, raced gamely to finish second and pay $3.60 to place and $3.00 to show. Okie Nova, finished third in this same race in 2012 and did the same this year to pay $3.40 to show.
Fast Resource won her fourth career race from 11 attempts and her second at Remington Park. She handled the 7-1/2 furlongs over the good turf in 1:30.66. From the Wild Rush mare Colee Bear, Fast Resource made $72,510 in the Distaff Turf to roll her career earnings to $153,532.
The victory was the 24th in Oklahoma Classics competition for Berry, the all-time leader in the series, and the eighth for Engel.
$88,500 Oklahoma Classics Lassie presented by Coors Light
Rebounding off a fifth-place finish versus open competition, 15-1 longshot Okie Smokey steadily advanced in the final three furlongs of the six-furlong Classics Lassie, to win by a half-length.
Bred and owned by the Richter Family Trust of Perkins, Okla., the 2-year-old daughter of Cavvy from the Silver Ghost mare Spooky Okie earned $53,100 for winning her first race in three tries. Winning jockey Fabio Arguello, Jr. was quick to credit winning trainer Juan Padilla and owners John and Kris Richter for the opportunity to ride his first Oklahoma Classics winner.
“Fortunately I’m riding for some very good trainers here and I appreciate the opportunity and that they’ve giving me support,” Arguello said. “Coming out of the turn she stayed on the left lead so I just gave her the left-handed stick. Especially being a baby, she’s just figuring this game out and learning how to run and get it done.”
Okie Smokey paid $33.40 to win, $16.60 to place and $8.40 to show while covering the Lassie distance in 1:13.20. Xray Vision, a 12-1 longshot paid $13 to place and $8.40 to show, while 43-1 super longshot Holy Missile, paid $21 to show. Miss Cookie Town, ran fourth at 24-1 and completed a remarkable 10-cent superfecta that paid $5,544.33.
Party Cove, the 2-1 betting favorite, led until the top of the stretch before tiring to finish eighth.
$85,500 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile presented by Chickasaw Nation
Fast early fractions cooked a pair of front-runners in the Classics Juvenile, setting up a well-timed rally for Lingerlonger who ultimately won by eight lengths as he pleased.
Owned by the Dallas partnership of Hal Browning and Dave Faulkner, Lingerlonger is trained by Kari Craddock and ridden to victory by Curtis Kimes. The 2-year-old gelding had a perfect setup as Alpha And Omega and Compendium battled for the lead early with both eventually tiring when the run for the money began.
“Kari (Craddock) told me that it should be a hot pace and I should just wait behind them and stalk them until the top of the lane at least and that’s the way it set up,” said Kimes. “When I asked him, he just exploded.”
Alpha And Omega handled a quarter-mile in :22.61 and then a half-mile in :45.88 before stopping quickly with nothing left to battle in the stretch. Lingerlonger grabbed the lead with a furlong to go and cruised home in 1:11.73.
Away at 9-1 odds, Lingerlonger paid $20.40 to win, $8 to place and $4.60 to show. Alpha And Omega, the beaten 3-2 wagering favorite, paid $3 to place and $3 to show. Big Sugar High was along for third, 3-3/4 lengths behind the runner-up, and paid $6.60 to show.
The win was the second from three career starts for Lingerlonger, all at Remington Park. The gelding, bred by Browning and Faulkner, is by Mr. Nightlinger from the Here We Come mare Jen N Jules. Faulkner is optimistic about Lingerlonger and a future runner by the same stallion.
“I watched Mr. Nightlinger race many times and he was faster than fast on dirt and grass. I’ve got the full-brother to this colt at home so we went right back to him. This makes it all worthwhile and you have to enjoy these wins when they come.”
The Juvenile win was worth $51,300 to Lingerlonger, running his young career total to $72,111.
Lingerlonger gave Craddock her sixth Oklahoma Classics victory overall, while providing Kimes with his second.
$126,700 Oklahoma Classics Turf presented by Choctaw Nation
The final race of the night was a wide-open affair over the turf, labeled good after light rain had fallen over it during the late afternoon hours just prior to the beginning of the Classics program. A trio of wagering interests left the starting gate at 4-1 odds with Dusty Okie, part of a coupled entry with Okietate, coming home in front under jockey Fabio Arguello, Jr.
Owned by the Richter Family Trust of Perkins, Okla. and trained by Juan Padilla, Dusty Okie followed a pace strategy that worked well in going on to win by 1-1/4 lengths.
“I talked with Juan (Padilla-trainer) and we talked about breaking sharp and saving some ground and down the stretch have enough horse to finish strong,” Arguello revealed. “Dusty really gave me a nice turn of foot the last eighth of a mile and exploded in the last sixteenth and ran a beautiful race.”
Dusty Okie sat third behind Bullcreekroad and Lucky Moon who battled for the front until the end of the second turn. The duel produced quarter-mile fractions of :23.32 for the opening quarter, :47.01 for the half-mile and 1:12.16 for three-quarters of a mile. Dusty Okie began to wear down the pace-setters and take control inside the final 100 yards before securing the win. He crossed the finish in 1:36.87.
The wagering favorite with entry-mate Okietate at 4-1 odds, Dusty Okie paid $10 to win, $6.40 to place and $5.60 to show. Sittin High rallied for second and paid $5 to place and $5 to show. Ransom Roberto rallied from next to last early in the race to gain third and pay $15.40 to show.
The Turf win was the third from nine starts for Dusty Okie and his first triumph over turf in just two attempts. All of his victories have come at Remington Park. A 4-year-old gelding by Cavvy from the Dynaformer mare Dynafine, Dusty Okie was bred by the Richter Family Trust. The winner’s share of $76,020 jumps Dusty Okie’s career total to $144,841.
The Turf win was the second of the night for the Richter Family Trust, Padilla and Arguello.