The $175,000 Oklahoma Classics Cup, powered by TVG, was the main event on Oklahoma Classics Night on Friday at Remington Park. The field of 10 included the last two winners of the race with the victor from two years ago romping like he did in 2015.
Shotgun Kowboy, the only Oklahoma-bred to win the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and an Oklahoma Classics Cup, looked like he did in his 3-year-old year. Under Richard Eramia, he handled pressure on the lead, fended off rivals and then pulled clear as he pleased in his best overall effort since February. The 5-year-old gelding crossed the finish 5-1/4 lengths ahead of Tuff Kid who fired his big late rally to gain second. Royal Lion was third, another length back. Shotgun Kowboy handled the 1-1/16 miles in 1:43.2 over a fast track.
Away from the gate sharply, Shotgun Kowboy had plenty of company for the lead with six-time Cup participant Z Rockstar, Makin The Dough and Cash King all vying for a piece of the front . That prolonged battle continued until the field had reached the final turn. The group worked through quarter-mile fractions of :23.98 for the opening quarter, :47.83 for the half-mile and 1:11.75 for three-quarters of a mile. The company up front did not concern Eramia who rode Shotgun Kowboy for the first time.
“I wasn’t worried. Everything was good, he was training really good. He’s the best Okie-bred, I didn’t’ worry about it. He was ready for this race.”
Eramia’s confidence came through in Shotgun Kowboy’s performance as he pulled away to an open lead by as many as seven lengths in mid-stretch. Owned, trained and bred by C.R. Trout of Edmond, Okla., his stable star returned to the form he showed earlier this year in winning a pair of allowance events at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. He finished third in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap in Grand Prairie, Texas in May which turned out to be his final start due to a forced vacation.
“He had come up with some really sore feet so we had to back off of him because he just couldn’t train,” Trout said. “So we went to work on his feet and he was nursed back to health.”
The time off served Shotgun Kowboy well as he shined brightly on the big night for Oklahoma-breds at Remington Park. An evening the Trout operation has enjoyed with much success for many years.
“We are very lucky and very blessed to be here. Thank Remington for the great job that they do and all of the guys that run, we’ve all got great Oklahoma-bred horses.”
The heavy wagering favorite at 1-5 odds, Shotgun Kowboy did not disappoint his backers, paying $2.40 to win, $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show. Tuff Kid paid $8.60 to place and $5.20 to show. Royal Lion paid $7.40 to show.
The win is the ninth of 21 attempts in the career of Shotgun Kowboy, a gelding by Kodiak Kowboy from the Siphon (Brz) mare Shotgun Jane. He has won seven of his nine starts at Remington Park with his second Classics Cup making him $105,000 to bump his lifetime bankroll to $985,927.
The Classics Cup win is the fourth for Trout who also won with Imahit (2013 & 2014). Trout has now won 11 Oklahoma Classics stakes races in his career, good for a tie for second all-time among trainers. Donnie Von Hemel leads with 26 total Classics wins.
The Classics Cup win is the first for Eramia and his third overall win on Oklahoma Classics night.
GIANNA’S DREAM CONTINUES PERFECTION OVER REMINGTON PARK TURF ON OKLAHOMA CLASSICS NIGHT
The $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Distaff Turf, sponsored by RPDC, is now the official property of Gianna’s Dream. She dominated the race for a second straight year, winning easily under her own power by 2-1/4 lengths.
Owned by Jordan Wycoff of Fort Washington, Pa., and trained by Michael Maker, Gianna’s Dream was ridden by Tyler Gaffalione. The 4-year-old filly won her fourth straight race over the Remington Park turf course, adding the Classics Distaff Turf to her win last month in the Ricks Memorial. She pressed the early pace set by Diva’s Rule who set easy fractions of :25.63 for the opening quarter-mile, :51.34 for the half-mile and 1:15.07 for three-quarters of a mile. Gianna’s Dream waited at the rail, two lengths back, showing patience before making her move.
“I had a perfect trip the whole way and saved ground,” Gaffalione noted. “When the opportunity came to get out, I just put her out and she exploded. She was pulling on me a little bit but I just had to hang on and make her relax.”
Gaffalione angled Gianna’s Dream off the rail as the field left the second turn. She easily moved to the lead with more than a furlong left and glided home to score with nothing but hand urging from her pilot. Just Leave was up for second with Diva’s Rule holding on to finish third, a head behind the runner-up.
Heavily played at 1-9 odds, Gianna’s Dream paid $2.20 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. Just Leave returned $6.40 to place and $3 to show. Diva’s Rule paid $2.10 to show.
The win is the ninth from 17 career starts for Gianna’s Dream, a filly by Twirling Candy from the Rahy mare Untamed Beauty. Bred in Oklahoma by Center Hills Farm & Randy Blair, Gianna’s Dream picked up $78,000 for her second Classics Distaff Turf. She has now made $401,791 overall.
The victory was the first for Oklahoma Classics score for Gaffalione. Maker picked up his second straight Classics Distaff Turf.
DIAMONDANDSTRIPES TOO STRONG IN OKLAHOMA CLASSICS JUVENILE
Taking over the lead shortly after the start, Diamondandstripes never looked back in winning the $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile, sponsored by Chickasaw Nation on Friday at Remington Park.
Owned and trained by James Helzer of Arlington, Texas, Diamondandstripes was ridden with confidence by Lindey Wade. He put the 2-year-old gelding on the lead with more than a half-mile left in the six furlongs. Making only his fourth career start, Diamondandstripes had to fend off a double-challenge from Fite N Tocc and Private Stash until the top of the stretch as they both pressed the winner.
Taking over at the top of the stretch, Diamondandstripes put things away, pulling clear by five lengths before crossing the finish ahead by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:11.87 over the fast track. Kirk Of Diamonds rallied outside to gain second while Private Stash held on for third, a head behind the runner-up.
Diamondandstripes went off at 14-1 odds in the betting and paid $31.20 to win, $15 to place and $9.20 to show. Kirk Of Diamonds returned $3.80 to place and $2.60 to show. Private Stash paid $6.20 to show. Fite N Tocc faded after being forwardly placed, finishing fourth as the beaten 2-1 betting favorite.
Bred in Oklahoma by Daniel Whitlow and Craig Whitlow, Diamondandstripes won his second career race from four attempts. The Classics Juvenile was the first win at Remington Park for the 2-year-old gelded son of Service Stripe from the Diamond mare Devil Her Diamond. He picked up $60,000 for the victory to move his overall earnings to $72,545.
The Classics Juvenile win was the first-ever Oklahoma Classics win for Helzer as a trainer. Wade picked up his first score in the Juvenile and his third Oklahoma Classics win overall.
BUSTIN A MOVE HAS OKLAHOMA CLASSICS LASSIE FOR EVERY STRIDE
Bustin A Move did just that, launching from the starting gate to lead every step of the $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Lassie sponsored by Coors Light at Remington Park on Friday night.
Owned and bred by Clark Brewster of Tulsa, Okla. and trained by National Racing Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, jockey Ramon Vazquez put Bustin A Move on the lead from their rail post position and she rolled. The 2-year-old filly had an easy three-length lead at the top of the stretch before Vazquez asked her for more. Bustin A Move responded to open a wide margin in mid-stretch, helping her have enough left to hold on to win by 1-1/2 lengths while covering six furlongs in 1:10.43 over a fast track. Annieruok was second while Create A Star was third, 1-3/4 lengths behind the victor.
Favored in the wagering at 2-1 odds, Bustin A Move paid $6.80 to win, $3.60 to place and $2.60 to show. Annieruok paid $7 to place and $4.20 to show. Create A Star paid $3.20 to show.
The Lassie win was the first in the race for all of the connections of Bustin A Move, an Oklahoma-bred filly by Bustin Stones from the Rahy mare Stick And Move. She won her second straight race of the season, both of her career wins, picking up $60,000, to move her lifetime money to $98,643.
The win in the Lassie was the second overall in the Oklahoma Classics for Asmussen.
INAGOODWAY STEALS OKLAHOMA CLASSICS DISTAFF
Heavy favorite Steel Cut was attempting to win her second consecutive $145,000 Oklahoma Classics Distaff, sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, on Friday at Remington Park. She couldn’t keep up with Inagoodway who went to the lead and was never seriously threatened.
Owned by the Enid, Okla. partnership of Steve Dupy, Kent Blair and Mike Castor, Inagoodway is trained by Roger Engel. Ridden by Bryan McNeil, Inagoodway was sent to the lead in the 1 mile-70yard Distaff, gaining the rail before the field made the clubhouse turn. Once up front, Inagoodway set acceptable fractions of :23.7 for the opening quarter-mile; :47.59 for the half-mile and 1:11.81 for three-quarters of a mile. The 4-year-old filly had plenty left for the stretch run when Steel Cut angled out to make her bid. Inagoodway crossed the finish line, 1-1/2 lengths ahead of Steel Cut. D Cal Okie was third, 3-1/4 lengths from the winner.
“She was on it today,” McNeil said of Inagoodway. “She broke good, got over and saved ground. She relaxed down the backside and down the main she just kept pinning her ears and kept digging in. I figured she would be the one to be catching and when she came up to me, (Inagoodway) she dug back in and kept going.”
Away at 7-1 odds in the betting, Inagoodway paid $17 to win, $5.60 to place and $3.40 to show. Steel Cut returned $2.60 to place and $2.10 to show as the beaten 1-2 wagering favorite. D Cal Okie paid $3.80 to show.
The Classics Distaff score was the sixth from 14 career starts for Inagoodway. Bred in Oklahoma by Castor, she is a 4-year-old filly by Save Big Money from the Devil His Due mare Truth Takes Time. The winner’s share of $87,000 moves the career earnings for Inagoodway to $207,420.
This was the fifth Classics Distaff won by Roger Engel and his 11th overall in the series, tying him with C.R. Trout for second in the all-time standings, behind series leader Donnie Von Hemel who has 26 victories.
McNeil won his second Classics Distaff and his fourth Oklahoma Classics race overall.
EUROBOND WINNING STREAK CONTINUES BY ADDING OKLAHOMA CLASSICS SPRINT TO RESUME
Eurobond and Welder hooked up strides after the start of the $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Sprint, sponsored by Kaw Nation at Remington Park on Friday. The pair duked it out until mid-stretch when Eurobond was able to get clear of the gray Welder and go on to win by 1-1/4 lengths for his fourth consecutive victory this season.
Owned by Danny Caldwell of Poteau, Okla. and trained by Federico Villafranco, Eurobond was claimed by his current connections for $17,500 on Sept. 1 in a race he won. He has not lost in three starts since the claim and is now a stake winner. Jockey Ramon Vazquez had the mount on the speedster who was ready to roll.
“The horse, he broke so sharp, but he’s a nice horse and he continued to run and never quit.”
Eurobond handled the six furlongs in 1:09.1 as the 3-5 wagering favorite, paying $3.20 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. Welder held second and paid $3.40 to place and $2.60 to show. Finishing third, 5-1/2 lengths behind the winner, was Mr. N who rallied and paid $2.60 to show.
Bred in Oklahoma by James Helzer, Eurobond is a 4-year-old gelding by Euroears from the Elusive Quality mare Cabo Sunrise. The Classics Sprint was the fifth career win from 11 starts for Euroears who made $78,000 to run his lifetime money to $176,838.
Euroears gave Villafranco and Vazquez their first wins in the Classics Sprint. Villafranco won his third Oklahoma Classics race.
HAILSTORM SLEW RALLIES FOR OKLAHOMA CLASSICS DISTAFF SPRINT
The pace was right for a rally in the $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Distaff Sprint, sponsored by Global Gaming Solutions, at Remington Park on Friday. Hailstorm Slew came from just off the pace to get the lead in the stretch, winning by 1-1/2 lengths.
Owned, trained and bred in Oklahoma by C.R. Trout, Hailstorm Slew was ridden by David Cabrera. The 4-year-old sat just off the lead until leaving the lone turn when she made her move for the front. Fiddlers Tsunami and Showtime Sis were locked in a duel up front until the top of the stretch. Hailstorm Slew rolled outside and made the front by mid-stretch, pulling away to cross the finish in 1:09.6.
Okie Diva Rallied for second while Fiddlers Tsunami held third, fading 5-3/4 lengths behind the winner.
Played at 5-2 in the wagering, Hailstorm Slew paid $7.40 to win, $3.60 to place and $3.40 to show. Okie Diva paid $8 to place and $5.80 to show. Fiddlers Tsunami paid $12.80 to show. Euro K Shotgun was the beaten 9-5 betting favorite, finishing a disappointing ninth in the field of 11.
A filly by Munnings from the Successful Appeal mare Successful Slew, Hailstorm Slew won her sixth career race from 16 starts. The $78,000 share for the Distaff Sprint increases her lifetime earnings to $279,798.
PACIFIC TYPHOON TAKES OKC TURF CLASSIC BY STORM
Pacific Typhoon continued his wave of success by recording his fourth-consecutive win in the $130,000 OKC Turf Classic Stakes, sponsored by Choctaw Nation.
A 4-year-old gelded son of Don’t Get Mad, out of the Stormy Atlantic mare, My Stormy Elaine, began his win streak on July 21, with an allowance win over the turf at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. He then won an optional claiming/starter allowance turf race Sept. 1 at Remington Park, followed by his Sept. 24 victory over the grass in the $50,000 Red Earth Stakes.
Pacific Typhoon broke alertly for jockey David Cabrera from post position one and he nursed the 8-5 betting favorite along on the lead every step of the way, going on to win by 1-1/2 lengths for owner Carol Nelson of Mannford, Okla. he covered the 1-1/16th miles over firm turf in 1:41.95.
“This horse is very classy, he breaks very sharp. When he goes to the lead he just puts his ears up,” Cabrera said. “He’s the kind of horse everyone wants to ride. He’s really a nice horse.”
Veronica Griggs trains Pacific Typhoon, who finished fifth at 22-1 odds in the OKC Turf Classic last year. “He very much impressed me. I’m so proud of the ride that David put on him,” Griggs said.
Pacific Typhoon paid $5.40 to win, $3.60 to place and $2.60 to show. Mister Keith chased throughout and finished second to pay $4.40 to place and $3.40 to show. Hallelujah Hit advanced from sixth to finish third, and paid $4.60 to show.
Pacific Typhoon was bred by Clark Brewster. He earned $78,000 to push his lifetime earnings to $234,606.
The OKC Turf Classic victory by Pacific Typhoon gave Griggs her first-ever win in the Oklahoma Classics series.
(from Remington Park news release)