Strong Field on Tap for Remington Park Derby

Battle of Midway (Photo by Coady Photography)

An accomplished field of eight will contest Sunday’s Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. Girvin, the winner of the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational in July, is the leading money-earner in the Oklahoma Derby. However, another colt who also raced in this year’s Kentucky Derby has been tabbed as the morning-line favorite.

Battle Of Midway, third in the Grade 1, $2,000,000 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. in May, has been pegged as the morning-line favorite at 2-1 odds by Remington Park line-maker, Rick Lee.

Battle Of Midway was 7-1/2 lengths behind Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming on the first Saturday in May, nearly a month after running second in the Grade 1, $1,000,000 Santa Anita Derby in early April. Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer seeks his second victory in the Oklahoma Derby with Battle Of Midway after winning the 2014 edition with Tonito M. Jockey Flavien Prat will ride in the Oklahoma Derby.

Battle Of Midway won the $100,000 Shared Belief Stakes in his most recent attempt on Aug. 27 at Del Mar. After his Kentucky Derby effort, the Smart Strike colt won the Grade 3, $100,000 Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita in July before finishing sixth behind Girvin in the Haskell.

Owned by Brad Grady of Covington, Texas and trained by Joe Sharp, Girvin rallied from last in the final quarter-mile to win the $1,000,000 Haskell at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. Robby Albarado piloted the late run in the Haskell and keeps the mount for the Oklahoma Derby.

Girvin was a top contender on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year after winning the Grade 2, $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby on April 1 and the Grade 2, $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 25, both at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

Already an earner of $1,549,800, Girvin most recently finished 11th in the Grade 1, $1,250,000 Travers Stakes at Saratoga in upstate New York on Aug. 26. A colt by Tale of Ekati, Girvin has won four of eight career races and was 13th in the Kentucky Derby on May 6 before running second in the Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown in Cleveland on June 24.

Girvin’s connections had success at Remington Park last year, winning the Springboard Mile, the top 2-year-old race of the season, with Cool Arrow.

Colonelsdarktemper won the Grade 3, $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 5 before a recent third-place run at Parx in the Grade 3, $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes in Philadelphia. Owned by car racing legend A.J. Foyt, Jr. and trained by Jinks Fires, Colonelsdarktemper did not begin his racing career until February this year. While competing at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. the colt by Colonel John broke his maiden at first asking.

Jon Court is the only jockey that Colonelsdarktemper has ever known. He guided the colt to second-place efforts in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs in June and the Grade 3 Indiana Derby in July, prior to winning in West Virginia. Colonelsdarktemper is at 4-1 odds in the morning line.

Untrapped has danced in many of the year’s graded events for 3-year-olds, finishing well in many but still looking for his first triumph in such a race. Owned by Michael Langford of Jonesboro, Ark. and trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Untrapped was second in both the Grade 3 LeComte and the Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds. The colt by Trappe Shot was then third in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. before finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby there. He then finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby before running third in the Ohio Derby and third in the Indiana Derby. Ricardo Santana will ride Untrapped who is 5-1 in the morning-line odds.

Others in the Oklahoma Derby with placing in graded stakes competition include: B Squared, third in the Grade 3, $200,000 Los Alamitos Derby in July and second behind Battle Of Midway in the Grade 3 Affirmed; and McCormick, second in the Grade 3, $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows in July before finishing seventh behind Colonelsdarktemper in the West Virginia Derby.
Battle Of Midway, Girvin and Untrapped represent the first time that a trio of runners that raced in the Kentucky Derby during the spring, have then competed in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park that fall.

The field for the 1-1/8 miles, Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby, by post position and program number order, with trainer, jockey and morning-line odds: 1. Altito: Federico Villafranco, Ramon Vazquez, 30-12. B Squared: Doug O’Neill, Mario Gutierrez, 12-13. Battle Of Midway: Jerry Hollendorfer, Flavien Prat, 2-1 (morning-line favorite)4. McCormick: Ian Wilkes, Julien Leparoux, 15-15. Untrapped: Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana, 5-16. Gato Del Oro: Richard Baltas, Rafael Bejarano, 9-27. Colonelsdarktemper: Jinks Fires, Jon Court, 4-18. Girvin: Joe Sharp, Robby Albarado, 7-2.

The Oklahoma Derby is the 11th of 12 races on Sunday. The program starts at 3pm with the derby scheduled for 7:46pm. The other nine stakes races on Sunday at Remington Park, with their scheduled post times (all times Central) include:
Race 2, 3:27pm: $50,000 Flashy Lady Stakes, fillies & mares, 3 and older, 6 furlongs
Race 3, 3:53pm: $100,000 Remington Green Stakes, 3 and older, 1-1/8 miles (turf)
Race 5, 4:51pm: $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes, 2-year-olds, 6 furlongs
Race 6, 5:21pm: $175,000 Governor’s Cup, 3 and older, 1-1/8 miles
Race 7, 5:50pm: $50,000 Bob Barry Memorial, Oklahoma-bred fillies & mares, 3 and older 7-1/2 furlongs (turf)
Race 8, 6:19pm: $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1-1/16 miles
Race 9, 6:46pm: $75,000 Ricks Memorial, fillies & mares, 3 and older, 1-1/16 miles (turf)
Race 10, 7:16pm: $150,000 David M Vance Sprint, 3 and older, 6 furlongs
Race 12, 8:16pm: $50,000 Red Earth Stakes, Oklahoma-breds, 3 and older, 7-1/2 furlongs (turf)

Sunday’s Primetime Pick 4 is an all-stakes affair and carries a guaranteed minimum wagering pool of $100,000. The Pick 4 runs in Races 9 thru 12, beginning at 6:46pm.