Strong List of Oklahoma Derby Nominations Includes California Chrome

oklahoma-derby-logoThe Remington Park racing office has closed nominations for the 26th running of the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sunday, Sept. 28. California Chrome, winner of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Santa Anita Derby is on the list. However, barring an unforeseen circumstance this weekend, he is not expected to compete in Oklahoma City.

California Chrome is the morning-line favorite for the $1,000,000 Pennsylvania Derby this Saturday and is highly unlikely to consider the Oklahoma Derby. There are others that are already in the Remington Park stable area preparing for the race, including Wildcat Red and Edison, with more expected to arrive in the coming days.

Wildcat Red, second by a narrow nose in the $1,000,000 Florida Derby in March before running 18th in California Chrome’s Kentucky Derby, arrived in Oklahoma City Wednesday night. Owned by Salvatore and Josie Delfino and trained by Jose Garoffalo, Wildcat Red will train over the Remington Park surface in the next nine days leading to the Oklahoma Derby.

A winner of the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes and Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park in February, Wildcat Red finished third in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in July before running fifth in the Grade 1 Kings Bishop at Saratoga in August. A Florida-bred colt by D’Wildcat from the Miner’s Mark mare Racene, Wildcat Red has won five of 11 career starts with a trio of seconds and one third-place run. His career earnings stand at $865,850.

Grade 3 Canadian Derby winner Edison has been at Remington Park since Tuesday. The colt by Bernardini from the Exploit mare Heart Of Grace is currently enjoying a three-race winning streak. He is following the same path as 2013 Oklahoma Derby winner Broadway Empire who also won the Canadian Derby at Northlands Park in Edmonton, Alberta before winning at Remington Park.

The similar racing plan comes as no surprise as Edison shares the same connections as Broadway Empire with trainer Robertino Diodoro calling the shots for owners Fouad El Kardy, Bob Butz and Rick Running Rabbit.

As the Oklahoma Derby draws closer, the probable lineup for the race will be fluid with potential competitors committing to or declaring out of the event. Following are others who are expected to load the gate for the 1-1/8 miles race late in the afternoon of Sept. 28:

Bay Of Biscay
Arrived at Remington Park with Edison for trainer Diodoro… The Giant’s Causeway colt broke his maiden status at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. in June before putting up a pair of second-place allowance efforts at Saratoga in upstate New York over the summer… Bay Of Biscay recently ran 10th of 11 in his first turf attempt, the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury Park in Minnesota.

Charge Now
Owned by powerful WinStar Farm in Kentucky, he is another colt by Tiznow expected for the Oklahoma Derby… Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Charge Now finished seventh in the Grade 1, $1,250,000 Travers Stakes at Saratoga in upstate New York in August… The connections are making travel arrangements, departing from Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., for the lightly raced colt that has made all six of his career starts in 2014.

Declan’s Fast Cat
The late-running gelding ran second, beaten 7-1/4 lengths, behind Vicar’s In Trouble in the Grade 2, $400,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City on Sept. 6… Trained by Steven Flint, the son of Bluegrass Cat has won two career races and finished in the top-three spots in eight of his 10 outings for total earnings of $134,530.

Even Echo
Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg, stabled at Remington Park for the first time this fall since 1995, is apparently ready to swing for the Oklahoma Derby for the first time since sending Blumin Affair to a runner-up in finish in 1994… Even Echo broke his maiden over a muddy main track, going a mile on Sept. 5 at Remington Park, winning by a widening 5-1/4 lengths… Even Echo worked a sharp five furlongs here on Thursday in :59.84 seconds handily.

He is one of just two Oklahoma-breds nominated to the Oklahoma Derby… Ibaka is the proud owner of a five-race winning streak dating back to January. Owned by Doug Wall of Norman, Okla. and trained by Bret Calhoun, Ibaka won an Aug. 30 allowance for state-bred runners, scoring by a half-length in the 6-1/2 furlong sprint… He won three consecutive stakes events in Texas with two of them at Sam Houston Race Park in February and March and another at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie in May… Ibaka was entered to run in the Tishomingo Stakes for Oklahoma-breds on Sept. 19 but was scratched prior to the first race of the night.

Jessica’s Star
The winner of the Grade 3, $250,000 Iowa Derby in June, the gelding is expected for trainer Michael Stidham… Following his Iowa Derby score, Jessica’s Star was second, caught in the final strides to lose by a head in the $300,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown in Cleveland, he then finished fifth behind Vicar’s In Trouble in the Grade 2, $400,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City on Sept. 6.

Louies Flower
The winner of the $250,000 Springboard Mile here in December 2013, the Flower Alley colt has an automatic berth into the Oklahoma Derby… Owned by Wesley Melcher of Plano, Texas and trained by Bret Calhoun, it remains to be seen if the connections will play their pass to run on Sept. 28… Recently, Louies Flower was ninth of 11 in the Grade 2, $400,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City on Sept. 6 behind the winning Vicar’s In Trouble… He finished third in the $100,000 Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs in early August.

A runaway winner of the Ruidoso Downs Thoroughbred Derby in August while scoring by 12-3/4 lengths, the Tiznow colt prefers to be the leader immediately as the starting gates dispatch the field… He won the Colorado Derby at Arapahoe Park by 12-1/2 lengths in July for trainer Justin Evans. An earner of $231,010 from 12 starts, Rebranded was fourth in the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby in March.

Tonito M.
Most recently third in the $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile on Sept. 6, the Rock Hard Ten colt ran third behind the undefeated Shared Belief in the Grade 2, $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby in July… Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Tonito M. and his connections are attempting to secure travel arrangements to get to Remington Park from their Santa Anita Park base in southern California… Tonito M. worked a half-mile at Santa Anita on Sept. 14 in :49 4/5 seconds, handily.

The Mexican-bred colt has never finished worse than third in 11 career starts with a pair of wins, three-seconds and six finishes for the show… Trained by Kari Craddock at Remington Park, Tulum was third in an Aug. 28 allowance race at one mile over the turf… He worked six furlongs here on Wednesday, clocked in 1:14 3/5, handily.

The races for Oklahoma Derby Day on Sunday, Sept. 28 will be drawn in the Remington Park racing office on Thursday morning, Sept. 25. A stellar program worth well over $1,000,000 in total purse money will also include: the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1-1/16 miles; the $150,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup at six furlongs; the $100,000 Remington Green at 1-1/16 miles over the turf; the $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes at six furlongs for 2-year-olds; the $50,000 Flashy Lady Stakes for older fillies and mares at six furlongs and the $50,000 Ladies on the Lawn Stakes for Oklahoma-bred fillies and mares at 7-1/2 furlongs over turf.

Oklahoma Derby Day on Sunday, Sept. 28 will commence racing at 1:30pm-Central.