Remington Park closed the 25th Anniversary Thoroughbred Season on Tuesday afternoon with a 10-race program to put a lid on live racing for 2013. The date was the second of two additional programs run to make up for lost racing over the weekend of Dec. 5-7 due to sub-freezing temperatures.
Trainer Martin Lozano enjoyed his best day of the entire meeting, saddling three winners. He won with Tactical Magic ($8.80 to win) in race two, Dream Royal ($29.40) in race six and Ham Sammich ($19.60) in race nine. The training triple gives Lozano a final season total of 14 wins.
Ramon Vazquez – Pat Steinberg Memorial Award
Remington Park honored its leading horsemen on the final afternoon with the only suspense taking place in the jockey’s race. Ramon Vazquez and Luis Quinonez came into the final day just two wins apart at the top of the standings. Vazquez won only one race from his 10 mounts but that was enough to clinch the title in his first full season at Remington Park.
Vazquez, 28, was the main rider used by leading trainer Steve Asmussen throughout the season. He ended up with 64 victories, three better than the 61 racked up by Quinonez. Remington Park’s all-time leading rider Cliff Berry finished in a tie for third with Alex Birzer as both ended the season with 58 wins.
By winning the jockey standings at Remington Park, Vazquez claimed the Pat Steinberg Memorial Award, named after the late rider who dominated the early years of Remington Park racing before his passing in 1993.
While Quinonez was second in the standings by wins, he was the top jockey in earnings with $1,744,912. He rode Louies Flower to victory in the $250,000 Springboard Mile, Remington Park’s biggest 2-year-old race, for his top score of the season.
Other jockeys with over a million in earnings: Berry at $1,259,991, Vazquez $1,239,878 and Birzer $1,149,680.
Berry won two races on the final day of the season, giving him a career total of 1,999 Thoroughbred wins at Remington Park. Berry will start the 2014 season needed just one victory to become the first to reach 2,000 at Remington Park. The 2014 season will begin in August
Steve Asmussen – Chuck Taliaferro Memorial Award
Trainer Steve Asmussen won his seventh consecutive Remington Park title and his 10th overall in Oklahoma City. North America’s leading trainer by wins in 2013 picked up 38 victories to wrap up another local championship. Daddy Nose Best won the biggest races for the Asmussen team, taking both the Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Handicap and the Remington Green Stakes, both over the turf.
Donnie Von Hemel and Chris Hartman ended the season in a second-place tie with 30 wins each.
Von Hemel was the only trainer to amass more than a million in earnings as his athletes racked up $1,015,325 in 136 starts with 30 wins, 25 seconds and 13 thirds. Among the top runners for Von Hemel was the talented mare She’s All In who won her fourth consecutive Oklahoma Classics Distaff in what was her final career race.
The Chuck Taliaferro Award is named in honor of one of the early training stars in Remington Park history who had a long and successful career nationally before returning to his home state of Oklahoma once Remington Park opened. Taliaferro sat atop the local trainer standings twice before passing in 1994.
Danny Caldwell – Ran Ricks, Jr. Memorial Award
Poteau, Okla. resident Danny Caldwell won his fourth consecutive title as leading owner at Remington Park and his fifth Ran Ricks, Jr. Memorial Award overall.
Caldwell runners are trained at Remington Park by Federico Villafranco, together they posted 29 wins to win the owner title by 15 victories. Poindexter Thoroughbreds of Springfield, Mo. and Black Hawk Stable of Elk City, Okla. finished in a tie for second with 14 wins each.
The Ran Ricks, Jr. Memorial Award is named in honor of the first owner with a horse on the grounds at Remington Park when it opened in 1988. Ricks was an influential breeder and owner in Oklahoma and was instrumental in helping bring pari-mutuel racing to the state in the early 1980s.
Caldwell is one of the most active owners at the claiming box, bringing horses into his operation with a constant stream of claims. He had 133 starters this season with 29 wins, 21 seconds and 20 thirds.
The process also made Caldwell the top owner in earnings as he posted $576,146.
Robert Zoellner of Tulsa, Okla., owner and breeder of She’s All In and others had $436,596 for second place in the money standings. C.R. Trout of Edmond, Okla. was third with $426,710.
Remington Park racing goes on hiatus until the beginning of the 2014 American Quarter Horse & Mixed-breed Season gets underway on March 7.