In 2016, Welder ran second in the Oklahoma Classics Sprint to Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame runner Okie Ride.
Four years later, if Welder wins the $70,000 Silver Goblin Stakes on Friday, Nov. 13, he will pass Okie Ride for most stakes wins in the history of Remington Park with 11. Welder, a 7-year-old gelding owned by Ra-Max Farms (Clayton Rash) of Claremore, Okla., would also pass Okie Ride for most wins in the Silver Goblin Stakes with a fourth career score in the event.
The son of The Visualiser, out of the Tiznow mare Dance Softly Now, is trained by Teri Luneack and ridden by Remington Park leading rider David Cabrera. Another score in the Silver Goblin Stakes would also give Welder his 11th stakes win in a row, extending that Remington Park record he already holds at 10 consecutive.
Welder holds the main track record for six furlongs 1:08.13, set in the David Vance Stakes on Sept. 29, 2019. He was voted Oklahoma’s Horse of the Year for the second year in a row in 2019 and is the only horse ever voted Remington Park’s Horse of the Meet in two consecutive years. A win Friday would move him to within one of the all-time victories total at Remington Park. He would have 14, one behind Highland Ice and Elegant Exxactsy.
Welder is the most recent Oklahoma-bred to become a millionaire. He became the eighth Oklahoma-bred to achieve the mark when he won the TRAO Classic Sprint in April this year at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore. It was his fifth consecutive win in that stakes event.
Asked what record or accolade Welder holds or is chasing that has meant the most to her, Luneack said, “the most significant thing for us was when he passed the $1 million mark. It was the one goal that Clayton and I talked about and had set.”
As far as her favorite stakes win for Welder, Luneack said it had to be the David M. Vance Stakes in 2019.
“I was so proud of him for beating all those shippers that came in from around the country,” said Luneack. “The funniest story I heard was that the shippers were over in the test barn and they were all asking (the veterinarian), ‘What is this Okie-bred doing in this race?’ And he said, ‘because he is one fast SOB.’ Winning that race was my proudest moment with him.”
An indication of just how fast this gray streak of lightning is came in the Hot Springs Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas on March 9, 2019. He came up against a legendary sprinter, Whitmore, in that race. That 7-year-old gelding just won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint this past weekend by 3-1/4 lengths at Keeneland. In the Hot Springs Stakes, he beat Welder by two lengths.
“Whitmore is a war horse,” Luneack said. “I was screaming so much for him to win (the BC Sprint). “I respect him so much. No one is more deserving of that win. If they do bring him back (at 8 years old, just like Welder) for Oaklawn, I imagine we could run into him again. We have every intention to run Welder in Hot Springs. It all depends on the Oklahoma weather that time of year.
“We run into a problem, since we don’t have stalls (at Oaklawn), of vanning him over there and finding a track to work him on leading up to the race,” Luneack noted. Will Rogers Downs, Welder’s local track, is not open early in the year for workouts, when Oaklawn begins racing.
The first major sprint race on Oaklawn’s calendar is the King Cotton Stakes on Feb. 6 at six furlongs.
Okie Ride was inducted into the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2017. He won four Oklahoma Classics Sprints, three Silver Goblin Stakes and three Remington Park Turf Sprints. He was owned by the Richter Family Trust of Perkins, Okla. and conditioned by Kenny Nolen.
“I do remember running second to him with Welder,” said Luneack. “You don’t like to lose, but he was such a cool horse and meant so much to Kenny. I was genuinely happy for Kenny. I was sad we lost, but it’s okay to lose to a horse like that.”
Welder has been made the 2-5 morning-line favorite to break and extend another set of Remington Park records Friday night in a field of six horses.
Here’s a look at this year’s edition of the Silver Goblin Stakes, 6-1/2 furlongs for Oklahoma-breds, three and older, with post positions, horse, jockey, trainer and morning line odds:
1) Fly to the Bank: Lindey Wade, James Helzer, 12-1
2) Welder: David Cabrera, Teri Luneack, 2-5 (morning-line favorite)
3) Rockport Kat: Richard Eramia, Teri Luneack, 15-1
4) Dominante: Obed Sanchez, Shon Dunlap, 20-1
5) No Lak of Speed: Luis Quinonez, Jesse Oberlander, 8-1
6) Quality Rocket: Garrett Steinberg, Boyd Caster, 3-1
The Silver Goblin Stakes is the eighth race of nine on Friday night. The first race is set for 7:07pm, with the Silver Goblin Stakes scheduled for 10:23pm.
The Silver Goblin Stakes is named after another Oklahoma-bred millionaire who was adept at winning stakes races at both sprint distances and at more than one mile in the 1990s.
Remington Park will also conduct a Saturday card on Nov. 14, beginning at 7:07pm.