IBAKA ROLLS TO FRONT-RUNNING CLASSICS TURF TRIUMPH
For Future Release
OKLAHOMA CITY – After a promising first two years in competition, Ibaka has endured a tough campaign in 2015 as a 4-year-old. His fortunes turned better during Friday’s $126,700 OKC Classics Turf at Remington Park, going to the lead at the start and never looking back.
Friday, October 16, 2015
Owned and bred by Doug Wall of Norman, Okla., Ibaka is trained by Bret Calhoun and was ridden by C.J. McMahon who let him roll on the lead of the 1-1/16 miles race. “Down the backside, he was well within himself. He threw his ears up and was relaxed. When I called on him, he finished for me.”
Ibaka posted a two-length win over Perfect To Please who pressured throughout from second while Runandyrun finished third, another 1-1/2 lengths back. Ibaka crossed the finish in 1:42.53 over the firm going, justifying his owner’s belief in starting him in the turf and not against Shotgun Kowboy in the Classics Cup.
“This horse was a nice horse last year but this year it hasn’t been going our way,” Wall said of Ibaka who competed in the 2014 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. “We put him in this race and it’s amazing. I thought the turf might be a good way to go with the Classic Cup looking tough. The turf looked more wide open but he’d never been on it before. We took a chance based on pedigree and it paid off.”
Ibaka is by Uncle Abbie from the With Approval mare Synersis. He was ignored in the betting at 21-1 odds and paid $44.40 to win, $20.20 to place and $12 to show. Perfect To Please was the beaten wagering favorite at 5-2 odds, paying $5.20 to place and $3.80 to show. Runandyrun paid $3.80 to show.
Ibaka has now won seven races from 15 career attempts. The Turf score made him $76,020 to run his lifetime bankroll to $286,869.
The Turf was the first Classics stakes victory for McMahon while Calhoun has now won four Classics races overall.
Remington Park racing continues Saturday, Oct. 17, with the first event at 7pm.
Open daily at 10:30am for casino gaming and simulcast racing, Remington Park features the Bricktown Brewery on the casino floor. Admission, general parking and valet parking are always free at Remington Park, home of the $250,000 Springboard Mile on Sunday, Dec. 13.
Tracked by over 88,000 fans on Facebook and 6,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park is Oklahoma City’s only Racetrack & Casino and is located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.