AJS HIGH EDGES FAVORED BODACIOUS EAGLE TO PULL UPSET IN EASTEX, WIN RABBITS FLY SETS NEW TRACK RECORD IN MIGHTY DECK THREE
For Immediate Release
OKLAHOMA CITY – Remington Park’s Opening Weekend of the 2016 American Quarter Horse Season concluded Sunday afternoon with a pair of thrilling stakes events. The Grade 2 Eastex came down to a photo-finish while the Mighty Deck Three Stakes was dominated by a record-setting speedster.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
AJs High, who at times can be a temperamental gelding, had no issues in his first start of the year. Owned and bred in Oklahoma by Michael Teel of Columbia, Mo., AJs High is trained by Charley Hunt who thinks his charge may be maturing. “He was good today. When he gets away like he did, he can be very good.”
The properly behaved AJs High left smartly in the 350-yard Eastex, worth $54,400, under jockey Stormy Smith. He contended throughout but from his number-three post, was well inside of the 6-5 betting favorite Bodacious Eagle who was in post position seven. Smith was hopeful AJs High picked up the win but didn’t really know.
“I got him at the very end, it was close. I wasn’t sure if he had won,” Smith noted. “He had an excellent trip, he left good today and ran his butt off.”
AJs High edged Bodacious Eagle by a nose in :17.196 seconds at the finish. Open Me A Corona, making his first start outside of his home state of Louisiana, was third, a half-length behind the runner-up.
Overlooked at 11-1 in the wagering, AJs High paid $24.40 to win, $6.40 to place and $3.60 to show. Bodacious Eagle returned $3.60 to place and $2.40 to show. Open Me A Corona paid $3 to show.
The Eastex victory was the ninth from 14 attempts for AJs High, a son of Apollitical Jess from the Rare Form mare Regally Rare. He picked up $32,534 for the score to run his earnings to $362,619 while winning his third career race at Remington Park.
The Eastex is named after the winner of the 1984 All American Futurity who at one time was the sport’s all-time leading money earner. He held the record for most money earned by a 2-year-old until 2008.
Win Rabbits Fly Sets New Track Record in Mighty Deck Three
Oklahoma-breds had the track prior to the Eastex in the $70,000 Mighty Deck Three Stakes at 250 yards. The short distance proved perfect for Win Rabbits Fly who scorched the fast track on his way to a new track record of :12.839 seconds.
Owned and trained by Miguel Banuelos of Wichita, Kan., Win Rabbits Fly won the short-distance event by a half-length, flying under jockey Daniel Torres. Using a quick start, the 7-year-old Win Rabbits Fly took immediate control in the race.
“He left really well, like he usually does,” Torres said. “The farther he went, he was rolling.”
Banuelos noted the distance suits his charge perfectly and he was thrilled with his effort coming back from an injury last year. “He had an injury at the end of the season here last year so I’m glad he came back pretty good today. He can go up to 350 yards but at the shorter distance, he is really good.”
Sam Crow finished second to Win Rabbits Fly as the 7-5 wagering favorite. This Candys Awesome was another head behind the runner-up for third.
Away at 11-1 odds, Win Rabbits Fly paid $24.60 to win, $8 to place and $4.20 to show. Sam Crow paid $4.80 to place and $3 to show. This Candys Awesome paid $3.80 to show.
An Oklahoma-bred gelding by Fly Jess Fly from the Spectacular Native mare Break The Market, Win Rabbits Fly was bred by Jackie Morgan. The Mighty Deck Three is the 15th career win from 34 attempts for Win Rabbits Fly. The winner’s check of $39,000 boosts his total earnings to $264,880.
Win Rabbits Fly topped the former 250-yard track record of :12.840 seconds, set by Freighttrain B in 2011.
The stakes race is named after the ultra-fast Mighty Deck Three who dominated 2-year-old competition in 1980. The Oklahoma-bred was undefeated thru 10 races and posted the top qualifying time for that year’s All American Futurity. He was upset in the final, beaten just a slim nose by Higheasterjet.
The Remington Park season now moves into a normal Thursday thru Sunday schedule, March 17-20. The feature race next week is the $50,000 SLM Big Daddy Stakes at 550 yards on Saturday, March 19. The first race nightly is at 6pm, except for Sunday afternoon racing at 1:30pm. All Times are Central.
Open daily 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 historic $420,000 Oklahoma Futurity. The 75th running of the oldest futurity in Quarter Horse racing takes place on Saturday, March 26, 2016.
Tracked by over 94,000 fans on Facebook and 7,000 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided over $147 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. 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.