2021 OKLAHOMA DERBY WINNER WARRANT IS TOP MONEY EARNER IN NOMINATIONS FOR GOVERNOR’S CUP AT REMINGTON PARK
Only one thing is certain about the opening stakes race of the Remington Park meeting that begins Aug. 18 and that is there will be a new winner of this year’s $100,000 Governor’s Cup.
The winner the past two years was Rated R Superstar, a horse owned by Remington Park’s all-time winningest owner Danny Caldwell of Poteau, Okla. Rated R Superstar recently retired to Old Friends farm in Georgetown, Ky., the same home as Triple Crown race winners Silver Charm, Birdstone, Touch Gold, Sarava and Ruler On Ice. It soon will be the new home for Remington Park’s all-time winningest horse and member of the most recent Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame gelding Welder. Caldwell will be inducted in the same group of new Hall of Famers on Sept. 23 at Remington Park.
It seems like a great possibility for another strong field in the Governor’s Cup this year with a solid field of 15 nominees to the 1-1/8 miles race on the main track for 3-year-olds and older. The list is headed by Warrant, who won the 2021 Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park at the same distance as the Governor’s Cup. This 5-year-old horse by Constitution, out of the First Samurai mare Whisper Number is owned by Twin Creeks Racing (Randall Gullatt) and trained by the current leading trainer in the country by money earned with more than $17 million, Brad Cox.
Warrant’s lifetime record is 18 starts, 5 wins, 5 seconds and 4 thirds for $1,082,833. He would be the top money earner in the field if Cox sends him back to Oklahoma City.
Here’s a look at some of the other strong prospects, also stakes winners nominated for the Governor’s Cup, alphabetically:
Behemah Star – Owned by Brittlyn Stable and trained by Shane Wilson, this 5-year-old gelding by Star Guitar, out of the Northern Afleet mare Saintly Joan, most recently won the stakes race named for his sire – the $75,000 Star Guitar Stakes at Fair Grounds in New Orleans at 1-1/16 miles on the dirt in March 2022. He ran second in the same race this year. His lifetime record is 16-4-5-3, $245,990.
Best Actor – Owned by Gary and Mary West, this 4-year-old colt by Flatter, out of the Smart Strike mare Abraqat, broke through as a stakes winner at Parx in Philadelphia, Pa., in the Grade 3, $300,000 Smarty Jones in August 2022. Cox then sent him to the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park where he ran a distant third to Rattle N Roll at the same distance of the Governor’s Cup. Rattle N Roll has gone on to win some nice stakes this year – the Grade 3, $300,000 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.; the Grade 3, $250,000 Pimlico Special in Maryland, and the Grade 3, $225,000 Blame Stakes at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
Best Actor’s record: 6-3-2-1, $457,140.
Cowboy Mischief – Owned by Kelly Thiesing and trained by Scott Young, this 7-year-old horse by Into Mischief, out of the Bob and John mare Lady Jensen, is coming off a win in the $45,000 Route 66 Stakes at Fair Meadows in Tulsa on July 20 this year. His record: 27-7-5-3, $341,165.
Frosted Grace – Owned by Flying P Stable (Jason Provenzano) and trained by Robertino Diodoro, this 7-year-old horse by Mark Valeski, out of the Thunder Gulch mare Class, won the $400,000 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park on May 29 this year with last year’s top Remington Park jockey Cristian Torres in the saddle. His record: 42-9-14-6, $756,662. He would be the second-highest earner in the field if he goes.
Number One Dude – Owned by Terry Westemeir of Broken Arrow, Okla., and trained by Scott Young, this Oklahoma-bred is a multiple stakes winner in his home state. In 2020, he won the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile and the Don McNeill Stakes at Remington Park, and followed his 2-year-old-year with three more stakes wins in 2021 – in the Will Rogers Stakes at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla.; the Oklahoma Stallion Stakes and the Jim Thorpe Stakes at Remington Park, and in 2022 the Red Earth Stakes at Remington Park. His record: 21-9-6-0, $449,100.
Rightandjust – Owned by Wayne T. Davis and trained by Shane Wilson, this 5-year-old horse by Awesome Again, out of the Tiznow mare Pussyfoot, won the $60,000 John Henry Stakes at Evangeline Downs in 2022 on an off-track at 1-1/16 miles. His record: 25-7-3-4, $269,251.
Rowdy Rascal – Owned by JT Stables (Theresa Moore) and trained by Boyd “Jobe” Caster, this 4-year-old Oklahoma-bred gelded son of Den’s Legacy, out of the Affirmatif mare Dancing Diva, won the Jim Thorpe Stakes at Remington Park last year. As a 2-year-old he was a multiple stakes winner at Remington Park, taking the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile and the Don McNeill Stakes. His record: 20-5-1-3, $232,062.
Zozos – Owned by Joni and Barry Butzow and trained by Cox, this 4-year-old colt by Munnings, out of the Forestry mare Papa’s Forest, would come into the Governor’s Cup on a three-race win streak. The streak started at Fair Grounds with a victory in an allowance-optional claiming spot, then moved to Churchill Downs where he won the $175,000 Knicks Go Stakes, and then continued at Ellis Park in Kentucky where he won the $275,000 Hanshin Stakes. His record: 9-6-1-0, $627,908.
Seventeen-time training title winning Steve Asmussen only has one horse nominated to the Governor’s Cup – Presidential, looking for his first stakes win. The 4-year-old colt is owned by Courtlandt Farms (Donald Adam). He is a son of Pioneerof the Nile, out of the Twirling Candy mare Uptown Twirl. He has run no worse than second in his last three races, all in allowance-optional claiming company at Ellis Park and Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., respectively. His record: 12-3-4-0, $294,689.
The 67-date Remington Park Thoroughbred Season begins Friday, Aug. 18 and continues through Springboard Mile Night on Friday, Dec. 15.
Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park has provided more than $325 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.