2021 WORLD CHAMPION DANJER HEADS LIST OF NOMINEES FOR GRADE 1 DEBBIE SCHAUF INVITATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ON CLOSING DAY
If Danjer goes in the Grade 1, $250,000-added Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship on the season’s final day, June 3, he will be a prohibitive favorite.
The 7-year-old gelding was the 2021 World Champion and was also named Champion Aged Horse and Champion Gelding. The son of FDD Dynasty, out of the Take Off Jess mare Shez Jess Toxic, was crowned World Champion after winning five stakes races and running second twice. His victories included the Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship that year when he beat Apollitical Pence (who later won the Grade 1 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in California) by a neck. Danjer went off at 7-2 odds that night. He then defended his title in the race in 2022 when he won by 1-3/4 lengths as the 3-1 favorite
During his World Champion year, Danjer also won the Bank of America Challenge Championship, Refrigerator Invitational Championship and All American Gold Cup, all of which were Grade 1 races. His other victory came in the Grade 3 Bank of America Challenge. Danjer raced at five different racetracks in four different states during his World Champion year.
The only horse Danjer has lost to in his last seven races is 2022 World Champion Empressum, who will not be a part of the Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship.
Danjer, owned by his trainer Dean Frey in partnership with Downtime Enterprises (Patrick Guthrie) and Billy G. Smith of Rancho Mirage, Calif., has raced 34 times, winning 21 races, running second seven times and third three times for lifetime earnings of $2,335,398. That puts him third on the all-time American Quarter Horse Association lifetime earnings list behind Ochoa ($2,779,265) and KJ Desperado ($2,772,603).
Jockey Francisco Calderon was aboard Danjer this year when he won the $111,000 Leo Stakes, a prep for the Debbie Schauf, and won by one full length at 3-5 odds. At Remington Park, Danjer’s record is eight starts, four wins, one second for earnings of $447,786 in Oklahoma City.
Also included in the list of 10 nominations for the Debbie Schauf are Nothin Like You and Head Patron, who finished second and third behind Danjer in the Leo Stakes. Nothin Like You was a nose in front of Head Patron.
A Tres of Eagle also is included in the list of noms and would come into the Debbie Schauf on a two-race win streak in stakes company. The 4-year-old gelded son of One Fabulous Eagle, out of the Tres Seis mare A Tres of Paint, won the $100,000 Sooner State Stakes last time out on April 22 at Remington Park and won the $68,000 Mr Jet Moore Stakes on April 1 here. He is trained by Eddie Lee Willis and is owned by Bella Vista Farms from Arcola, Ill. Jockey Ruben Castro has been aboard for both stakes wins.
Danjer will not be the only millionaire in the race, either, if a couple of other horses go – Apollitical Gold and Flash Bak. They have both scored more than $1 million in their careers.
Apollitical Gold has won $1,010,834, most of that being accrued in his win in the Golden State Million Futurity in 2020. He is owned by Grant R. Cox Revocable Trust and trained by 12-time training title winner at Remington Park, Eddie Willis. The other millionaire nominated was Flash Bak ($1,220,323) who had his most recent win in the $100,000 Zia Park Championship in New Mexico in December 2022. He also ran second in the Champion of Champions that was won by Apollitical Pence in 2021. He is owned by Valeriano Racing Stables and trained by Santos Carrizales, Jr.
Another horse to be considered is Delight Us All, who ran second to All-American Futurity winner KJ Desperado in the $413,000 Texas Classic Derby on Nov. 19 last year, beaten 1-1/2 lengths. He is owned by Reliance Ranches and trained by Cody Noel. Then there’s Jess My Hocks, who won the 2022 Leo Stakes, defeating Danjer in the process, and was a bad actor on Leo Stakes night this year, running his race at the gate when he was fractious and finishing 10th after false breaking. He is owned by Tom and Kathy McNally of Guthrie, Okla., and trained by Michelle Hurdle.
The Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship is an invitational event. The nomination list of 10 was compiled from those accepting invitations.
Remington Park racing continues for five more dates this meet. Saturday racing begins at 6pm with Sunday afternoon action underway at 4pm. The final trio of dates falls June 1-3.
Tracked by more than 175,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $320 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park features the 2023 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa season through June 3. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.