2021 WORLD CHAMPION DANJER MADE EVEN-MONEY FAVORITE FOR GRADE 1 DEBBIE SCHAUF REMINGTON PARK CHAMPIONSHIP
The American Quarter Horse Association World Champion from 2021, Danjer, didn’t scare anyone off as all 10 nominee invites entered Wednesday for the Grade 1, $250,000-added Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship. The prestigious race will be the 11th of 12 on the final night of the season, Saturday, June 3.
Morning line maker Jerry Shottenkirk has made the multi-millionaire Danjer, the two-time defending champion of the Debbie Schauf, the prohibitive even-money favorite in the big race for 3-year-olds and older, going 440 yards.
Reasons abound why all 10 horses are showing up for the chance at an upset. Danjer is the third all-time winningest Quarter Horse by money earned behind only two All American Futurity winners, but also in the Debbie Schauf is a horse that has beaten him twice, two other millionaires and a horse that gets in off a two-stakes win streak.
Danjer, a 7-year-old gelding who was also named Champion Aged Horse and Champion Gelding in 2021, is owned by his trainer Dean Frey in partnership with Downtime Enterprises (Patrick Guthrie) and Billy G. Smith of Rancho Mirage, Calif. He has raced 34 times, winning 21, 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).
Jess My Hocks beat him twice in the Leo Stakes at Remington Park – in 2021 and 2022. When they met again this year in the Leo, Jess My Hocks threw a fit in the gate and then false broke at the start to finish last as Danjer got his revenge. Jess My Hocks has been made a longshot at 20-1 odds. He is owned by Tom and Kathy McNally of Guthrie, Okla., trained by Michelle Hurdle. Jess My Hocks will be ridden by Javier Hernandez-Gallardo.
The other millionaires in the race are Apollitical Gold (15-1) and Flash Bak (10-1). Apollitical Gold has won $1,010,834, most of that earned in his win in the Golden State Million Futurity in 2020. He is owned by Grant R. Cox Revocable Trust of Tulsa, Okla., and trained by 12-time training title winner at Remington Park, Eddie Willis. Jockey Jimmy Brooks will get a leg up from Willis.
Flash Bak ($1,220,323), who most recently won the $100,000 Zia Park Championship in New Mexico, also ran second in the Grade 1 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in California that was won by Apollitical Pence in 2021. It is the best race of the year for older horses at Los Al. He is owned by Valeriano Racing Stables (Sammy Valeriano) of Odessa, Texas, trained by Santos Carrizales, Jr., and will be ridden by Rolando Raudales.
A Tres of Eagle comes 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 and stays aboard the 8-1 fourth favorite in the morning-line.
Danjer, son of FDD Dynasty, out of the Take Off Jess mare Shez Jess Toxic, won five stakes races and ran second twice in his World Champion year. His victories in 2021 included the Debbie Schauf Invitational and then he defended his championship in 2022 when he won by 1-3/4 lengths as the 3-1 favorite. In 2021, he beat Apollitical Pence (who later won the Champion of Champions) by a neck. Danjer went off at 7-2 odds in the 2021 edition of the Schauf.
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 this race. Empressum defeated Danjer in the 2022 Champion of Champions at Los Al.
Here’s a look at the field from the rail out including odds, jockey and trainer:
Apollitical Gold, 15-1, Jimmy Brooks, Eddie Willis
Head Patron, 5-1, Juan Pulido, Waylan Melton
Stone Cold Leader, 20-1, Mario Delgado, Robi Meche
Delight Us All, 15-1, Raul Valenzuela, Cody Noel
Flash Bak, 10-1, Rolando Raudales, Santos Carrizales
A Tres of Eagle, 8-1, Ruben Castro, Eddie Lee Willis
Nothin Like You, 6-1, Stormy Smith, John Hammes
Apollitical Redflash, 20-1, Jorge Torres, Clint Crawford
Danjer, 1-1 (morning-line favorite), Francisco Calderon, Dean Frey
Jess My Hocks, 20-1, Javier Hernandez-Gallardo, Michelle Hurdle
Remington Park racing continues for the final three days this meet – Thursday-Saturday, June 1-3. Racing starts at 6pm nightly, except Saturday, when the final night is underway at 5pm. All times are Central.
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.