HOW DID HE DO THAT, AT 44-1 ODDS, WINS GRADE 3 OKLAHOMA DERBY AS TOP THREE HORSES WERE NOSES APART
For the second time in the last six-runnings of the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby, three horses hit the wire together noses apart, with 44-1 longshot How Did He Do That splitting hairs to win the race Sunday at Remington Park.
How Did He Do That, Red Route One (5-1) and Tumbarumba (6-1) all had their photo taken at the wire like lifelong friends in a vacation selfie. They were that close together. The same thing happened here in 2018 when Lone Sailor won the Oklahoma Derby by a nose over Believe in Royalty, who was another nose ahead of Diamond King in third.
This year it was How Did He Do That, a rare longshot from all-time winningest trainer Steve Asmussen’s barn, getting his nose down at the finish line, just ahead of Red Route One, who was another nose in front of Tumbarumba. Here’s the difference in those noses. How Did He Do That won $240,000 for first, Red Route One $80,000 for second and Tumbarumba $44,000 for third. So, two noses were worth $196,000 more to Tumbarumba, if he had managed to get the win instead of third.
How Did He Do That, a 3-year-old son of Good Magic, out of the Storm Cat mare Stormin Maggy, was locally stabled by Asmussen at Remington Park where his assistant trainer Darren Fleming handled him. The “local horse” beat not only the two other shipping horses by noses, but also the 4-5 wagering favorite Hit Show, the fifth-place finisher in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Hit Show could never overcome his outside post, the 12-hole after scratches, and raced well wide around both turns in the 1-1/8 miles race. He could do no better than sixth when all was said and done.
Elliott, the leading jockey by 16 wins this season at Remington Park, was rather nonchalant after suffering through the photo and also an objection claimed by the rider of Groveland, Jesus Castanon.
“What can I say?” Elliott said. “I just kept asking (How Did He Do That) to keep his position and every time I asked, he responded.”
In the objection, aboard Groveland, Castanon claimed he was hit on both sides by the winner and the fifth-place finisher Cagliostro, near the top of the stretch.
After review by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission stewards, steward Victor Escobar explained that according to the Category 1 racing rules followed in Oklahoma, a disqualification was not allowed because the horse that was bothered (Groveland) didn’t make up enough ground after the contact to warrant consideration that he would have had a better placing than the eighth place he managed.
When asked about the photo and whether he knew he had won, Elliott was certain.
“I thought we won it,” Elliott said.
Elliott knew How Did He Do That could run when he watched him win the $250,000 Iowa Derby on July 8. Elliott rode the third-place finisher in that race, Heroic Move, who lost to him by a half-length. How Did He Do That and One In Vermillion finished in a dead-heat for the win in Iowa.
The Oklahoma Derby was a tough test for the winner as runner-up Red Route One had earlier won the Grade 3, $500,000 West Virginia Derby by three lengths at Mountaineer Park and the $200,000 Bath House Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.
How Did He Do That earned the $240,000 for owners J. Kirk and Judy Robison of El Paso, Texas, and improved to 14 starts, four wins, one second and one third for a bankroll of $562,563.
How Did He Do That also made Oklahoma Derby history as the longshot 44-1 winner, paying $91.20 to win, the highest win payout in the 35 years of the race. He paid $23.80 to place and $13.20 to show.
The victory was the first for the Robisons in the Oklahoma Derby and the first for Elliott. The triumph gave Asmussen, a National and Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame conditioner, his second win in the race. He saddled Untrapped to the derby win in 2017.
The finishing chart for the Oklahoma Derby showed Raise Cain (8-1) fourth for Tulsa, Okla., owners Andrew and Rania Warren, who were just one length back of the three-horse photo; Cagliostro (9-2) fifth; Hit Show (4-5), sixth; Heroic Move (19-1) seventh; Groveland (67-1) eighth; Gunflash (115-1) ninth; Ghost Hero (48-1) 10th; Pearl’s Earl (167-1) 11th, and Mor Lana Spirit (166-1) 12th.
How Did He Do That had a winning time of 1:50.34 over the fast track, racing as a duo on the front end with early pacesetter Ghost Hero. The only difference was one won the race, the other tired badly and beat only two horses. The pair set fractions of :23.57 for the first quarter-mile,: 48.05 for the half-mile, 1:12.21 for three-quarters of a mile and 1:37.55 for the mile. Ghost Hero finally gave up the fight in the final turn.
How Did He Do That was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings and he was purchased for $190,000 at the Fasig Tipton Keeneland Sale in October 2021.
It was a good day for the winner’s sire, Good Magic, who also produced the winner of the Kip Deville Stakes on the undercard in Good Like Magic. When he competed, Good Magic won the Blue Grass Stakes, Haskell Stakes and ran second to Triple Crown winner Justify in the 2018 Kentucky Derby.
Remington Park racing continues Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 27-30, with the first race nightly at 7:07pm-Central.
Remington Park has provided more than $331 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 is home to the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and the Grade 3 Remington Park Oaks on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Parking and admission are always free. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing or enter the casino gaming floor. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.