APOLLITICAL PENCE WINS REMINGTON PARK’S FIRST STAKES OF SEASON, TAKING MIGHTY DECK THREE FOR SECOND YEAR IN ROW
As hard as it is to believe, Apollitical Pence may be even stronger at 5-years-old than he was at 4 when he won the $600,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in December.
Apollitical Pence won the $68,000 Mighty Deck Three Stakes at 250 yards for the second year in a row at Remington Park on Tuesday and he did it impressively against a stacked field of stakes winners. In his last four starts of 2020, Apollitical Pence’s speed indexes were 101, 103, 104 and 106 with that monster final one coming in this country’s most prestigious race for older horses, the Champion of Champions. He was ignored in that race by the betting public at 12-1 odds. He was not forgotten in the betting Tuesday.
This 5-year-old gelding by Apollitical Jess, out of the Tres Seis mare Send City, was sent off as the wagering favorite at 3-5 odds and paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10 across the board to win, place and show. He is now 3-for-3 at 250 yards, proving he is equally amazing at any distance. He won the Champion of Champions at 440 yards. It just doesn’t matter.
Under jockey Francisco Calderon, Apollitical Pence exploded out of the gates and was always daylight ahead of this high-quality field, drawing off to a 1-1/2 length victory. Charlies Fury was second, coming off a win in the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association Fall Classic Stakes at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore in November 2020. Another nose back in third was Eagles Fly Higher who won the Sooner State Stakes and the Eastex Stakes at Remington Park last year, on his way to earning the 2020 American Quarter Horse Association Champion Aged Stallion award. Even the fourth-place finisher, Mr Dillard, was a stakes winner, taking the Black Gold Futurity at WRD in 2019. So to beat this stacked field was more than impressive, it was eye-popping.
Calderon becomes the fourth rider to win on Apollitical Pence in his last 10 races. He is trained by Monty Arrossa for owner Dunn Ranch of Wynnewood, Okla.
“He’s fast; the gates open and he’s gone,” said Calderon. “He went to running and that was it.”
Apollitical Pence was Champion 3-year-old at Remington Park in 2019 and he had one thing definitely in his favor, making it easier this year to defend his title in this race. Last year, he got in front but then he started staring at the lights and by the time he hit the wire, he had a crowd surrounding him. This time the race was in the daylight and no one could touch him. His time was slightly faster last year at :13.056 for a speed index of 98. This year he stopped the timer in :13.187 over a fast track for a 92, but he was running into a strong headwind of more than 20mph.
Apollitical Pence earned $37,800 for his second straight Mighty Deck Three victory and improved his record to 24 starts, 10 wins, four seconds and five thirds for a lifetime bankroll of $1,055,191. He became a millionaire after winning the Champion of Champions.
“We are so blessed to have this horse,” said trainer Monty Arrossa. “I want to thank the Dunns for trusting us with him.”
Apollitical Pence was bred in Oklahoma by Dunn Ranch and Womack Cavender Farms. The winner is now five-of-eight at Remington Park and has earned $282,977 here.
The Mighty Deck Three Stakes 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, including the Rainbow Futurity, and posted the top qualifying time for that year’s All American Futurity. He was upset in the All American, beaten a nose by Higheasterjet. Despite the loss, Mighty Deck Three was still voted the Champion 2-year-old for 1980.
Apollitical Pence finished 1-1/2 lengths ahead of Charlies Fury, who was a nose up on Eagles Fly Higher. The third-place finisher was a neck ahead of Mr Dillard in the race carrying a restricted Grade 3 designation for Oklahoma-breds.
Tracked by more than 165,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $258 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 open daily for casino gaming and simulcast horse racing. The 2021 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season continues through May 29. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.