BEST IS SAVED FOR LAST AS WINNER OF 17TH TRIAL, PIANO MAN SAM, IS FASTEST QUALIFIER FOR $533,270 OKLAHOMA FUTURITY
The two fastest qualifiers for the Grade II, $533,270 Oklahoma Futurity scheduled for Saturday, March 25 came out of the final two of 17 trials on Saturday at Remington Park with Piano Man Sam being the swiftest.
Fun N Fire had held the fastest time for 15 races, posting :15.445 for the 300-yard distance in the first race of the day, but had to give up the top spot to the victors of the late Daily Double.
Piano Man Sam, with jockey Alonso Rivera in the saddle for trainer Kevin Goodnight finished the final trial of the night in :13.353, good enough for a 94 speed index. The gelding handled the fast track with a tailwind of 18mph during the final heat.
The trials began under sunny skies with the temperature at 79 degrees. As the trials ended, more than seven hours later, night had fallen along with the temperatures into the low 50s. The tailwind throughout the program ranged from 16-22mph.
Owner Shelley Goodnight of Park Hill, Okla., will have the horse to beat in the finals, a 2-year-old gelded son of Tres Seis, out of the PYC Paint Your Wagon mare Paint Your Pie. Shelley also bred her speedster in Oklahoma.
The second-fastest qualifier came in the 16th race when Colleys Cartel bumped Fun N Fire off the fastest time when he hit the wire in :15.434 and a 91 speed index. The 2-year-old colt by Carters Cartel, out of the Walk Thru Fire mare A Friend in the Sky, was ridden to victory by Javier Hernandez-Gallardo, who had taken over on the mount when Juan Pulido took off due to injury.
Colleys Cartel is trained by Juan Diaz, Jr., and owned by Josefina Guzman of Dallas, Texas. He was bred in Texas by Alan and Sharon Colley.
Pulido was having a huge evening when he could no longer continue, racking up four winners before injuring a shoulder and taking off his final mounts. Included among his victories were three of the top five fastest horses in Fun N Fire (race 1), Dashin Hocks (race 7) PYC Legacy (race 9). His fourth winner, Fly On Sister (race 9), qualified 10th.
Piano Man Sam burst out of the gate in the 17th like a fan running late for a Billy Joel concert and was never challenged by the rest of the field, drawing off to a one-length victory. He was so fast that the runner-up, a full length back, qualified for the finals as the eighth fastest horse of the night.
Rivera had Piano Man Sam wound up and ready to fire and the horse responded in kind. He was sent off at generous 6-1 odds and paid $14.60 to win, $6.20 to place and $5 to show. Dodge City was second to Piano Man Sam another full length ahead of third-place runner Thunder Cartel, who did not qualify for the finals.
The top 10 qualifiers for the finals of the Oklahoma Futurity were (with their jockey, trainer, trial number, times and speed index) were:
Piano Man Sam, Alonso Rivera, Kevin Goodnight, race 17, :15.353, 94
Colleys Cartel, Javier Hernandez-Gallardo, race 16, :15.434, 91
Fun N Fire, Juan Pulido, Waylan Melton, trial one, :15.445, 91
Dashin Hocks, Juan Pulido, Juan Diaz, Jr., trial seven, :15.464, 90
PYC Legacy, Juan Pulido, Waylan Melton, trial eight, :15.473, 90
JT True Grit, Roman Cruz, Jeff Tyer, trial 14, :15.473, 90
Kams Relentless, Jorge Torres, Clint Crawford, trial five, :15.499, 89
Dodge City, Bryan Candanosa, Robi Meche, trial 17, :15.519, 88
Pearl Hart, Bryan Candanosa, Robi Meche, trial two, :15.525, 88
Fly On Sister, Juan Pulido, Waylan Melton, trial nine, :15.530, 88
The historic 82nd Oklahoma Futurity will headline a stakes-laden program of racing on March 25. The Oklahoma Futurity has been held at Remington Park since 2006. The race originally started in 1947.
The 2023 Remington Park American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season continues with 10 races on Sunday, beginning with a 4 p.m. first post. The card includes trials for the $234,860 Oklahoma Derby and the $50,000 SLM Big Daddy Stakes.
Tracked by more than 172,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $316 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.