CHAMPION DANJER ESTABLISHED AS MORNING-LINE FAVORITE IN LEO STAKES AT REMINGTON PARK
There is Danjer dead ahead for opponents in the Grade 1, $100,000 Leo Stakes on Saturday night.
That means a field of eight includes last year’s American Quarter Horse Association Champion Aged Gelding and overall Champion Aged Horse, Danjer, a 5-year-old gelding from the barn of trainer Dean Frey. This speedy son of FDD Dynasty, out of the Take Off Jess mare Shez Jess Toxic, won three stakes races last year, had four victories in six starts and earned multiple champion status for his success. Remington Park morning-line maker Jerry Shottenkirk gave this gelding his due by making him the 7-5 favorite for the Leo Stakes.
Danjer earned $326,061 of his $852,772 in lifetime earnings during his run to the championships of his division in 2020. He is by far the highest money-earner in the field, ahead of Mi Amor Secreto (5-2), the second morning-line favorite, at $593,374. Danjer is owned by Frey, Downtime Enterprises and Billy G. Smith of Rancho Mirage, Calif. Danjer’s Grade 1 wins included the $300,000 Albuquerque Fall Championship on Sept. 20 last year and the $252,000 AQHA Challenge Championship on Oct. 24. He also captured the $63,000 Championship Challenge at Canterbury in Minnesota on July 7.
Jockey Cody Smith had the mount on this favorite in all his starts last year and gets a repeat call for the Leo Stakes. Danjer has won two of four starts at 400 yards, the distance of the Leo on Saturday, earning $296,262 going that far. He is only one-for-three in his Remington Park starts. In fact, Mi Amor Secreto finished ahead of Danjer in last year’s Grade 1 Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship, won by Dexxter, while Danjer was settling for eighth place in that race. Danjer’s record is 10 wins from 19 starts going into Saturday’s race. He was bred in Oklahoma by Frey.
Mi Amor Secreto has the advantage of a race under his belt this year, running second, beaten only a head by Valiant Tiberias in the Grade 2 Bank of Oklahoma America Challenge on March 27 at Remington Park. This will be the first start for Danjer since he last ran on Oct. 24 at Albuquerque last year. Mi Amor Secreto, a 6-year-old gelded son of The Louisiana Cartel, out of the Feature Mr Jess mare Streakin in Secret, has 25 starts with only five wins, but 10 seconds and one third. He will be ridden by Remington Park’s leading rider Juan Pulido for trainer Fidencio Jimenez and owner Carol Ann Mays of Boerne, Texas. He was bred in Texas by Kelly Heltzle.
One of his biggest wins, however, did come in Oklahoma City when Mi Amor Secreto won the Grade 2, $71,528 Bank of America Remington Park Challenge in March here last year. He upset the heavily favored Valiant Tiberias in that start.
Here’s a look at the horses from the rail out, including post position, jockey, trainer, and odds:
Jess My Hocks, Agustin Silva, Michelle Hurdle, 5-1
Danjer, Cody Smith, Dean Frey, 7-5
Uncle Eds Idea, Jonathan Dominguez, Tammy Johnson, 15-1
No Mires a La Luna, James Flores, Fred Danley, 15-1
Zoomn On Bye, Stormy Smith, Mallory Norton, 20-1
Midday News, Raul Ramirez, Jr., Michael Joiner, 8-1
Apollitical Papa, Jose Ortiz, Fred Danley, 8-1
Mi Amor Secreto, Juan Pulido, Fidencio Jimenez, 5-2
Remington Park live racing continues this week Friday-Sunday, April 29-May 2, with first post time of 6 p.m. nightly except for Saturday. It’s Kentucky Derby day Saturday and first live post for Remington Park is noon that day.
Tracked by more than 165,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $260 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 $1 million Heritage Place Futurity on May 29. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.