DANJER VOTED CHAMPION HORSE OF MEET FOR 2021 REMINGTON PARK SPRING SEASON
The 2020 AQHA Champion Aged Horse and Gelding, Danjer, is doing his best to repeat in that category, being named Horse of the Meet at Remington Park for the recently completed 2021 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season.
The 5-year-old gelding, trained by Dean Frey and owned by Frey, Downtime Enterprises and Billy G. Smith of Rancho Mirage, Calif., raised some doubts in his season debut, running second in the Grade 1 Leo Stakes as the 8-5 betting favorite on May 1. Danjer avenged that nose loss to Jess My Hocks in one of the toughest races for older horses ever put together in the Grade 1, $322,081 Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship on May 29.
Among the competitors he beat that night were Apollitical Pence, who is a millionaire racehorse and had won the $600,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in California last winter; Jess My Hocks, a winner in four of his last five starts, coming into the race, three of them stakes victories; Valiant Tiberias, who was on a three stakes win streak coming into the race; Mi Amor Secreto, an earner of $604,344 that had run a head back of Danjer in the $252,000 Challenge Championship at the Downs at Albuquerque, and Perrys Double Down, winner of the $393,000 Texas Classic Derby on Nov. 28 last year.
Danjer’s win in the Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship was amazing in the manner that it was done. The son of FDD Dynasty, from the Take Off Jess mare Shez Jess Toxic, broke a full length behind Apollitical Pence and Mi Amor Secreto and made up the full length and more in the final 100 yards, squeezing through those two horses to get up for the win. Cody Smith booted him home for the win that was so visibly impressive, Danjer came close to being a unanimous vote for Horse of the Meet. He was voted unanimous Champion in the Older Male category and was also named Champion Oklahoma-bred.
Here’s a look at the rest of the 2021 Remington Park Champions:
Champion 2-year-old – Jet Black Grace
This gelded son of Jet Black Patriot, out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Thrill and Grace, won the richest race in Oklahoma horse racing history, taking down the Grade 1, $1,314,980 Heritage Place Futurity on May 29. Despite remaining undefeated in his career at three-for-three, he went off at generous odds of 8-1. The gelding is owned by Zitro Racing Corp. of Forney, Texas, trained by Fidencio Jimenez and was ridden to victory by Remington’s champion jockey this meet, Juan Pulido.
Champion 3-year-old – Relentlessly
Upsetting Instygator, a horse that had lost the 2020 Grade 1, $3 million All American Futurity by a neck, went a long way to giving Relentlessly the Championship in this category. The 3-year-old colt pulled off the upset in the Grade 2, $361,010 Heritage Place Derby on May 29.
He won three-of-four starts this meet, including two derby trials for owner Aguila Negra Racing of Fairview Heights, Ill. It was his fourth win in seven tries at Remington Park lifetime. The son of Hes Relentless, out of the Carters Cartel mare Runaway Renata, was ridden to victory by Raul Valenzuela in the Heritage Place Derby.
Champion Older Female – Cat Daddys Lil Girl
This 5-year-old gray mare by Big Daddy Cartel, out of the Man On the Move mare Girlonthego, only had two starts, but won both of them against stakes horses. She won the $75,000 Easy Date Stakes on April 17 and finished the meet with a score in the Grade 1, $128,241 Junos Request Stakes on May 29. She was a unanimous winner of her category. She is owned by Jimmy Negrete and Jimmy Vasquez of Carlsbad, N.M., trained by Jason Giles and was taken to the winner’s circle by jockey Noe Garcia, Jr.
Champion Distance Runner – Wascallywittlewabbit
This 6-year-old gelding came into his own after running fourth in his first race of the meet off a November-March layoff. He was much stronger for the two best 870-yard distance stakes of the season, the Grade 2 Pauls Valley on April 1 and the Grade 1, $64,000 Remington Park Distance Championship on May 29. He beat past champions Ms Esther and Madewell in that final stake. Ms Esther was distance champion at Remington Park two years ago and Madewell was last year’s AQHA Distance Champion. This gelding won by unanimous vote.
Wascallywittlewabbit, by Heza Motor Scooter, out of the Rabbits Rainbow mare Rabbits N Diamonds, is owned by Rogers Farms in Clint, Texas. He is trained by Michael Joiner and was ridden to both stakes victories at Remington by Benito Baca.
Champion Paint – Smithworks
Smithworks was not only Champion Paint but most likely the feel good story of the year, having barely survived birth, losing his mother in the process, refusing to eat for a few days after being foaled and then turning into an incredible runner. The 2-year-old colt by multiple World Champion Painted Turnpike, out of the Mighty Invictus (QH) late mare Shesa Mighty Chick, won the $196,100 Oklahoma Paint & Appaloosa Futurity. He lost his next stakes final to RF Livies Livewire in the $159,500 American Paint Classic Futurity in April, when this champ was not feeling well.
Smithworks came back and showed what he was made of by winning sharply in the richest Paint and Appaloosa race ever run, the Grade 1, $289,075 Speedhorse Graham Paint and Appaloosa Futurity on May 29. He is owned by Bryan Hawk of Shawnee, Okla. and trained by Matt Whitekiller, his breeder. Smithworks was ridden to victory in the Oklahoma Paint & Appaloosa Futurity by Francisco Calderon. Jockey Cody Smith had the winning mount in the Speedhorse Graham Futurity.
Champion Appaloosa – Queen For Cash
For the second year in a row this 3-year-old filly was voted top Appaloosa.
The daughter of Hes Relentless (QH), out of the Ivory James (QH) mare Ivory Queen, won the $40,250 Speedhorse Stakes on March 20 and then finished third in the Grade 1, $43,500 National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Stakes on May 29.
Queen For Cash is owned by Gary Vaughan of Coalgate, Okla., trained by Carlos Ruiz and was ridden this meet by Daniel Torres. Queen of Cash was a unanimous choice in her category.
Champion Claimer – Alotalota
This 4-year-old gelding by Lota PYC, out of the Corona Cartel mare Crazy About Corona, won three-of-four starts this meet, taking his picture in a conditional allowance race, an optional $40,000 claiming race, an optional $100,000 claiming race and running second in an optional $50,000 claiming race. He is owned by Whiting Ranch of Bells, Texas, trained by Delbert McDowell and was ridden to victory by Raul Herrera, Benito Baca and Jesus Ayala. It didn’t matter who rode him, he was intent to win regardless.
Tracked by more than 167,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $261 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 live and simulcast horse racing, and the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.