DANJER VOTED HORSE OF THE MEETING AT REMINGTON PARK
Danjer, the 2021 American Quarter Horse Association World Champion, was voted the unanimous choice for Horse of the Meeting for the recently concluded American Quarter Horse / Paint & Appaloosa season. The 7-year-old gelding also repeated as Champion Older Male.
It was the second time in the past three years Danjer has garnered Champion Horse of the Meeting as he also voted the best in 2021. It might have been three years in a row but he lost a close vote to Tres Crystals, a two-time winner in Remington Park’s Futurity series in 2022. Tres Crystals captured the Oklahoma Futurity in March and then repeated with an even bigger effort, winning the biggest race of the year, the Heritage Place Futurity, to secure the Horse of the Meeting honor.
Every vote this year went to the top Quarter Horse in the country two years ago for Horse of the Meeting after the multiple Grade 1 Champion won both stakes races he entered at Remington Park this spring. He captured the Grade 1 Leo Stakes on May 6 and then put an exclamation point on his season with a tremendous charge in the Grade 1 Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship on June 3, the top race of the meet for older horses.
Danjer, a gelded son of FDD Dynasty, out of the Take Off Jess mare Shez Jess Toxic, is trained and partially owned by Dean Frey in partnership with Downtime Enterprises (Patrick Guthrie) and Billy G. Smith of Rancho Mirage, Calif. Danjer won his third consecutive Debbie Schauf RP Championship. He joined Tailor Fit as the only other horse to win the race three years in a row. It was as impressive a win for Danjer as Oklahoma City fans had seen. He was triumphant by a full two lengths.
The Champion gelding was just as eye-popping in the Leo. Jockey Francisco Calderon was aboard for both victories this meet. With the trips to the winner’s circle, Danjer crept even closer to the top of the leader board of the all-time winningest Quarter Horse in AQHA history, behind two All-American Futurity winners Ochoa (1st – $2,779,265) and KJ Desperado (2nd – $2,772,603). Danjer has now raced 35 times in his career, winning 22 and earning $2,499,432. At Remington Park, he has won five of nine for a local bankroll of $611,820. He was bred in Oklahoma by Frey.
“He’s just all business and all class,” said Calderon. “Not much more I can say about him. I’m truly blessed to ride him.”
San Lencho – Champion 2-Year-old
San Lencho was not only the fastest qualifier for the $1.2 million Heritage Place Futurity, but he backed it up in winning the richest race of the year in Oklahoma. The 2-year-old colt by Apollitical Jess, out of the Heza Fast Dash mare Dashnunder Afullmoon, remained undefeated after three starts and has earned $526,856. He is a home-bred for his owner, Rogelio Marquez, Jr., of Rosenberg, Texas. His time of :17.336, the fastest time of the past five editions of the Heritage Place Futurity. He earned a 99 speed-index under jockey Juan Pulido for trainer Waylan Melton of Henryetta, Okla.
This was one of the tighter races on the ballot as San Lencho just squeaked out a win over Dark NME, a filly who won the Remington Park Futurity but then bailed to Ruidoso Downs to try to qualify for the Ruidoso Futurity in New Mexico where she was unsuccessful in that attempt.
Hooked N Gone – Champion 3-year-old
This 3-year-old gelding won the Remington Park Derby and ran second in the Heritage Place Derby, but still won this category easily. He lost by a half-length to Heritage Place Derby winner Take a Swig of This, who did not run in the Remington Park Derby.
Sired by PYC Paint Your Wagon, out of the Pretty Boy Perry mare Pretty Girl Kate, this gelding won two of four starts this meet, also scoring in his Heritage Place Derby trial. He is trained by Victor Ibarra, who conditions him for owner Regina Laymon of Neosha Falls, Kan. Cristian Esqueda was his regular rider.
After his second in the Heritage Place Derby, Hooked N Gone has won four of 11 starts and run second in five other races for a bankroll of $283,606. He was bred in Oklahoma by his owner.
Kool N Foxy – Champion 3-year-old Female
She won this category on the heels of her victories in the first-ever Remington Park Oaks and the trial for that stakes. The daughter of One Famous Eagle, out of the Walk Thru Fire mare Kool Fire, trained by Shawna Manriquez for owner Thomas J. Scheckel of Bellevue, Iowa, was one of the coolest storylines of the meet. Manriquez said the filly was her late mother’s favorite and gave the trainer her first stakes win at Remington Park.
After Daniel Torres rode her to the win in the inaugural RP Oaks, Manriquez gushed about how her mother picked her out and came to the barn as often as she could to see Kool N Foxy. Her mom passed away last year.
Kool N Foxy finished the meet with two wins in three starts and improved her record to 10 starts, four wins, two seconds with earnings of $126,459. She was bred in Oklahoma by Jerry Cate.
Sassalitical – Champion Older Female
This two-time stakes winner of the meet was a near-unanimous choice in this category after winning the Decketta Stakes and the Easy Date Stakes. The 4-year-old mare by Apollitical Jess, out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Jess Sass Me, got trainer Clint Crawford back into the Easy Date Stakes winner circle, filling that eight-year gap from when he won with This Candys Awesome.
Sassalitical was a $70,000 purchase from the 2020 Heritage Place September Yearling Sale but has earned her spot in the barn with five wins from 16 starts for $253,457 made, $74,604 of that from this year’s starts at Remington Park. She was bred in Utah by Speed LLC and is owned by Tyler and Naia Graham of Elgin, Texas. She was ridden in all her races this season by Jorge Torres.
O Donovan Rossa – Champion Distance Runner
In one of the tighter races on this year’s ballot, O Donovan Rossa edged out Remington Park Distance Championship Stakes winner Big Dynasty. O Donovan Rossa won twice at Remington this year, taking the Grade 2 Pauls Valley Stakes and winning, possibly the most eye-catching race of the year in a 10-1/2 length victory in allowance company around the turn on April 16. He beat Big Dynasty in the Pauls Valley. Big Dynasty turned the tables on him, giving him his only loss at 870 yards in the season’s end Grade 1 Remington Park Distance Championship.
O Donovan Rossa is owned by Kelly Yother Equine of Culver City, Calif., is trained by the meet’s title-winning conditioner Dee Keener and was ridden by Bryan Candanosa. He was bred in Oklahoma by J. Garvan Kelly. The 5-year-old gelded son of Apollitical Jess, out of the Country Chicks Man mare Shanachee, ends the meet with a record of 30 starts, nine wins, six seconds and three thirds for $231,765 in earnings.
A Tres of Eagle – Champion Oklahoma Bred
This category was the one with the most horses receiving votes but in the end it was multiple stakes winner A Tres of Eagle who prevailed. This 4-year-old gelded son of One Fabulous Eagle, out of the Tres Seis mare A Tres of Paint, came into the Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship on a two-race win streak, winning the $100,000 Sooner State Stakes and the $68,000 Mr Jet Moore Stakes. Both wins came against Oklahoma-bred foes.
He is trained by Eddie Lee Willis and is owned by Bella Vista Farms from Arcola, Ill. He was ridden to victory by jockey Ruben Castro in his stakes wins. He raced a respectable third in the Schauf. His race record after that showing was 14 starts, three wins, six seconds and two thirds for $185,655 earned. He was bought at the 2020 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale for $40,000. The gelding was bred in Oklahoma by The Mixer Ranch.
LaJolla Turnpike – Champion Claimer
It’s tough to beat a claimer in this category after this Paint gelding had run second in stakes company and voters recognized that, giving him the nod. The 4-year-old gelded son of multiple World Champion Paint Painted Turnpike, ran second in the Paul Harber Stakes, beaten one length by RP Reckless Wire under jockey Francisco Calderon, but he had also won a race against $10,000 claiming non-winners of two lifetime at Remington Park. That put him on the fast track to win this category. Trainer Matt Whitekiller, the all-time second leading trainer in the history of Paint racing had this one ready to fire every time out for owner Bryan Hawk of Shawnee, Okla. He was bred in Oklahoma by Shirley Wheeler. He has now won three of 11 with two seconds for $34,168 earned.
Livewires Turnpike – Champion Paint
Undoubtedly the top Paint in racing today, he won the Speedhorse Graham Stakes, the Mr Lewie Memorial Stakes and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Stakes at the meet. His only loss this season came in the Paint Stallion Breeders’ Association Stakes on April 29 when he broke dead last in a field of five, giving his competition a two-length lead before charging back to get second, losing only by a neck.
Racing for trainer Matt Whitekiller and owner Bryan Hawk, the 3-year-old gelding was ridden to his wins by Francisco Calderon. He was bred in Oklahoma by Nolan Pevehouse. Livewires Turnpike is a son of the most prolific sire in Paint racing, CRM Livewire. He is out of the PYC Paint Your Wagon mare Wagon On Turnpike. The Champion Paint has raced 14 times, winning 10 for earnings of $194,874. He also has run second once and two thirds.
R Cowgirl – Champion Appaloosa
This 2-year-old App stayed undefeated after four races this meet and was the only other horse in the voting besides Danjer to win her category unanimously. The juvenile filly by Flying Cowboy 123, out of the PYC Paint Your Wagon mare Paint This Kitty, won the Speedhorse Graham Futurity, the Victoria Ennis Stakes, her trial for the futurity and a maiden race to show her refusal to lose. She is trained by Dee Keener and was ridden by three-time AQHA World Champion jockey James Flores. She is owned by owner-breeder Jeff Adams. R Cowgirl has bankrolled $128,206 thus far.
Horse of the Meeting and divisional champion honors are voted on by media following the Remington Park season along with track management.
Tracked by more than 176,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $322 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 will begin the 2023 Thoroughbred Season on Aug. 18. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.