DAVID VANCE STAKES ON OKLAHOMA DERBY DAY ROUNDING INTO ONE OF MOST INTRIGUING RACES ON CARD THAT DAY
The $100,000 David M. Vance Stakes on Sunday, Sept. 24, Oklahoma Derby Day is setting up as a most intriguing event on the card as some of the top barns in the country are sending sprinters in against one of the most surprising local horses in years.
Nominations for the Vance, a 6-furlongs sprint on the dirt, revealed that the top two trainers in the country by money earned this year, Brad Cox and Steve Asmussen, have shown interest in the race with a total of six horses from their barns nominated among the 31 nominations. Ron Moquett, who won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Whitmore in 2020, also has two nominated. Among other notable trainers with nominations are last year’s training title winner Karl Broberg and multiple graded stakes winner John Ortiz.
The biggest question mark in this race is one that originates from a local barn, however. That is, “Just how good is Amos Moses Hart?” trained by Scott Young, and, “can his maiden win be as incredible as it appeared?”
The most intriguing thing about Amos Moses Hart is that he had not run officially in a race until Aug. 26 of this year at Remington Park and won by 16-1/2 lengths. That’s when the buzz began. How could a horse making his career debut at 4-years-old be so amazing? The next question on everyone’s minds was if it was good enough to move him up in class immediately to the $100,000 David M. Vance Stakes on Oklahoma Derby Day. Apparently, his connections thought enough of him to nominate. He is owned by Cimarron TTT Farms (Marvin Triplett) of Edmond, Okla., and was ridden to the eye-opening victory by jockey Floyd Wethey, Jr.
Can this Oklahoma-bred gelded son of Outwork, out of the Smarty Jones mare Creative Spirit, step up and beat the big-boy Kentucky-bred, blue-blooded shippers coming in? Welder, the all-time winningest horse in Remington Park history with 16, was able to do it twice, but he was a much-more seasoned horse at the time of those victories. And finally, where has Amos Moses Hart been, only running for the first time as a 4-year-old? These are all questions that should be asked if he and the shippers meet head-to-head in the David M. Vance Stakes.
Cox, who leads Asmussen in earnings this year – $20.8 million to $20.2 million, likely will ship Strobe to race in the Vance since he has horses coming in for the Oklahoma Derby and Remington Park Oaks. Strobe is a 4-year-old colt by Into Mischief, out of the A.P. Indy mare Flashing, has run first or second in seven of eight career races and has earned $364,198. He is owned by Godolphin and he won four of his first five starts in his career. He has yet to win in stakes company, but he did run second in the prestigious Grade 3 $500,000 Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn this year, the top sprint race of the meet there. He was beaten by Skelly in that spot, a horse from Asmussen’s barn that has won his last five races in a row.
Here’s a look at some of the nominated horses for the Vance:
From Asmussen’s barn – American Xperiment, Payne and Stayed in for a Half. Payne is the top earner of these three for the all-time winningest trainer in North American thoroughbred racing history. Payne is an 8-year-old Kentucky-bred by Paynter, out of the Pollard’s Vision mare Vertical Vision. He is owned and trained by Asmussen. He has had only one win total in 2022-2023, but has been facing tough company at Oaklawn, Churchill Downs and Keeneland. His win came Oaklawn in allowance-optional claiming company at 6 furlongs by 3-1/4 lengths. His record: 27 starts, six wins, seven seconds and four thirds for $457,370 in earnings.
Moquett’s two nominees are Osbourne and Ruggs. Remington Park should remember Osbourne from his runner-up finish in the $401,200 Springboard Mile in 2021 as a 2-year-old. He was beaten only a half-length by Make It Big in that edition of Remington Park’s cornerstone 2-year-old race. Julien Leparoux was coming strong on Osbourne, but just couldn’t catch Make It Big at the wire. Osbourne, a Kentucky-bred son of Tapiture, out of the Rock Hard Ten Mare Planet Rock, is the top money earner of Moquett’s two noms. He is owned by Moquett, Mark Tauber, Floyd Sagely Properties and Keith and LaPenta Johnston. His record: 14 starts, two wins, six seconds and two thirds for a bankroll of $382,974.
Live racing continues this week at Remington Park with a Wednesday-Saturday schedule and first post time nightly at 6 p.m. CDT.
Remington Park has provided more than $331 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 Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and the Grade 3 Remington Park Oaks on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Parking and admission are always free. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing or enter the casino gaming floor. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.