DENVER CITY COMES BACK FROM ROUGH FIRST TRIP THIS MEET TO WIN REMINGTON PARK TURF SPRINT STAKES
Denver City had more problems than a high school algebra book in his last race over the Remington Park turf course, but jockey Weston Hamilton solved those problems like an honors student in the $70,000 Remington Park Turf Sprint Stakes on Friday night.
The Remington Park Turf Sprint is for Oklahoma-breds, 3-years-old and older.
In the 6-year-old gelding’s first start of the meet, Hamilton had him sitting fourth on the rail when the outside horses collapsed down toward that rail, leaving Denver City nowhere to go. He got squeezed back badly and finished seventh in that race. This time, Hamilton sent his mount straight to the lead where no horses would be around him and never gave anyone a chance to catch him at five-furlongs greensward.
The gelded son of Silver City, out of the Came Home mare Afternoon Liaison, made every pole a winning one, giving trainer Oscar Flores the first stakes win of his career. Remington Park’s all-time winningest owner, Danny Caldwell, is in a partnership with Grammy winning country singer Toby Keith called Country Bro Stables of Shady Point, Okla., and they have this winner in their stable.
“We ran into a little bit of bad luck in his last race, but we’ve had him pointed toward this race (RP Turf Sprint) since May,” said Caldwell.
Keith leaves all the decisions to Flores and Caldwell.
“Danny told me back in May he had a race in mind for him, but I don’t think that far ahead,” said Keith. “I don’t even know if I have any horses in tomorrow or not. I’m just glad to be partnered up with the king of the claimers.”
Country Bro Stables claimed Denver City from Lazy Horse Race Club and trainer Michelle Lovell at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on May 27 for $25,000. The gelding was impressive Friday night, hitting the wire 2-3/4 lengths ahead of the field for the victory and he covered the five furlongs in :55.38 over the firm footing after setting fractions of :21.61 for the first quarter-mile and :43.69 for the half-mile.
The final time was just three-hundredths of a second off the stakes record for the five furlongs. Chestnut Johnny hit the line in :55.35, winning the Remington Park Turf Sprint in 2017.
Flores was thrilled with his first stakes win.
“Mission accomplished!” he exclaimed in the winner’s circle.
Denver City was sent off as the 3-1 second favorite in the race and paid $8.80 to win, $4.60 to place, and $2.80 to show. Pomeroy Haze (10-1) checked in second, a half-length in front of the post-time favorite at even money, Shannon C, the winner of this race last year. Denver City was bred in Oklahoma by James W. Rogers. The winner gave his connections their first win in the Remington Park Turf Sprint.
Hamilton was glad to see clear sailing after almost going over the rail last time out.
“It was beautiful,” he said. “There was plenty of room today. We were really rolling. I asked him to run a little and he really kicked in.”
Denver City earned $42,000 of the purse and improved lifetime to 17 starts, 7 wins, 2 seconds and 1 third for a $175,308 bankroll.
Live racing at Remington Park continues Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24 & 25. First post time is 7:07 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday on Oklahoma Derby Day.
Tracked by more than 171,000 fans on Facebook and 10,600 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $301 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 Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and Grade 3 Remington Park Oaks on Sunday, September 25. Thoroughbred racing continues through December 17 with simulcast racing daily, and a casino that is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.