EAGLES FLY HIGHER DEFENDS HIS TITLE IN WINNING GRADE 2 EASTEX STAKES
For the second year in a row, jockey Mario Delgado and trainer Casey Black were in the winner’s circle for the Grade 2, $56,400 Eastex Stakes at Remington Park, as Eagles Fly Higher repeated his winning effort from last year.
The biggest difference in the two Eastex wins was that in 2020, Eagles Fly Higher went off at 32-1 odds when he won. He has never been close to those odds since that score. The 5-year-old was sent off the heavy betting favorite in the 2021 Eastex, at 1-2 odds on Saturday night. He paid $66.80 to win last year on a $2 win bet and $3 on the same wager this year. The 5-year-old son of One Famous Eagle, out of the First Down Dash mare Lone Bet, won this year’s Eastex for owners Darling Farms and Valeriano Racing Stables of Lamont, Okla.
Delgado guided the winner from post position four to an easy win by a half-length over Hooked On a Win, who was 6-1 in the betting. Apollitical Papa, at 7-2, got up for third, 1-1/4 lengths behind the runner-up.
Eagles Fly Higher handled the 350 yards on a fast track in :17.582, good for a speed index of 89. Across the board, he paid $3 to win, $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show for a total of $7.30 returned. Last year with the $66.80 to win, he also paid $28.20 to place and $14.40 to show for a total of $109.40.
It was this 5-year-old horse’s eighth win in 24 attempts and he earned $34,746 for the victory. The reason Eagles Fly Higher was such a big longshot last year was that he came into that Eastex Stakes having not won a race in about a year and a half.
With his earnings Saturday night, Eagles Fly Higher boosted his career wallet to $557,595. He was bred in Oklahoma by V.H. Harman Jr. and Robert Moudy III. It was the second win in the Eastex for all connections.
The Eastex is named after the winner of the 1984 All American Futurity who at one time was the sport’s all-time leading money earner. He held the record for most money earned by a 2-year-old until 2008. Eastex retired in his home state, living out his years in Norman, Okla. He often led the post parade of the race named in his honor before passing away at age 32, in 2013.
Live racing continues Sunday, March 21 with first post time of 6pm-Central.
Tracked by more than 165,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $258 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 open daily for casino gaming and simulcast horse racing. The 2021 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season continues through May 29. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.