FASTEST QUALIFIER FOR GRADE 1 HERITAGE PLACE FUTURITY, SAN LENCHO, WAS ALSO FASTEST IN THE FINALS
San Lencho, the fastest qualifier on trials night, proved to be the fastest horse on finals night of the Grade 1, $1,207,640 Heritage Place Futurity on Saturday, the richest race in Oklahoma annually.
The win, under jockey Juan Pulido, for trainer Waylon Melton, kept the 2-year-old colt by Apollitical Jess, out of the Heza Fast Dash mare Dashnunder Afullmoon, undefeated after three starts. His running time for the 350 yards was :17.336 for a 99 speed-index over a fast track and it was the fastest time in the past five editions of the Heritage Place Futurity. One has to go back to the 2018 edition for a faster time when Sunnysyde won in :17.141.
San Lencho broke his maiden at Remington Park, winning by a head against maidens on March 24, followed that up with a win by 1-3/4 lengths in his Heritage Place Futurity trial in May 15 and then won Saturday night by three-quarters of a length as the 7-5 wagering favorite.
Melton was by far the winningest trainer at Remington Park this meet by percentage as he sent out 66 starters and won with 22 of them for a 33 percent clip. He won two-of-five on Saturday night.
Melton picked up the win in the biggest race of the year for owner Rogelio Marquez, Jr. of Rosenberg, Texas. He pocketed $507,209 from the purse and the colt after three races has banked $526,856. He is a home-bred for the owner, bred in Texas.
Pulido was draped with a huge floral blanket as he circled the horse at the winner’s circle prior to the winning photo with all the backers of the winning horse surrounding him.
“The horse made a huge run today,” Pulido said. “He was perfect from the gate.”
Melton was ecstatic when he saw San Lencho had drawn the outside 10-hole in the race. Horses have plenty of room to escape possible congestion at the start of the traffic that can happen in a race.
“All week long I was excited when I saw we drew outside,” said Melton. “I really felt good. He has been getting better and better every race. Someone asked me who I thought would win of my three (he also had PYC Legacy and Flyn Electric Cowboy in the futurity) and I told them I thought any of the three had a chance.”
San Lencho broke like an Oklahoma summer lightning-bolt from the gate and then his hooves were moving so fast they could have been mistaken for the thunder. He drew away halfway through the race to finish 1-3/4 lengths in front of Deep Blue (13-1) and his red-hot jockey Francisco Calderon, who had five wins on Saturday’s card. Deep Blue was another head in front of Midnight Politics (11-1), under the meet’s top jockey Edwin Escobedo.
San Lencho paid $4.80 to win, $3.60 to place and $2.80 to show across the board. It was the second win for Pulido in this series as he also won the Heritage Place Futurity in 2021 with Jet Black Grace. It was the first win in the race for the other connections of San Lencho.
The second favorite in the race, MFS Cheerio (5-1), finished dead last after throwing a fit in the gate prior to the start, then breaking slowly and getting squeezed back in the early going.
The complete finish of the Heritage Place Futurity was:
San Lencho (7-5 post time odds), :17.336
Deep Blue (13-1), :17.451
Midnight Politics (11-1), :17.476
AB Seis Corazones (15-1), :17.496
BP Cartel Policy (8-1), :17.602
Cardiac Cowboy (11-1), :17.619
Sheza Famous Candy (19-1), :17.731
PYC Legacy (8-1), :17.868
Flyn Electric Cowboy (9-1), :17.925
MFS Cheerio (5-1), :18.115
Tracked by more than 175,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $320 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.