FINE MATE FINALLY BREAKS THROUGH AT SECOND-LEVEL ALLOWANCE CLASS TO WIN FEATURE RACE ON TURF
Fine Mate had been racing against some of the toughest allowance horses in the Southwest for more than a year, and competed well.
Fred’stwirlingcandy, Don’task Don’ttell, Drifting West and Share the Upside have been some of the toughest horses to beat on the grass in 2019 and for the majority of this year. In fact, Share the Upside ran second in 2019 at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., on dirt to the Whitmore, the current Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion.
After seven tries in the second-level allowance class, Fine Mate finally broke through with a victory in the featured $30,500 allowance race at Remington Park on Tuesday, drawing away by 1-3/4 lengths. This 5-year-old gelded son of Denman (Aus), out of the Burbank mare D Fine Okie, was sent off at 5-2 odds in a fairly balanced field and came out victorious for the owner, Richter Family Trust of Perkins, Okla., and trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel of Piedmont, Okla.
Jockey Luis Quinonez won with Fine Mate, continuing his quest this meet to become the second place all-time rider at Remington Park. Luis Q won two on Tuesday to sit at 1,405 trips to the winner’s circle. The current all-time leaders are fellow Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Famers Cliff Berry (2,125) and Don Pettinger (1,419), both retired.
Fine Mate was on the verge of breaking through at this class level twice in his last four races, running second at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, on July 19 at one mile on the turf. He had the lead the whole way until the final strides when Don’task Don’ttell got up by a half-length to continue a winning streak that would reach six in a row.
Fine Mate had also been the runner-up last time out when multiple winner here, Fred’stwirlingcandy, finished a length in front of him on Halloween night at Remington Park. Fine Mate didn’t have to beat those turf stars Tuesday, but he showed he belonged on the same stage with them as he defeated 3-2 betting favorite Cowboy Mischief, who was a multiple stakes winner at Remington Park in 2019, including the $130,000 OKC Turf Classic. Cowboy Mischief could do no better than fourth on Tuesday.
Fine Mate took them wire to wire at one mile with Carlea’s Dream (5-2) second, another 4-1/4 lengths ahead of Stage Ready (7-2), a shipper that had run competitively at Keeneland and Churchill Downs for trainer Ron Moquett. Cowboy Mischief was three-quarters of a length behind of Stage Ready.
Fine Mate paid $7.60 to win, $3.80 to place and $2.40 to show. The gelding was bred in Oklahoma by the owner. He earned $18,198 from the purse and improved his record to 13 starts, three wins, three seconds and two thirds for a lifetime bankroll of $90,572. The swift gelding posted fractions of :24.15 for the first quarter-mile; :48.35 for the half-mile; 1:13.08 for three-quarters of a mile, and 1:24.94 for seven furlongs before finishing in 1:36.98 over the course labeled good.
Remington Park racing will continue Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20 & 21, with the first race both nights at 7:07pm-Central.
Tracked by more than 164,000 fans on Facebook and 10,500 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $252 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 $200,000 Springboard Mile, the top stakes event for 2-year-olds at Remington Park, is featured on Friday, Dec. 18. The 2020 Thoroughbred Season continues through Sunday, Dec. 20. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.