FLY TO THE BANK REPEAT WINNER OF OKLAHOMA CLASSICS SPRINT STAKES
Despite being off form in his first two races this meet at Remington Park, Fly to the Bank showed the flash Friday night from last year’s win in the $99,600 Oklahoma Classic Sprint to become a repeat winner of the race.
Jockey Reylu Gutierrez shipped in for this year’s victory, replacing Obed Sanchez in the saddle. Trainer Steve Martin made the call in that capacity and acknowledged Fly to the Bank’s former rider.
“We called Rey and asked him if he’d like to ride this horse and he said, ‘Yeah,’ “ said Martin. “OB wished us good luck and was very generous about it. We had prepped (Fly to the Bank) his first two starts and the race set up well for him tonight with tons of speed to run at.”
Fly to the Bank won this race last year with Sanchez in the irons for trainer James Helzer. He won both years for owner Juan Carlos Gallegos of Edmond, Okla. Gallegos pocketed $59,760 for the win from the purse as his horse improved to 38 starts, 11 wins, seven seconds and five thirds for a bankroll of $461,526. He has won two of his last three stakes races, including the $55,000 TRAO Classics Sprint at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla. If not for a second by a neck in the $45,000 Route 66 Stakes at Fair Meadows in Tulsa, Okla., he would be on a three-stakes win streak.
Fly to the Bank, a 6-year-old gelded son of Euroears, out of the Kingkiowa mare Take It and Fly, hit the wire Friday 2-1/4 lengths in front. The winner was sent off at 8-1 odds despite winning the race last year and paid $18.80 to win, $10.20 to place and $5 to show. Tommyhawk (18-1) finished second, three-quarters of a link in front of Connors Outlaw, the post-time favorite at 4-5. The completed order of finish was – Mesa Moon (13-1) fourth, Pomeroy Haze (4-1) fifth, Salt Creek Kid (16-1) sixth, Hopgun (38-1) seventh, Frigerator (32-1) eighth, Cowboy Mischief (27-1) ninth and Banjo Bear (6-1) 10th.
Fly to the Bank covered the six furlongs in 1:11.47 on the fast track and closed from sixth down the backstretch to get the victory. The early speed set up the race perfectly for him, putting up fractions of :22.04 for the first quarter-mile, :45.47 for the half, and :58.32 for five-eighths of a mile.
“There was a lot of pace in front of me,” said Gutierrez. “The speed got away and I just floated in and saved ground. The horse did the rest.”
This might have been a case of ignorance is bliss as Fly to the Bank won gate-to-wire last year, but Gutierrez getting on him for the first time, he showed him a new way to win.
Fly to the Bank was bred in Oklahoma by his former trainer Helzer.
Remington Park racing continues Saturday, Oct. 21 with first post time of 7:07pm-Central.
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 Springboard Mile, a Kentucky Derby points-qualifying race, on Friday, Dec. 15, 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.