FRENCH-BRED HORSE, SAY HEY, TAKES FEATURE RACE ON GRASS FOR ASMUSSEN BARN
Say Hey has taken the scenic route, winning in France, Canada and now the United States at Remington Park, taking the featured allowance race on the grass Monday.
It’s not uncommon for a horse that has traveled in three countries finds its way into Steve Asmussen’s barn, but it’s rarely, if ever, that they have won in two other countries and then get their third win lifetime in Oklahoma City. That’s what this 5-year-old mare did, winning in a first-level conditioned allowance race at Remington.
Things just get more-odd the deeper one looks at Say Hey’s pedigree. She was bred in France by Thierry De La Heronniere, Ecurie Salabi and Haras Des Adelis despite the fact that her sire is Pivotal, a Great Britain sire, out of an Irish dam, Zynah, whose sire was Oasis Dream, a grandsire from Great Britain. Somehow this mare ended up being bred in France and ran the first four races of her career in that country. She won at first asking, breaking her maiden at Chantilly racetrack, going a mile on the turf and winning by a neck at 6-1 odds. Say Hey tried three more times to win in France, but couldn’t beat winners. She was shipped to Belmont Park in New York by then-owner Martin S. Schwartz. Her poor effort there sent her to Woodbine in Canada next. She won by a half-length when she was dropped into an optional claiming $40,000 race but she was claimed there by current owners Ballycroy Training Centre and Villa Rosa Farm (Jeremia Rudan) of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Say Hey’s original purchase price was $191,100 in 2018 at the Arqana Deauville sale in France.
On Monday, Say Hey won by the slimmest nose possible, barely holding off a fast-charging She’sskysthelimit at the wire. Those two went off as the top two favorites in the 1-1/16th mile race over the lawn. She earned $20,145 for her efforts from a purse of $34,000. Her record now is 16 starts, three wins, one second and one third for earnings of $74,357. Jockey Stewart Elliott, winning at a 20 percent clip on the grass this year, showed his prowess on that surface, measuring the finish line perfectly. One second She’sskysthelimit had the head bob, but at the mirror, Elliott got the winner’s nose down.
Say Hey was sent off as the public’s 8-5 favorite and She’sskysthelimit was at 2-1 odds. Say Hey paid $5.40 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.80 to show. Her winning time for the distance was 1:43.67 over the firm going. She had the lead after a half mile and never lost it. The early fractions were :24.41 for the quarter-mile, with Miss B on the lead, :48.59 for the half-mile, 1:12.66 for three-quarters of a mile and 1:37.40 for the mile.
Gastown (7-1), the third favorite in the race, got up for third, 3-1/2 lengths behind She’sskysthelimit. It was Asmussen’s 31st victory of the meet and he leads the trainers’ standings at Remington by five, heading second-place Karl Broberg at 26. Rounding out the trainers’ standings top five are Scott Young and Austin Gustafson, tied in fourth with 19 each, and Danny Pish in fifth with 17.
Remington Park racing continues Tuesday, Nov. 16 with the first race at 2:30pm-Central.
Tracked by more than 167,000 fans on Facebook and 10,500 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $278 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 for the $400,000 Springboard Mile on Friday, Dec. 17. Simulcast horse racing featured daily, the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.