GHOST HERO MAKES OTHER HORSES DISAPPEAR BEHIND HIM, WINNING THE OKLAHOMA CLASSICS CUP
Ghost Hero returned to his Remington Park stakes-winning days on Friday, winning the biggest race of Oklahoma Classics Night – the $131,000 Classics Cup.
This colt by Shaman Ghost (Ghostzapper), out of the Super Saver mare Queen Buxley, won the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile and the Don McNeill Stakes as a 2-year-old here last year before being soundly defeated in the $400,000 Springboard Mile. As a 3-year-old this year, he had won a couple of more stakes races at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana and at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla., before returning to Remington Park.
His first start back here was dismal, as Ghost Hero was 10th, beaten 16 lengths in the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby, but he rebounded in the Classics Cup under jockey Floyd Wethey, Jr. He not only won, but destroyed the field by 7-1/4 lengths at 1-1/16th miles on a fast main track.
“He just bounced in his last race (Oklahoma Derby),” said Gelner. “He had two big races before the Oklahoma Derby.”
Wethey continued to urge Ghost Hero on in mid-stretch of Friday’s Cup race despite his huge lead.
“I didn’t want to hold anything back,” said Wethey, “and I didn’t. My first win on him, I knew he was something special. I was going to stick with him (wherever he went).”
Ghost Hero, since leaving Remington Park last year, has had more stops on the road than the Harlem Globetrotters. He has been to Oaklawn, Hot Springs, Ark.; Claremore; Evangeline; back to Claremore; on to Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, and Charles Town in West Virginia.
As Wethey returned to the winner’s circle, he began tearing the flowers off the blanket of carnations placed over the horse’s withers after the race and throwing them into the air in celebration. It was Wethey’s second win of the night in the Classics, also taking the Oklahoma Classics Lassie aboard Miss Code West. It was Wethey’s fifth overall win on Classic nights. In previous meets, Wethey has won the 2011 Classics Sprint on Okie Ride, the 2008 Classics Sprint on Steal Your Face and the 2008 Classics Juvenile with No Advance.
It also was Gelner’s second trip to the winner’s circle on the night, taking the Oklahoma Classics Distaff Turf with Run Slewpy Run earlier in the evening. Ghost Hero gave Gelner his third career Classics win.
Ghost Hero won $78,600 for owner Norman Stables (Robert Norman) of Thomasville, Ala. The colt improved his record to 13 starts, six wins, one second and one third for earnings of $326,282. He was purchased at the Fasig-Tipton Sale in Kentucky in October 2021 for $77,000.
Ghost Hero was sitting two lengths off the lead after a half mile, stalking front-running Kwontro (29-1) who faded to last. Kwontro set early fractions of :23.25 for the first quarter-mile, and :46.93 for the half-mile. Then Ghost Hero took over when he hit three-quarters in 1:11.67. The mile was 1:38.17 and he stopped the timer at 1-1/16th miles in 1:45.37 over the fast track.
Number One Dude, as the 4-5 odds-on favorite, checked in second and was another 1-1/2 lengths ahead of third-place Absaroka (11-1), the champion of this race two years ago.
The rest of the finish was I’m Crenshaw (38-1) fourth; That’s Something (6-1), last year’s winner, fifth. It was another 57-1/2 lengths after That’s Something to Kwontro.
Ghost Hero was bred in Oklahoma by Clark Brewster of Tulsa, Okla.
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.