Higher Flyin Eagle recorded the fastest time at 870 yards in Saturday night’s American Quarter Horse Association Remington Park Distance Challenge trials. He was faster tonight than last year’s Remington Park Champion Distance runner and another that won the Remington Park Distance Championship.

While Higher Flyin Eagle was flying high, so were thunderstorms producing lightning in the Oklahoma City area, forcing cancellation of the final three races on Saturday night’s card – eight through 10.

Ms Esther and Madewell may have had better resumes, but Higher Flyin Eagle beat them Saturday and does love the 870-yard distance, staying undefeated after winning for the second time around the hook. He is a 4-year-old gelding by Favorite Cartel, out of the Separatist mare Royaltime Separatist and covered the distance in :45.349 over the fast track, good for a speed index of 95.

Jockey Josh Romero pushed him straight to the lead in his heat and was a full length clear of Ms Esther at the wire. Ms Esther was 7-for-12 at 870 yards and was voted Distance Champion at Remington for 2019 after winning the Remington Park Distance Challenge and the Pauls Valley Stakes. She was another 2-3/4 lengths ahead of Madewell, the upset winner over Ms Esther in last year’s Remington Park Distance Championship.

Clint Crawford trains Higher Flyin Eagle for owner Joel Pierce of Sallisaw, Okla. He earned $4,080 from the $6,800 trial purse Saturday night and now has made 10 starts, won four and has three thirds for total lifetime earnings of $33,397.

It was Higher Flyin Eagle’s fourth victory in his last five starts. Two of those wins came at 440 yards. He was bred in Texas by King Camden Running Horses.

Here are the top eight qualifiers from Saturday with jockey, trainer, owner, finishing time, speed index and number of trial:

1) Higher Flyin Eagle, Josh Romero, Clint Crawford, owner Joel Pierce of Sallisaw, Okla., :45.349, 95, trial one.

2) JB Gray Dawn, Alfredo Triana, Jr., Gary Walker, James Burgess, MD, of Russellville, Ark., :45.448, 94, trial two.

3) Ms Esther, Benito Baca, owner-trainer Jordan Baumann of Sallisaw, Okla., :45.518, 93, trial one.

4) Jess a Hilbily Bone, Travis Cunningham, Tammy Johnson, Rockin J Running Horses of Gatesville, Texas, :45.707, 91, trial two.

5) Madewell, Stormy Smith, Bernard Baca, Ray and Davy Madewell of Ringling, Okla., :45.972, 88, trial one.

6) Dance the Dust Off, Berkley Packer, Shane Seaton, Scott Warr of Tremonton, Utah, :45.992, 88, trial one.

7) High On Chablis, Josh Romero, Clint Crawford, Jerry Blackmon, Mike Schau and Connie Nobles of Houston, Texas, :46.044, 87, trial two.

8) The Louisiana Dream, Francisco Giles, Manuel Campos, Hugo Barron, Ronald and Denise Van Amburgh of Sun City West, Ariz., :46.058, trial two.

As weather canceled the final three races Saturday, the Sooner 6ix wager was refunded as by rule at least four races of the multi-race sequence need to be completed. Only three of the six were conducted Saturday. The carryover to Thursday, April 16 is $35,144.78.

No racing is scheduled for Easter Sunday, but 10 races are scheduled for Thursday with a first post time of 6 p.m. Also, starting April 19, post time for Sunday racing will be changed from 1:30 p.m. to a first start to 6 p.m.

Tracked by more than 163,000 fans on Facebook and more than 10,200 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $242 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 presents the 2020 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season through May 30. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.