Holden the Lute was caught in a trap midway through the featured allowance race Thursday night at Remington Park, but jockey Harry Hernandez finally found a way out, swinging him wide in the stretch to win a hard-fought battle.

The 6-year-old gelded son of Midnight Lute, out of the Proud Citizen mare Casino Gold, took advantage of his class drop from the $100,000 Governor’s Cup on opening night, Aug. 18, to allowance horses that had not won $24,000 twice this year. It took more of a fight than the 2-5 odds-on favorite expected as he was stacked behind horses in the early going of the 1 mile-70 yards race on the main track. Holden the Lute had run a strong race in the Governor’s Cup leading the way into the stretch, but fading at the 1-1/8th mile distance that night to finish third in the first stakes race of the season.

Hernandez had Holden the Lute in the middle of a blind switch with horses moving on his inside and his outside and had to pull the favorite back slightly so he could pull him to the outside. Once he was not impeded by horses on the outside, Holden the Lute began making his move, but he was fanned wide turning for home. Again, he pushed to the front, chasing Dame Plata (33-1 odds) and Chrome Baby (9-2). The former began to fade but Chrome Baby continued to engage and battle for the lead. Holden the Lute and Hernandez finally pulled in front at the wire for the half-length victory.

Bizzy Legs (12-1) was another 4-3/4 lengths back in third.

Holden the Lute paid $2.80 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. He earned $22,596 from the $38,000 purse for owner Charles Garvey of Nisku, Alberta, Canada. He is trained by Robertino Diodoro. The trip to the winner’s circle improved the gelding’s career running lines to 35 starts, eight wins, 10 seconds and three thirds for $386,771 in earnings. It was his second win in his last three starts. Holden the Lute had beaten optional $35,000 claimers at Canterbury in Minnesota by seven lengths as the 7-5 favorite on July 22 prior to stepping up to stakes company in the Governor’s Cup. It was his first win in only two tries at Remington Park but he is now two-for-five at the distance he raced tonight.

Holden the Lute also won races at Santa Anita this spring and Del Mar last fall in California. He was bred in Kentucky by Michael Pegram, Kari Watson and Paul Weitman.

Remington Park racing continues Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8 & 9 with the first race nightly at 7:07 p.m. Central.

Remington Park has provided more than $328 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 Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and the Grade 3 Remington Park Oaks on Sunday, Sept. 24, 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.