HORSES WITH BREEDERS’ CUP TIES, OKLAHOMA CLASSICS CUP CHAMP NOMINATED TO $100,000 JEFFREY HAWK MEMORIAL STAKES
Two horses with ties to competitors in the just completed Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the Oklahoma Classics Cup champion have been nominated to race in the $100,000 Jeffrey A. Hawk Memorial Stakes on Friday, Nov. 19.
Pirate’s Punch was among 16 horses nominated to the Jeffrey Hawk, for 3-year-olds and older at 1 mile, 70 yards. Pirate’s Punch, a horse that raced against Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Knicks Go last year, is owned by Gulliver Racing, Craig Drager and Dan Legan. He is trained by Grant Forster. Forster campaigned this 5-year-old gelded son of Shanghai Bobby, out of the Malibu Moon mare Catch the Moon, last year to two stakes wins at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
Pirate’s Punch finished first in the Grade 3, $200,000 Phillip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth on Aug. 22, 2020 by 1-1/2 lengths, but was disqualified and placed second by stewards after he drifted in during the late going of the race. Forster entered Pirate’s Punch back in the Grade 3, $155,000 Salvatore Mile at Monmouth and won that one-mile event by two lengths. That was Sept. 20 last year and it gave Forster and owners enough confidence to try their horse in the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland on Nov. 7. Knicks Go, who won the BC Classic on Saturday, won the BC Dirt Mile last year and Pirate’s Punch finished last by 25 lengths. Crossing the finish line in first in two graded stakes at Monmouth last fall is enough to put him in the hunt in the Hawk Memorial.
Pirate’s Punch’s record is 21 starts, five wins, three seconds and four thirds for $344,800 in earnings. He was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings.
Rated R Superstar, who ran second to Silver State in this year’s $500,000 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs on March 13, also has been nominated. Silver State ran fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Saturday and won the Grade 2, $1 million Oaklawn Handicap on April 17. This 8-year-old gelding would be one of two possible millionaires to run in this race if they are entered. The other is Tenfold.
Rated R Superstar, the son of Kodiak Kowboy, out of the Gold Case mare Wicked Wish, is a stakes winner this meet at Remington Park, capturing the $175,000 Governor’s Cup at 1-1/8th miles on the main track Aug. 20, opening night. He came back and ran second by three-quarters of a length in a tough open allowance race Sept. 11. He is owned by all-time leading owner at Remington Park, Danny Caldwell, who also leads in the owners’ race this meet. He is trained by Federico Villafranco. The millionaire gelding’s record is 56 starts, nine wins, 10 seconds and eight thirds for a bankroll of $1,181,014.
The Oklahoma Classics Cup was won by Absaroka out of trainer C.R. Trout’s barn. The 5-year-old gelded son of Flat Out, from the Brahms mare Wanton Song, is on a three-race win streak at Remington Park, taking down the $175,000 Oklahoma Classics Cup on Oct. 15. That was his first stakes effort and he won gate-to-wire by 4-1/4 lengths. Trout sends him out for owner Cowboy Stables (Blake Sappington). In 17 starts, Absaroka has won five, finished second four times and third once for $201,117 in earnings. He is a homebred for the owner.
It took Absaroka a little bit of time to figure racing out, but it seems he has. He didn’t break his maiden until his fourth start at Remington Park on Nov. 30, 2019. More than a year later, on Dec. 21, 2020, he won for the second time. But lately it’s been impossible to beat him once he sticks his head in front, usually soon after he leaves the starting gate. He won a $30,000 claimers race on Sept. 8 under non-winners of three lifetime conditions. Trout stepped him up in class the next out, Sept. 23, with Oklahoma-bred allowance horses and he won again. The Cup was his third straight trip to the winner’s circle. His three wins have come by a combined 12-1/2 lengths, the last two under leading rider David Cabrera.
Tenfold would be the top money earner in the field if he goes in the Hawk with $1,230,245 earned but most of that money came from his 2018-19 seasons when he was a 3-year-old and then 4-year-old. In 2018, the nation’s all-time winningest trainer in history according to wins, Steve Asmussen, conditioned Tenfold to a win in the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga in upstate New York and then led him to victory in the Grade 3, $300,000 Pimlico Special in Maryland when he was four. Tenfold is a 6-year-old son horse by Curlin, out of the Tapit mare Temptress. He races for Winchell Thoroughbreds, who also bred him in Kentucky. Tenfold has a record of 27-4-1-4. He hasn’t run back to the early days since making his mark, however, with the Pimlico Special being his last stakes win.
Remington Park racing continues next week with a Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 11-13 schedule, with the first race at 7:07pm-Central.
Tracked by more than 167,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $272 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.