It took him 11 long years, but jockey Jesus Salazar made it back to the winner’s circle for the $70,000 Easy Jet Stakes on Saturday night at Remington Park aboard Ima Fancy Eye Opener.

Salazar had won the race in 2013 for trainer Tana Pace and owner Joe L. Mills in the saddle of Skuza Pleeze. On Saturday night, he did it for trainer Pedro Hernandez-Pulido and owner Shania and Terry Dale Cox of Sallisaw, Okla. It was not, however, the first win for Hernandez-Pulido, who had also scored in the Easy Jet with Relentless Gun in 2019.

Easy Jet was a legendary American Quarter Horse who won 27-of-38 starts lifetime for trainer Walter Merrick in 1969 and 1970. Joe Merrick, his son, used to be the security watchman for Easy Jet wherever he ran, sleeping by his stall nightly. Joe was on hand at Remington Park on Saturday to present the trophy to the connections of Ima Fancy Eye Opener.

Ima Fancy Eye Opener (6-1) broke from the outside post-position 10-hole in the 350-yard race for 2-year-old Oklahoma-breds and his main competition, Air Force (3-1), broke from the rail in post one. It’s likely the two horses never saw each other or even knew they were in the same race, but they somehow hit the finish line simultaneously. The connections had to sweat out a tight photo which showed Ima Fancy Eye Opener in front by the slimmest of noses.

“He sure makes it easy to ride him,” Salazar said of the winner. “If I had been closer to that other horse and seen him, I think he would have kept his mind on his business a little better. As it was, he did enough to win.”

It was the first stakes win for Ima Fancy Eye Opener, a 2-year-old colt by Im a Fancy PYC, out of the Mr Eye Opener mare Lil Miss Eye Opener. The winner was bred in Oklahoma by Rhonda Valdivia.

Ima Fancy Eye Opener remained undefeated in three starts at Remington Park. His only loss came over a sloppy track at Sandy Ridge in Kentucky when he finished a neck back in his career debut on March 26. Ima Fancy Eye Opener won $39,000 in the Easy Jet and improved lifetime to four starts, three wins and one second for a bankroll of $73,855. He had also won a maiden race and allowance non-winners of two career races at Remington coming into the Easy Jet.

Completing the top three was 35-1 longshot Shaken Goin On, 1-1/4 lengths back of the runner-up. The rest of the order of finish was Lews Muddybuddy (7-1) fourth, Finn McOol (7-1) fifth, RR Eagles Path (14-1) sixth, Okie Power (14-1) seventh, Mondays Cartel (24-1) eighth, My Fancy Corona (5-2 favorite) ninth and Flying Wrangler (5-1) 10th.

Hernandez-Pulido was thrilled with his second win in the series and about this gelding.

“Yeah, he did it,” he said. “He’s got a lot of potential. I knew he could step up to stakes competition.”

Remington Park racing continues Sunday with a first post time at 4 p.m. CDT.

Remington Park has provided more than $349 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 simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. The Remington Park 2024 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season continues through June 1 with the biggest racing program of the season. The Champions Night boasts total purses in excess of $2,000,000, led by the $1,000,000 Heritage Place Futurity. Parking and admission are always free. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing or enter the casino gaming floor. Visit for more information.