IVORY SENATOR OUTBATTLES FAVORITE EYE ON THE CARD TO WIN $68,000 MR MASTER BUG STAKES
Ivory Senator was one of the hottest 2-year-olds going at Remington Park last year, winning a Heritage Place Futurity trial by two lengths as a 3-5 favorite and then went off 4-1 in the $1.1 million final before finishing last after a compromising hard bump at the start from other rivals.
The 3-year-old gelding had no such issue Saturday, proving his love for Remington Park on Saturday night, winning the restricted Grade 3, $68,000 Mr Master Bug Stakes for his fourth win in six trips over this Oklahoma City racing surface. The race was for Oklahoma-bred 3-year-olds.
The gelded son of Louisiana Senator, out of the Ivory James mare Ivory Teaspoon, broke his maiden here on March 27 last year, followed up by his Heritage Place Futurity trial win and his third victory coming in allowance company for non-winners of three on March 24 at Remington Park this year.
Ivory Senator had a flashy time of :17.355 for the 350 yards on the fast track which was good for a 98 speed index and had the wagering favorite Eye On the Card (6-5) breathing down his neck the whole way. Neither broke sharply but they easily pushed to the front in a few steps. The final margin of victory for Ivory Senator was a head in front of Eye On the Card. The winner was bet down to 5-2 odds and was the third wagering favorite in the Mr Master Bug. He paid $7.40 to win, $3.40 to place and $2.40 to show.
Jockey Juan Pulido got busy on Ivory Senator after his gelding was standing flat-footed when the gates opened. He was in front before you could say Mr Master Bug Stakes, however. The battle was then on. Eye On the Card was well ahead of third-place finisher A Legacy of Tales (12-1) by 1-1/4 lengths. The second favorite, also at 5-2, was Tyger King, who finished in fourth.
The win for trainer Juan Diaz, Jr., broke a three-year run for Eddie Willis who had won the last three Mr Master Bug Stakes in a row. It was the first for Diaz, but the second time Pulido has found himself in the winner’s circle of this stakes. He also brought home the winner, VF Jedi Returns, in 2019.
Ivory Senator won $39,600 from the purse and improved his record to eight starts, four wins, and one second for total earnings of $113,634 for owner Louis A. Malechek III of Bryan, Texas. The winner was bred in Oklahoma by the owner, who also won this race for the first time.
The Mr Master Bug is named after the 1982 All American Futurity winner who was bred and owned by Marvin and Lela Barnes of Ada, Okla. Mr Master Bug earned American Quarter Horse Champion honors in three consecutive years from 1982-1984 and retired with more than $1.7 million in earnings.
Tracked by more than 174,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $317 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 features the 2023 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa season through June 3. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.