JOCKEY RICKY RAMIREZ WINS HERITAGE PLACE DERBY FOR FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW, THIS TIME WITH INAUGURATOR
Jockey Ricky Ramirez won the Grade 2, $232,000 Heritage Place Derby for the fourth year in a row Saturday night at Remington Park, for the fourth different trainer.
Ramirez got Inaugurator to the wire first by a full length as the (3-1 odds) second betting favorite for trainer Monty Arrossa and owner Valeriano Racing Stables of Odessa, Texas.
“I knew Ricky had won two in a row because he won last year on Apollitical Pence, who was sent to me in California after he ran here,” said Arrossa. “But I didn’t know four in a row. Well, they don’t come much better than Ricky.”
Apollitical Pence was in trainer Trey Wood’s barn last year when Ramirez won aboard him. Prior to that, he brought home PYC Fun N Fancy for trainer Amanda Tongay, and then for Judd Kearl in 2017 with Hold Air Hostage.
This was Arrossa’s first time to train horses at Remington Park so all his victories tonight were his first wins on this stakes-filled day. His charge, Inaugurator was a maiden four races ago, but since breaking his maiden at Los Alamitos on Jan. 3 of this year when trainer Jaime Gomez had him, Arrossa took over the reins in Oklahoma and all this 3-year-old gelded son of Apollitical Jess, out of the Dash Ta Fame mare Famous Phoebe, has done is win. He beat a field of allowance-non-winners-of-two on March 19, his debut at Remington Park, then beat a field of nine in the Derby trials and now is the Derby champion.
“He has really matured as a 3-year-old,” said Arrossa. “He likes to win. I watched him last year at Los Alamitos when he was with Jaime and I knew then he was going to be something special.”
Inaugurator earned $97,440 from the purse and improved his racing line to 11 starts, four wins, a trio of seconds and three more third-place finishes for earnings of $126,634. He was bred in Texas by Cynthia Dick.
Jesse D (6-1) finished second, a length back, and a nose in front of third-place finisher Jess B (7-1). The wagering favorite, Mr Dillard at 5-2 odds, ran fifth.
Inaugurator paid $8.80, $4.80 and $4.40 across the board.
Tracked by more than 163,000 fans on Facebook and more than 10,400 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. Remington Park is located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District.