Jockey Ricky Ramirez won the Grade 3 Heritage Place Derby for the third year in a row, booting home Apollitical Pence on Saturday night to win the $367,750. The race if for 3-year-olds who qualified in trials on May 12.

Ramirez had previously won aboard PYC Fun N Fancy last year and Hold Air Hostage in 2017.

Ramirez had his fingers crossed that the owner of Apollitical Pence, Dunn Ranch of Bismarck, Mo., would send the 3-year-old gelding back to trainer Trey Wood and to his stable here at Remington Park. His prayers were answered when the horse showed up for the trials. Apollitical Pence was the second-fastest qualifier in the trials, behind the time of Charlies Fury, but still went off as the 2-1 betting favorite at post time. Charlies Fury, who finished third, was sent off at 5-2 odds. Splitting the two in second and causing an all-red-state exacta was Viva Le Don. That horse was named for President Donald Trump and his Vice President is Mike Pence. That combination was worth $93 on a $2 exacta play.

Apollitical Pence was only going to get better after one race over the track at Remington Park after spending June 2018-March 2019 in the Golden State on the West Coast, winning three races while in California. His victory Saturday was worth $154,455 to his owners and his lifetime record improved to 13 starts, six wins, two seconds and two thirds for $468,507 in is bankroll.

“I want to thank the owners for bringing him back,” said Ramirez after the race. “He did a lot of good in California, but Trey told me they were bringing him back to us for the Heritage Derby and I was pretty excited about that. Turned out to be a good outcome.

“He ran a really good race in the trials and I tried to save a little bit for the finals and it worked out.”

Apollitical Pence had run a strong third in last year’s $977,000 Golden State Futurity at Los Alamitos and then was only a neck back in second in this year’s Los Alamitos Derby on March 31 with a 104 speed index. He stopped the clock in 19.469 seconds in Saturday’s 400-yard final for a speed index of 96. This gelded son of Apollitical Jess, out of the Tres Seis mare Send City, won by a neck over Viva Le Don, who was another half-length ahead of Charlies Fury. Apollitical Pence was bred in Oklahoma by Dunn Ranch and Womack Cavender Farms.

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