JOCKEYS FINALIZED FOR GRADE 3 $400,000 OKLAHOMA DERBY ON SUNDAY, RISPOLI IN FROM WEST COAST, CASTANON ADDED FROM CHURCHILL DOWNS
The jockeys have been finalized for the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on Sunday, Sept. 24, with Umberto Rispoli coming in from the West Coast and Jesus Castanon shipping from Churchill Downs.
At the time of entry, two horses were entered without a rider named – third-favorite in the morning line Raise Cain and Groveland at 15-1. Rispoli moves his tack from Del Mar near San Diego, Calif., where he finished the meet there on Sept. 10 as the third-leading rider. He will get a leg up from trainer Ben Colebrook on 5-1 Raise Cain. Rispoli will ride for Tulsa, Okla., owners Andrew and Rania Warren. Andrew is the son of Bill Warren, Jr., and Suzanne Warren, who campaigned 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam and Kentucky Derby third-place finisher and Belmont Stakes runner-up Denis of Cork in 2008.
Rispoli finished third at Del Mar, where the turf meets the surf, behind only Juan Hernandez with 39 wins and Antonio Fresu with 31 victories. Rispoli made it to the winner’s circle 25 times, but missed a few days after an injury Aug. 31. He was unseated from his horse at Del Mar in heavy traffic and was kicked by another horse as he fell to the track. His mount, Single Track Mind, was not injured and was quickly corralled by outriders. Rispoli was taken off on a stretcher by paramedics to an ambulance, but he showed his tough-as-nails personality by leaving the hospital the same day.
“I’m doing fine; nothing broken,” Rispoli responded in a video he posted on Twitter. “The scan came out clean and the X-ray came out clean.”
Now Rispoli is trying to add some more graded stakes hardware in Oklahoma City with Raise Cain, a 3-year-old colt by Violence, out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Lemon Belle. Raise Cain gets into the Oklahoma Derby off a fourth-place finish in the West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 6. Raise Cain went off as the 8-5 favorite in that race, but was soundly defeated by Red Route One by 6-1/2 lengths. Red Route One is the 7-2 second favorite in the morning line for the Oklahoma Derby.
Rispoli, 35, was twice named Champion Italian Jockey in 2009-10 before moving to North America. He may be best known for his Grade 1 wins aboard Rock Your World in the Santa Anita Derby in 2021 and with Smooth Like Strait in the Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. Smooth Like Strait went on to run second in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Mile on the turf, and accumulated more than $1.8 million in earnings.
Jesus Castanon also brings some strong credentials to Remington Park to ride Groveland for global owner Godolphin and trainer Eoin Harty. Groveland is a colt by Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Lucknow. His best race is a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Sam Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on March 11. He also raced in the West Virginia Derby and ran fifth.
Castanon, a 50-year-old veteran, has been riding since 1989 and has won 2,702 races, finished second 2,536 times and third with another 2,457 mounts for $61,290,258 in horses’ earnings. His best win came aboard Shackleford in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes in Maryland in 2011 when he beat Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. Shackleford amassed more than $2.5 million in his career. Castanon is a multiple-Grade 1 stakes winner in his career.
Trainer Harty has had his share of success as well, winning the richest race in the world, the Dubai World Cup with Well Armed in 2009, the Grade 1 Travers Stakes with Colonel John in 2008 and the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies with Tempera in 2001.
All the horses for the Oklahoma Derby had arrived by Thursday with the exception of Tumbarumba, who was on the road and expected to arrive in Oklahoma City on Friday. It was confirmed that West Coast Cowboy, an entrant in the Oklahoma Derby, will instead race in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on Saturday. He will be scratched in Oklahoma, moving the Oklahoma Derby to a 12-horse field.
Here’s a look at the Oklahoma Derby from the rail out with trainer, jockey and odds:
Ghost Hero, Jayde Gelner, Floyd Wethey, Jr., 20-1
Tumbarumba, Brian Lynch, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1
Raise Cain, Ben Colebrook, Umberto Rispoli, 5-1
Cagliostro, Cherie DeVaux, Cristian Torres, 8-1
Heroic Move, Robertino Diodoro, Harry Hernandez, 20-1
Gunflash, Karl Broberg, Luis Fuentes, 30-1
West Coast Cowboy, Saffie Joseph, Jr., Tyler Conner, 8-1 (expected to scratch)
Pearl’s Earl, Eric Snodgrass, Jose Medina, 99-1
How Did He Do That, Steve Asmussen, Stewart Elliott, 20-1
Red Route One, Steve Asmussen, Joel Rosario, 7-2
Groveland, Eoin Harty, Jesus Castanon, 15-1
Mor Lana Spirit, Kari Craddock, Leandro Goncalves, 30-1
Hit Show, Brad Cox, Flavien Prat, 3-1
Live racing continues Friday-Sunday this week with first post time of 7:07 p.m. nightly with the exception of Sunday, Oklahoma Derby Day, when the first race is set for 3 p.m.
Remington Park has provided more than $331 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 to the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and the Grade 3 Remington Park Oaks on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Parking and admission are always free. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing or enter the casino gaming floor. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.