OKLAHOMA CITY – If not for two troubled trips in his last eight starts, Konnan Cartel would be on one long win streak. As it is, the 4-year-old gelding won for the sixth time in those past eight, winning the Grade 2 $52,080 Eastex Stakes on Saturday night.

In his only two losses over that span, he ran fourth last time out on Dec. 16, 2023 at Evangeline Downs in the $202,000 LQHBA Derby in Louisiana when he hopped at the start and was bumped out of the gate, and finishing second in the Dash For Cash Derby trials at Lone Star Park in Grand Praire, Texas, on Sept. 15, 2023, getting bumped in that one as well. Otherwise he might have won eight in a row.

“I’m so happy; always happy,” said owner Dania Castellanos of Houston, Texas.

Jockey Manuel Gutierrez shipped in from Sunland Park in New Mexico to ride the winner for trainer Juan Diaz, Jr. He is a multiple Grade 1 stakes-winning rider., having won the Texas Classic Futurity with Thecartelofmiracle in 2017 at Lone Star Park and the Championship at Sunland Park Stakes with Tf Im That Guy that same year.

Diaz may be the hottest Quarter Horse trainer in the country, having won 11-of-28 starts this year. For his career, he has started 1,027 times with Quarter Horses, winning 252, running second 166 times, and another 121 thirds for horses’ earnings of $7,374,456. Diaz is a multiple graded-stakes winning conditioner.

Konnan Cartel, a 4-year-old gelded son of Five Bar Cartel, out of the Jet Black Patriot mare Jet Black Chiraq, broke like he stole something and was running from the law. He had a half-length lead right out of the gate and stretched that to 1-1/4 lengths at the finish line of the 350-yard race. He stopped the timer in 17.452 seconds for a speed index of 96 with little wind over a fast track. He was bred in Louisiana by Luis Armando-Castellanos.

He was sent off as the 6-5 favorite and returned $4.40 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.60 to show. A Legacy of Tales (16-1) was the runner-up and Head Patron (6-1) checked in third. Following that trio were Sir James (22-1) in fourth, Ghost Witha Fire (9-1) fifth, The Swamp (8-1) sixth, Hes a Jet One (7-2) seventh and Candy Blood (7-1) eighth.

Konnan Cartel has won four stakes races in his last eight starts – the $40,000 Vinton Stakes at Delta Downs in Louisiana on May 27, 2023; the $145,000 Delta Downs Louisiana Bred Derby on July 15, 2023, and the $176,000 Dash For Cash Derby at Lone Star n Oct. 7, 2023. On Saturday night, he earned $29,838 for Dania Castellanos from the purse and improve to 17 starts, nine wins, three seconds and one third for a bankroll of $369,338. It was his first start at Remington Park.

Live racing resumes Sunday with a 4 p.m. first post time with 10 races on tap.

Remington Park has provided more than $345 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 83rd edition of the historic Oklahoma Futurity, first contested in 1947, will be run Saturday, March 23. The American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season continues through June 1. 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.