LEADING TRAINER KARL BROBERG RUNS 1-2, NOSES APART, IN LONG SPRINT FEATURE WITH WINNER ERNIE BANKER, RUNNER-UP SARCASTIC TONE
Trainer Karl Broberg has been dominating the winner’s circle at Remington Park this meet and is so hot that he almost got two wins in one race on Wednesday night.
The two horses he had entered in the feature race, Ernie Banker and Sarcastic Tone, hooked up in mid-stretch and battled to the wire eye-to-eye. A photo finish had to determine that Ernie Banker had won the seven-furlong race for starter allowance-optional $40,000 claiming horses by a slim nose. Had they dead-heated in the race, Broberg would have added two wins in the victory column.
Veteran rider Luis Quinonez out finished leading jockey Cristian Torres by an inch at the wire for Remington Park’s leading trainer.
Horse racing’s all-time winningest trainer Steve Asmussen has won the training title at Remington Park a record 17 times and is the reigning champion but Broberg is giving him a run for his money almost halfway through the meet. Asmussen had pulled within three victories of Broberg when Don’task Don’ttell won the sixth race of the evening, but Broberg pulled back ahead by four after the feature. Broberg has 22 wins to Asmussen’s 18.
The seven-furlong sprint appeared to be a race falling right into the lap of Sarcastic Tone, the runner-up. Torres had the 5-year-old gelding, sitting third down the backstretch, just off the pace of front-runners Eastside Cool and Westons Wildcat. When those two quit at the top of the stretch Sarcastic Tone inherited the lead but was quickly joined by the winner Ernie Banker. Both, owned and trained by meet leader End Zone Athletics (Broberg) of Mansfield, Texas, fought tooth and nail down the lane and it was tough to separate them after the prolonged battle.
When the photo-finish was revealed, Ernie Banker had prevailed and the top pair were 3-1/4 lengths in front of third-place finisher Paluxy. Ernie Banker has won three in a row at Remington Park and is proving to be too tough to beat at his class level. He was sent off at lukewarm odds of 7-2 as the betting favorite in a very solid race top to bottom. Sarcastic Tone was 5-1 and Paluxy was 6-1.
Ernie Banker paid $9 to win, $4 to place and $3 to show. He earned $15,945 from the $27,000 purse and Sarcastic Tone banked $5,315. That means Broberg and End Zone Athletics took down $21,260, which comes to almost 80 percent of the total purse for the race.
Ernie Banker covered the distance in 1:23.70 over a fast track, chasing early fractions of :22.68 for the first quarter-mile, :45.60 for the half and :1:10.91 for six furlongs. Ernie Banker improved his record to 24 starts, eight wins, three seconds and four thirds for a total bankroll of $235,762.
Ernie Banker has also been an extremely popular horse at the claiming box and must be dizzy from switching barns and stalls every few weeks. He has been claimed in his last four races among claiming company. Broberg owned him when he was claimed for $15,000 by trainer Ray Ashford in the first of those three races on June 9 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Broberg claimed him back for $25,000 on July 4 at Lone Star Park and then had him taken away Sept. 23 at Remington Park for $15,000 by owner Danny Caldwell and trainer Oscar Flores. Broberg then bought him back through the claiming box for $20,000 on Sept. 29.
A son of Central Banker from the Prime Timber mare Tall Timbercowgirl, Ernie Banker was bred by Andy Beadnell in New York.
Trainer Scott Young enjoyed a solid first night of the Remington Park racing week, saddling three winners.
The first race of the evening went to the Young trained Chillaxification ($4.80 to win) for owner Terry Westemeir of Broken Arrow, Okla. with Alfredo Triana, Jr. aboard.
Young then score in race three and the ninth for owners Trojan Thoroughbreds of Tulsa, Okla. Suez ($13.40) triumphed in the third while Neon Summer ($4.40) battled back to win the finale to secure the hat trick. Jockey Floyd Wethey, Jr. was up for both.
The triple on Wednesday night helped propel Young from a tie for 10th to a tie for fifth in the trainers’ standings. Young now has 10 wins on the season.
Live racing at Remington Park continues this week Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 13-15, with the nightly first post time at 7:07 p.m.
Tracked by more than 171,000 fans on Facebook and 10,600 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $304 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 top Oklahoma-breds in racing on Oklahoma Classics Night, a million-dollar evening of stakes events on Friday, October 21. Thoroughbred racing continues through December 17 with simulcast racing daily, and a casino that is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.