Markus Aurelius was trying to win for the first time at 870 yards and attempting to avenge a loss to Invincible Streak in the $30,000 Remington Park Distance Challenge Stakes at Remington Park on April 7. He did just that in the featured allowance race on Friday night.

Jockey Stormy Smith took Markus Aurelius straight to the front from the gate and played catch-us-if-you-can. They couldn’t despite a valiant charge from Invincible Streak midway through the race. Smith asked for more from his mount as Invincible Streak came to him. Markus Aurelius, a 4-year-old gelded son of Secret Circle (TB), out of Yawls Rabbit mare Neons Miracle, found another gear and went on to win by 1-1/4 lengths as the 2-5 odds-on favorite. Invincible Streak (2-1 second favorite) held on for second, 6-1/2 lengths ahead of third-place finisher Slew Dance (44-1).

Trainer Clint Crawford had this horse ready for his fifth try to win at 870 yards and his endurance paid off. It was the first victory at the distance for Markus Aurelius, owned by Bobby and Catherine Simmons of Midland, Texas. He earned $13,746 for the victory and improved lifetime to 13 starts, three wins, two seconds and one third for $43,100. Around the hook, Markus Aurelius is now 5-1-1-1 with $25,983 in earnings. It also was the first win ever at Remington Park and is 4-1-1-1 with an Oklahoma City bankroll of $24,223. He was bred in Texas by Bobby Simmons.

Markus Aurelius paid $2.80 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. Running time for the win was :45.163 for a speed-index of 98 over a fast track.

Last year’s top trainer and the leader again this year going into the dwindling days of racing this meet, Dee Keener, stretched his way toward defending that championship with three wins on the card Friday night. He had entered the night four wins ahead of Jason Olmstead at 30-26, but moved ahead by seven victories after his three-bagger, 33-26 with five racing days remaining.

His first win of the night came in race two when Game Winner (3-2 favorite) cruised home a winner by three-quarters of a length in Paints/Appaloosas non-winners of four career races company. They were running for a claiming tag of $30,000. Jockey Juan Pulido, the top rider here in 2021, got the job done for Keener and owner Jeff Adams of Durant, Okla., on the Appaloosa, Game Winner. The 4-year-old gelding paid $5 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.40 to show and stopped the timer for 350 yards in :17.483 for a speed-index of 93. Game Winner was an Oklahoma home-bred for Adams.

Keener’s second win of the evening came in the sixth race when SS Candy Crush (5-2 second favorite) got to the finish line first under leading jockey Roman Cruz. This was a 350-yard race for American Quarter Horse fillies and mares, ages 3 and older. SS Candy Crush went straight to the lead out of the gate and hit the wire in :17.630 for a 91 speed-index. The 3-year-old filly won by a full length and paid $7.80 to win, $5 to place and $4 to show. The winning filly is owned by Debbie Olene and Tommy Dale Suter of Sayre, Okla. She was bred in Oklahoma by the owners. The win gave Cruz his 38th victory of the meet compared to 36 for Edwin Escobedo in second place.

The third trip to the winner’s circle for a Keener-trained horse was the eighth race of the night when OG Kissing Bandit (7-2) won an allowance race for non-winners of two with 2-year-old Quarter Horses competing. Jockey James Flores became the third jockey to win for Keener on Friday night with this filly owned by 918 Bloodstock of Inola, Okla. OG Kissing Bandit flew up the rail to win the 300-yard race by a nose over KR November Rain (7-2). The winner’s finish time was :15.562 for an 87 speed-index. She was bred in Oklahoma by Jay Ross, DVM and paid $9.80 to win, $6.40 to place and $3.20 to show.

Remington Park racing continues Saturday night with first post time of 6 p.m. Sunday’s first race is set to go off at the usual time of 4 p.m. All times are Central.

Remington Park has provided more than $349 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 Remington Park 2024 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season continues through June 1 with the biggest racing program of the season. The Champions Night boasts total purses in excess of $2,000,000, led by the $1,000,000 Heritage Place Futurity. Parking and admission are always free. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing or enter the casino gaming floor. Visit for more information.