MILLION-DOLLAR HORSE RETURNS TO BLINKERS FOR TRAINER STEVE ASMUSSEN, RETURNS TO WINNER’S CIRCLE
Sometimes the best-laid plans of mice and men don’t quite work out, especially when horses are purchased for $1 million, but the high-dollar horse Raymond returned to blinkers Wednesday night at Remington Park and returned to the winner’s circle for the second time in his career.
Big things were expected of this 3-year-old gelded son of the top North American sire for the past few years, Into Mischief, when Peter Leidel dished out a cool million dollars to consignor Warrendale Sales for Raymond in the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale in Lexington, Ky. Into Mischief is the three-time reigning Champion General Sire in North America and is on his way to his fourth straight title with runners earning more than $20 million this year. He has thrown five Breeders’ Cup Champions as well, tied for most all time.
The part that didn’t work out early for this sophomore was his career in the early going. He ran eighth, beaten 16 lengths at Saratoga in upstate New York in his debut as a juvenile on Aug. 21, 2021. He was bumped at the break of that race and was laid off by his connections until April of his 3-year-old year. He broke his maiden at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., on April 23 in his second try, winning easily by two lengths. He had not won for a second time until Wednesday night at Remington Park and was gelded prior to his first start of 2022.
Trainer Steve Asmussen entered him in Oklahoma City in a first-level allowance race at 6-1/2 furlongs on the main track for Stonestreet Stables and Leidel and the horse romped home a 2-1/2 length winner tonight under jockey Stewart Elliott. An indication that he might still have some run in him was a bullet 59-4/5ths workout at five furlongs at Ellis Park on Aug. 28.
Elliott situated Raymond, the 3-5 post-time favorite, in mid-pack down the backstretch as early front-runners Mister K and Brick Town set fractions of :22.68 for the first quarter-mile and :46.28 for the half. By the time they hit the three-quarters mark in 1:11.40, Raymond had taken the lead by two lengths and stretched that to the wire. He finished in 1:17.89 over a fast track.
Not only is this horse a blue-blood on the top side of his pedigree, but he is out of a Tapit mare, Teen Pauline, on the bottom. Raymond was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, LLC. Stonestreet Stables co-owns Raymond with Leidel.
Raymond paid $3.40 to win, $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show. Mister K (5-2) held on for second, a neck ahead of Im the Machine (16-1), the second longest shot on the board.
Raymond earned $20,298 from the $34,000 featured allowance purse and improved to seven starts, two wins and three thirds for $98,995 in lifetime earnings.
Live racing at Remington Park continues this week with racing Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 6-8. The first post time is 7:07 p.m. nightly.
Tracked by more than 171,000 fans on Facebook and 10,600 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $301 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.