MS ESTHER RUNS VIRTUAL REPLAY OF HER APRIL STAKES VICTORY, WINNING GRADE 3 REMINGTON PARK DISTANCE CHALLENGE

Apparently Ms Esther didn’t convince a lot of backers she was the real deal when she won the $50,000 Pauls Valley Stakes at Remington Park on April 27, but she solidified her place as the top distance horse of the meet, winning the Grade 3, $40,299 Remington Park Distance Challenge on Sunday.

It was a virtual replay of the Pauls Valley as jockey Andrew Samaniego dropped over from the 6-hole in the early going and made up ground every step of the way on the rail, catching front-runner Madewell late to get up for the victory. He came from last to first to win the Pauls Valley.

No one was more excited about the victory than owner-trainer Jordan Baumann of Sallisaw, Okla. This 5-year-old mare was purchased in training for a song, according to Baumann, and he turned her into a hook horse shortly after buying her. All she’s done since he started sending her around a turn at 870 yards is win five of seven tries, including the two stakes victories.

“She sure likes 870,” Baumann said after winning the Distance Challenge. “I really didn’t know she would be this good. I just knew it would be fun running her at a distance and we would find a place for her that fit that. Hopefully we will win the Distance Championship at the end of the meet.”

The Grade 2, $50,000-added Remington Park Distance Championship will be run on closing day, Saturday, June 1.

The breeding of Ms Esther suggests that Baumann’s suspicions just might be true. She is a daughter of Afrashad, a thoroughbred, out of the Tres Seis mare, Tres Down the Cash. It’s proven to be a lucrative deal for Baumann, who said he didn’t want to say how much he paid for the mare because it was so little. She earned $19,344 for Sunday’s win and now has a lifetime record of six wins in 10 starts, one second and one third for a bankroll of $99,416. At 870 yards, Ms Ester has earned $91,386 of that.

Ms Esther, who was bred in Oklahoma by Duwyne or Janice Pfeifle, at 7-1 odds, paid a generous $17.20 to win, $7 to place, and $4.80 to show. She beat Madewell by a neck at the wire and stopped the timer in 44.763 seconds over a fast track, good for a speed index of 104. Flight Force was third, another length back.

Racing resumes Thursday with race one set for 6 p.m., with 11 races on tap.

Remington Park is always open for casino gaming. Simulcast horse racing is offered daily. Admission, parking and valet parking are always free at Remington Park. Guests must be 18 or older in order to wager on horse racing or to enter the casino.

Tracked by more than 154,000 fans on Facebook and more than 9,900 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $218 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 1, $963,000 Heritage Place Futurity on Saturday, June 1. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.

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