NIGHT OF OKLAHOMA STARS HAS 16 HORSES WITH EARNINGS IN SIX FIGURES NOMINATED TO $175,000 OKLAHOMA CLASSICS CUP
A total of 41 horses have been nominated to the $175,000 Oklahoma Classics Cup, powered by TVG, on Friday night, Oct. 15, a night of Oklahoma-bred stars.
Of those 41 horses nominated to the Cup, 16 have earned more than $100,000 in their careers, eight of those banking in excess of $200,000. Oklahoma Classics night features eight stakes races with purses totaling $1,040,000 for the top Oklahoma-bred horses in racing. The top purse of those stakes comes in the Cup.
It also could be a historical night in the $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Sprint by Kaw Nation as Welder will likely race for the last time in his career, according to his connections, owner Ra-Max Farms (Clayton Rash) and trainer Teri Luneack of Claremore, Okla. The popular 8-year-old gray gelding is the all-time winningest horse in Remington Park history with 16 victories over this Oklahoma City track. Welder has won the Classics Sprint the last three years in a row and will be going for a record-tying fourth. His win in the Sprint last year gave him 10 stakes wins in a row here. When he won the Silver Goblin Stakes on Nov. 13, 2020, it extended that skein to 11 at Remington. That’s where the record stands as his streak was stopped in this meet’s David M. Vance Stakes.
The top two horses in the Classics Cup by money earned among the nominees are Quality Rocket at $409,006 in 35 starts and Rockport Kat at $308,509 in 47 starts, but don’t sleep on the younger set in this race. Number One Dude may have only earned $204,243 but the 3-year-old gelding has only raced nine times. If Quality Rocket is placed in the $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Turf by Choctaw Nation, on his preferred surface, that would leave this Cup event wide open and possibly Number One Dude’s to lose.
Number One Dude, owned by Terry Westemeir of Broken Arrow, Okla., and trained by Kari Craddock, is the top stakes winner among the nominees with four black-type wins under his belt. The 3-year-old gelded son of American Lion, out of the Macho Uno mare Ebony Uno. Westemeir said he purchased Ebony Uno at a time when she was in foal and Number One Dude was that baby.
“My wife, Leslie, didn’t want me to buy one horse at the time, let alone two,” Westemeir said with a laugh.
He said, with a laugh, she’s good now.
Number One Dude broke his maiden in his career debut on Sept. 18, 2020 at Remington Park and then won two stakes races in a row before going into the Springboard Mile. He took down the $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile by Chickasaw Nation on Oct. 16 last year and then the $75,000 Don McNeill Stakes on Nov. 13. This year, Number One Dude won the $55,000 Will Rogers Stakes at Claremore, Okla., on May 25 and the $50,000 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes on Sept. 10 at Remington Park.
Quality Rocket actually has five stakes wins, but three of those came on grass in back-to-back Red Earth Stakes at Remington and the other in the Classics Turf last year. The only time he has won with black-type horses on the dirt were his back-to-back wins in the Route 66 Stakes at the bullring of Fair Meadows in Tulsa, Okla. So, chances are he will try to repeat on the turf this year.
There are four other horses nominated that have won two stakes races each – Cowboy Mischief, D Toz, Dont Tell Noobody and United Patriot. Cowboy Mischief won the Classics Turf in 2019 and then took to the dirt later in the year to win the Jim Thorpe Stakes, both at Remington. D Toz won the Don McNeill Stakes at 2 years old in 2018 and then the Oklahoma Stallion Stakes at 3 in 2019. Both of those were on the dirt at Remington Park. Dont Tell Noobody won the Classics Cup last year, so he should try to repeat that effort in this spot and then he won the Jim Thorpe later in the 2020 meet. United Patriot won the Jim Thorpe in 2018 and the Classics Cup at Will Rogers Downs last year. Both of those were dirt races.
Racing continues this week on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8-9. First post time is 7:07 p.m. each night.
Tracked by more than 167,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $272 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 for the $1,000,000 Oklahoma Classics Night, an evening of stakes racing to celebrate Oklahoma-breds, on Friday, Oct. 15. Simulcast horse racing featured daily, the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.