NUMBER ONE DUDE REMAINS UNDEFEATED, TAKING DON McNEILL STAKES IN ROMP
Number One Dude won his third race in a row to begin his career taking the $75,000 Don McNeill Stakes on Friday, against 2-year-old Oklahoma-breds.
This juvenile gelded son of American Lion, out of the Macho Uno mare Ebony Uno, seems to be improving the farther he goes. He won the $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile on Oct. 16 at six furlongs. On Friday, he stretched out to one mile and blew away the field of seven horses by six lengths. He covered the distance in a time of 1:38.76 over a muddy main track.
“He was a foal in the belly of the mare when we bought her,” said his owner, Terry Westemeir of Broken Arrow, Okla. “When I brought her home my wife said, ‘We don’t need any more horses.’ I think she’s fine with it now.”
Number One Dude earned $45,000 from the purse and after only three races lifetime has banked $126,082. Westemeir said he and trainer Kari Craddock would talk Sunday about their star runner and decide what his next race would be. The $200,000 Springboard Mile for 2-year-olds is the cornerstone race at Remington Park for juveniles and it is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 18. If Number One Dude were to go in that race it would be the first time he has faced open company. All three of his starts have been against Oklahoma-breds.
Westemeir was also the breeder for Number One Dude. Friday night’s win for the horse was the first stakes victory for young jockey Ezequiel Lara, who switched up the winner’s running style this race. In both of Number One Dude’s first two wins, he was on the lead gate to wire, but Friday, Lara took him back to fourth and sat behind a three-horse speed duel in the garden spot.
“I saw those horses go out fast and thought we’d be better off where we were,” said Lara. “I just let them go ahead. We have been getting to know each other in the morning workouts and I knew he could rate. When it came time to run, he was dragging me to the front and I just let him cruise.”
Number One Dude went off the heavy wagering favorite at 3-5 odds and returned $3.20 to win, $2.40 place and $2.10 to show to his backers. Eurochippygolfer (10-1), Winners Luck (9-2) and Canonize (10-1), the pacesetters, finished second, third and fourth, respectively. Eurochippygolfer was 6-1/4 lengths ahead of Winners Luck.
The front-runners set early fractions of :24.22 for the first quarter-mile, :47.86 for the half-mile, and 1:12.71 for three-quarters of a mile. By the top of the stretch, Number One Dude had taken over and hit seven-eighths of a mile in 1:25.55. It was the first victory in the Don McNeill for all the connections in the race.
The Don McNeill Stakes is named in honor of the late owner and breeder who was so prominent in Oklahoma-bred racing, represented by many talented horses including top Oklahoma-breds Clever Trevor and Mr. Ross, as well as 2011 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Caleb’s Posse.
Live racing continues Saturday, Nov. 14 with a first post time of 7:07pm-Central.
Tracked by more than 164,000 fans on Facebook and 10,500 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $252 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 open daily for casino gaming and simulcast horse racing. The $200,000 Springboard Mile, the top stakes event for 2-year-olds at Remington Park, is featured on Friday, Dec. 18. The 2020 Thoroughbred Season continues through Sunday, Dec. 20. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.