NUMBER ONE DUDE RETURNS TO WINNING FORM WITH SWITCH TO GRASS IN RED EARTH STAKES
Number One Dude overcame some tight spots down the stretch, but he persevered to win his first try over the grass in the $70,000 Red Earth Stakes at Remington Park on Friday night.
The Red Earth is for Oklahoma-bred horses, 3-years-old and older.
“Keith Bilbrey is his regular exercise rider and he told me a year ago that with his action that he should like the turf,” said Number One Dude’s owner Terry Westemeir of Broken Arrow, Okla.
The 4-year-old gelded son of American Lion (Tiznow), out of the Macho Uno mare Ebony Uno, is a home-bred for Westemeir and he has shown a lot of heart in his races. Number One Dude was in traffic all down the backstretch and in the run down the lane to the finish line, but jockey Leandro Goncalves weaved his way through to a hotly contested win.
“A lot of times when horses get in tight spots like that, they won’t relax,” said Goncalves, “but he has so much heart and he had been training lights out. He just laid back in my hand and ran for me when it got tough.”
Trainer Kari Craddock conditions Number One Dude, who has now won an incredible eight times in only 14 starts. The other seven wins came on the dirt. The $42,000 he banked Friday night improved his lifetime record to 14-8-3-0 for career earnings of $345,893, making him one of the top Oklahoma-breds in training.
Number One Dude got to the wire a neck in front of That’s Something, the 9-5 betting favorite at post time. That’s Something was another length ahead of third-place finisher Tommyhawk (12-1). Number One Dude, despite his gawdy winning record, was virtually ignored at 8-1 odds and paid a generous $18.80 to win, $8 to place and $3.80 to show.
His running time for the 7-1/2 furlongs on the turf was 1:29.37 over the firm course, just a tick or two faster than the winning time of 1:29.51 for multiple stakes-winning filly Run Slewpy Run, winner of the Bob Barry Memorial Stakes at the same distance earlier in the evening.
It was the first win in the Red Earth Stakes for all the connections of Number One Dude. For most of the race he was in mid-pack in tight quarters, chasing fractions of :23.38 for the quarter-mile, :47.12 for the half-mile and 1:11.21 for three-quarters of a mile before he finally found room in the final furlong. Quarky set the pace while tracked by That’s Something in second until they reached the top of the stretch. Number One Dude moved between the front-runners and made the lead a little more than 100 yards from the finish.
The dark bay gelding, almost black, began his racing career with a bang as a 2-year-old. He broke his maiden at first asking on Sept. 18, 2020 and won three in a row before losing for the first time. He took home trophies in the $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile on Oct. 16, 2020 and the $75,000 Don McNeill Stakes on Nov. 13 before running into foot abscess problems in the $200,000 Springboard Mile, finishing eighth to Senor Buscador. After some time off, he came back as a 3-year-old and won the $50,000 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes here and the $70,000 Jim Thorpe Stakes and also was the runner-up in the $175,000 Oklahoma Classics Cup to Absaroka.
Live racing at Remington Park continues Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24 & 25. First post time is 7:07 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday on Oklahoma Derby Day.
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 Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and Grade 3 Remington Park Oaks on Sunday, September 25. Thoroughbred racing continues through December 17 with simulcast racing daily, and a casino that is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.