O DONOVAN ROSSA, 38-1 LONGSHOT, PULLS OFF MAJOR UPSET IN GRADE 3 SLM BIG DADDY STAKES, PAYING $79 TO WIN
The three favorites ran second, third and fourth in the Grade 3, $55,520 SLM Big Daddy Stakes, but all three had to watch 38-1 longshot O Donovan Rossa finish first at the wire on Sunday night in a huge upset.
O Donovan Rossa, a 4-year-old gelded son of Apollitical Jess, the most prolific sire going the past five years, producing three All American Futurity winners, had seven races in a row where he had a trouble line in running his races, never with a clean trip. He only won one of those races. Consequently, with finishes of fifth twice, seventh and ninth among those troubled races, he was sent off Sunday at the boxcar odds. If you go back to his last race where he had an uneventful trip, however, he lost by only a neck at Remington Park in the $57,000 Jack Brooks Stakes on May 22, 2021. The quality was there and it finally shone through as O Donovan Rossa broke sharply at the start and won with a late surge over the favorites.
O Donovan Rossa, out of the Country Chicks Man mare Shanachee, is a homebred by owner J. Garvan Kelly. He owns the horse along with J. Lloyd Yother of Culver City, Calif. Jockey Jesus Salazar produced the winning ride aboard O Donovan Rossa, who got up by a half-length over Shockinglyfamous, winner of the SLM Big Daddy Stakes in 2020. He was the 9-2 third favorite in the race. Midday News, last year’s winner of the SLM Big Daddy Stakes, ran third, another nose behind at 3-1 odds.
The race-time 4-5 favorite, Jess My Hocks, broke sharply but faded to fourth, one more nose back in his first try at 550 yards.
Winning time for O Donovan Rossa was :26.438 seconds over a muddy track. He paid a whopping $79 to win, $21.60 to place and $11.40 to show across the board. The 9-11 exacta returned $466.80 on a $2 play.
The winner earned $34,476 from the purse and improved his career record to 20 starts, four wins, four seconds and third three more times for lifetime bankroll of $103,030. His only win in that skein of problem races came in the trials for the $150,600 Southern California Derby at Los Alamitos on Nov. 28, 2021. He even got bumped at the start of that victory in which he paid off at 31-1 odds. In the finals, he once again was bumped and lost his path to horses with cleaner trips, losing all chance to win. Salazar, who has rejuvenated his career this meet at Remington Park, has been the only jockey to get him into the winner’s circle against stakes company.
This was the first victory in the SLM Big Daddy Stakes for all of the connections. The race is named in honor of one of the greatest American Quarter Horses ever to compete at Remington Park. A fan favorite during his races here in the late 1990s, SLM Big Daddy was a multiple stakes winner locally and a two-time AQHA World Champion who earned more than a million dollars in his career.
Racing continues next week with a Thursday through Sunday schedule. First post time is 6 p.m. every night but Sunday, when Remington races start at 4 p.m.
Tracked by more than 168,000 fans on Facebook and 10,600 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $286 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 the home of the historic Oklahoma Futurity on March 19. Simulcast horse racing featured daily, the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.