O Donovan Rossa did what he does best Sunday, returning to a race around a turn and he didn’t disappoint, winning the Grade 2, $38,896 Lip Chip Remington Park Distance Challenge. It was his seventh career win on the hook in 11 tries.

Jockey Roman Cruz handled O Donovan Rossa and had plenty of company up front most of the way into the stretch, but he said that was by design. When Cruz tapped his steed in mid-stretch, it was like they had called the gelding with a dinner bell. He took off like a shot and drew away to win by 1-1/2 lengths as the 3-5 wagering favorite in the race at 870 yards.

“I didn’t even ask him to run (early),” Cruz said. “but as soon as I did, he was gone. He was gone. Number three was up there with me for a while and I saw them coming on the outside, but I know how to ride thoroughbreds and I used that same method of patience in this race. I waited for the turn and then asked him and it was all over.”

Winning trainer Dee Keener, the top conditioner at Remington Park last year, gave all the credit to Cruz and his ride.

“I have to commend that boy,” Keener said. “He let (O Donovan Rossa) settle in and it was just a perfect move.”

Invincible Streak (8-1), from the 1-post position, hugged the rail the entire race and got up for second, three-quarters of a length ahead of third-place finisher Rock Ya Later (8-1) who was the horse Cruz saw coming down the outside of the track. He didn’t have much choice from the 7-hole going around the hook. The rest of the field finished as follows: Markus Aurelius (32-1) in fourth, Dak (2-1) fifth, Wynnmesomemoney (38-1) sixth and Kornfusion (26-1) seventh.

It was the first win for all connections in the race. O Donovan Rossa earned $19,059 for owner Kelly Yother Equine (Garvin Kelly) of Culver City, Calif. The 6-year-old gelded son of Apollitical Jess, out of the Country Chicks Man mare Shanachee, improved his career marks to 35 starts, 11 wins, seven seconds and three thirds for a bankroll of $289,453. He was bred in Oklahoma by his owner.

O Donovan Rossa paid $3.20 to win, $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show. Running time for the distance was :46.083 over a fast track for a speed-index of 88. It was the winner’s seventh win in 11 tries going that far. Of his $289,453 earned, $182,455 has been pocketed at 870 yards.

Remington Park racing continues next week with a Thursday-Sunday schedule, April 11-14. The first post nightly is 6 p.m. with the exception of Sundays when the first race goes off at 4 p.m. All times are Central.

Remington Park has provided more than $345 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 presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. The Remington Park Futurity for Oklahoma-breds is featured on April 27. The 2024 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season continues through June 1. starts its 50-date season. Parking and admission are always free. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing or enter the casino gaming floor. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.