OKLAHOMA DERBY RUNNER, HEROIC MOVE, WINS ALLOWANCE FEATURE WITH DROP IN CLASS
Nothing like a drop in class from the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby to wake up a horse in an allowance event for non-winners-of-two career races. The move worked as Heroic Move’s alarm went off on Wednesday night at Remington Park in a one-mile race.
Heroic Move, a 3-year-old colt by Quality Road, out of the Smart Strike mare Family Tree, bid his time in mid-pack down the backstretch and then jockey Harry Hernandez found an opening as horses fanned wide coming into the home stretch. It was like a door opening at the house for a kid at ice cream time. Heroic Move shot through the opening and won like the 1-5 heavy favorite that he was, pulling away from runner-up Media Mogul (7-1 second favorite), a half-brother to Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes winner Arcangelo.
Heroic Move, trained by Robertino Diodoro, was last seen in the Oklahoma Derby, finishing only 3-1/2 lengths behind multiple Derby winner How Did He Do That from the Steve Asmussen barn. He had run second to How Did He Do That in the $250,000 Iowa Derby at 21-1 odds. His only other win came in $90,000 maiden special weight company in the first race of his life at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., on Feb. 18 at the one-mile distance. At Oaklawn, he was sent off at 3-2 odds and won by a half-length under multiple-graded stakes-winning jockey Joel Rosario.
It almost seemed like serendipity that these two horses would inevitably meet in a race like this as Heroic Move stepped down the class ladder and Media Mogul stepped up. Media Mogul, by Empire Maker, out of the same dam as Arcangelo, Modeling, who is a daughter of the great Tapit. When they hit the top of the lane, it appeared they were the only two left to do battle to the wire. They were a length apart at that point in first and second and they fought for the lead until about a sixteenth of a mile to go. That’s when Heroic Move lived up to his name and pulled away to win by 3-1/2 lengths. Here’s how much better the top two horses were to the rest of the field. Even though Heroic Move won by daylight, Media Mogul beat the rest of the horses by 7-1/2 lengths. Dough Boy (31-1) checked in third under the guise of “someone had to run third eventually.”
Heroic Move, owned by Arnold Bennewith; Rick, Clayton and Lana Wiest; Randy Howg; R6 Stables; Gary Kropp and Norman Tremblay of Sun Lakes, Ariz., earned $20,796 from the $35,000 purse to improve the colt’s record to nine starts, two wins, one second and one third for earnings of $150,407.
Heroic Move cut into fractions set by early pacesetters Dose’s Dream and Zap Motion, who finished last and next-to-last after their early speed duel. Dose’s Dream set interior times of :23.91 for the first quarter-mile, :47:01 for the half-mile, and 1:12.02 for three-quarters before giving up the lead to Heroic Move. The seven-furlong time was 1:25.32 and the final winning time for the mile was 1:38.
Prior to the Oklahoma Derby, Heroic Move had a one-length lead coming into the stretch in the Grade 3 Canadian Derby at Century Mile Racetrack in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, before fading to fourth, beaten 4-3/4 lengths at 4-1 odds.
Remington Park racing continues Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12-14, with the first race nightly at 7:07 p.m. CDT.
Remington Park has provided more than $331 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 to the Oklahoma Classics, the top night of racing in the state for Oklahoma-breds, on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. 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.