OKLAHOMA HORSE RACING HALL OF FAME TRAINER DONNIE VON HEMEL EXTENDS HIS CAL RIPKEN-LIKE RECORD IN OKLAHOMA CLASSICS WINS
Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame trainer Donnie Von Hemel earned an accounting degree in college. However, no degree is really needed when it comes to realizing that it may be generations until another trainer catches him as the all-time leader in number of Oklahoma Classics wins.
Like baseball’s Cal Ripken and his most consecutive major league baseball games played – 2,632 – Von Hemel’s 28 Oklahoma Classics wins is so far ahead of second place that he can barely see trainer C.R. Trout with his 13 wins in the rear view mirror.
Von Hemel, of Piedmont, Okla., added to his record with another victory on Oklahoma Classics Night when She’s All Wolfe won the Oklahoma Classics Distaff on Friday at Remington Park.
The most amazing aspect of this record held by Von Hemel, who has raced at Remington Park since it opened in 1988, is that he didn’t win his first Oklahoma Classics race until 1999. The Classics races began in 1993. Only one trainer in track history has more trips to the winner’s circle than Von Hemel and that’s Steve Asmussen, another Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Famer, as well as a National Racing Hall of Famer.
Von Hemel’s first wins came in the 1999 Classics Turf and the Classic Cup. He won the former with Pesky Rascal and the latter with Mr Ross.
His 28 Classics victories break down like this:
· Seven wins in the Classics Distaff – She’s All Wolfe (2020), Sydney Freeman (2018), She’s All In (2011-13), Peach Brew (2009) and Midsummer Magic (2007)
· Six Classics Cup wins – Marq French (2008-09), D Fine Okie (2007), Mr Ross (1999-2001)
· Five Classics Turf wins – Notable Okie (2005-07), April’s Lucky Boy (2003) and Pesky Rascal (1999)
· Three Classics Juveniles – Okie Style (2003), Notable Okie (2002) and April’s Lucky Boy (2001)
· Two Classics Lassies – Okie Diva (2016) and Peach Brew (2008)
· Two Classics Sprints – Chuck (2013) and Marq French (2006)
· Two Classics Distaff Turfs – Soonerette (2012) and D Fine Okie (2006)
· One Classics Distaff Sprint – Eye Love Jeanie (2013)
More notes from the 2020 Oklahoma Classics:
– Two-time Oklahoma Horse of the Year Welder moved one win closer to reaching Highland Ice and Elegant Exxactsy in the race for most all-time wins at Remington Park. Those two horses had 15 each in their careers. Welder’s third Classics Sprint victory was his third in a row. He has won 13 races at Remington Park and will race next in the Silver Goblin Stakes on Friday, Nov. 13.
– Jockey Richard Eramia made the biggest move of anyone in this year’s Classics with three stakes wins. He took the Classics Juvenile on Number One Dude, the Classics Distaff with She’s All Wolfe, and the Classics Distaff Sprint with Three Chords. The three trips to the winner’s circle moved Eramia from a tie for eighth all-time with six wins to a tie for fifth with David Cabrera and nine victories.
– The biggest Classics move by a trainer this year belongs to Kari Craddock, winning both ends of the 2-year-old races – the Juvenile and the Lassie – with Number One Dude and Gotta See Red. Craddock began the night tied for sixth all-time with six wins and moved into fifth place with eight wins, passing Kenny Nolen, who has seven. She now trails Von Hemel’s 28, Trout’s 13, Roger Engel’s 11 and Steve Hobby’s 10.
– Leading rider David Cabrera, who has won the past two riding titles at Remington Park, also moved past the $1 million mark in horses’ earnings for the meet. According to Equibase statistics, his mounts had won $1,075,425 this meet after Friday night’s Oklahoma Classics card
– Remington Park also landed in some top categories during Friday night’s races, Equibase reports. Remington’s all-time winningest owner Danny Caldwell of Poteau, Okla., had the most money earned in a race in the country when Dont Tell Noobody won $105,000 in the Oklahoma Classics Cup. Remington Park also had the largest payout on a $2 win bet in the country when Dont Tell Noobody paid $81.40 as a 39-1 longshot. He also keyed the largest exacta payout across the nation with a $569 return.
– Sweet Mary M had the fastest first quarter-mile in the country as she stopped that timer in :21.73 in the Classics Distaff Sprint.
Remington Park racing continues Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 21-24, with nine races nightly. The first event is underway every night at 7:07pm-Central.
Tracked by more than 164,000 fans on Facebook and 10,500 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $250 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 2020 Thoroughbred Season features the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, simulcast from Keeneland, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 & 7. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.