Owner Jerry Caroom of Houston, Texas, had always wanted to win the $100,000 David Vance Stakes at Remington Park for a very special reason and on Sunday, his horse Albizu made it happen.

“The first time I ever came to Remington Park (legendary late Hall of Fame trainer) Jack Van Berg introduced me to David Vance (the track’s original President and General Manager),” said Caroom, fighting back tears. “Those are two great gentlemen in the sport of horse racing.”

Among the prominent horses Van Berg trained was Alysheba, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1987 and then the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1988. Van Berg trained a string of horses in the early days at Remington Park when the track opened in 1988.

Albizu made it all special when he crossed the finish line first in the most prominent sprint stakes for 3-year-olds-and-older at Remington Park, the David Vance. The original president and general manager of Remington Park was in attendance for Derby Day, to award the trophies to the winning connections of his namesake race.

It was one of the most visual wins on the card as Albizu lingered in last place in the eight-horse field going six furlongs race. Last year’s riding champion at Remington Park, Cristian Torres, had the 5-year-old ridgling by Include, out of the City Zip mare Insuperable, dawdling in last down the backstretch. Albizu never really looked like a factor in the race until he hit warp drive coming down the lane and was just a blur coming to the wire. He was still three lengths back in the stretch with about a 16th of a mile to go. In the end, he had gotten up for the win by a half-length, passing every horse in the race.

“They got away from me at the start,” said Torres, “but he made a great run.”

Trainer Robertino Diodoro claimed this horse for $50,000 for Caroom and it has been a whirlwind since.

“It’s always nice when you can do that,” said Diodoro. “The win came because Cristian never panicked when he was so far back. We got lucky.”

Albizu flew past Burninhunkoflove as the final horse he had to pass, a 23-1 longshot, who was 2-1/4 lengths ahead of third-place finisher American Xperiment (7-1). Ernie Banker (16-1) was another head back in fourth, followed by Empire of Gold (24-1) fifth, Stayed in for a Half (the 2-1 favorite) sixth, It Makes Sense (8-1) seventh and Amos Moses Hart (5-2) eighth.

Albizu covered the six furlongs in 1:11.13 over the fast track and cut into fractions set by the two horses that ran last and next-to-last. It Makes Sense and Amos Moses Hart hooked up on the front end in a blazing fast :21.66 for the quarter-mile, :44.81 for the half-mile and :57.44 for five-eighths of a mile. He paid $7.20 to win, $4 to place and $3 to show. The speedster earned $60,000 from the purse and improved his record to 21 starts, six wins, seven seconds and four thirds for a bankroll of $374,002. He was bred in Kentucky by 47 Roses, LLC. The Vance was the first stakes win of his career.

This was the second year in a row that Torres had won the David Vance. He also took it down last year with Flash of Mischief, trained by Karl Broberg, who sent the horse on to run in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Caroom and Diodoro won this race for the first time in their careers.

Remington Park racing continues Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 27-30, with the first post nightly at 7:07pm-Central.

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 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.