PARK ON THE NILE MADE LUKEWARM FAVORITE IN TRAPEZE STAKES AT REMINGTON PARK
Trainer Ken McPeek has stamped his ticket in the Triple Crown races, winning the Preakness in 2020 with the filly, Swiss Skydiver, beating the boys.
McPeek, who regularly races at Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Gulfstream Park and Saratoga, now ships Park On the Nile, one of his promising fillies, into Remington Park for the $100,000 Trapeze Stakes, at one mile, on the season’s closing night, Friday, Dec. 17. McPeek will be trying to win this race for the second year in a row and third time overall. He won last year with Oliviaofthedesert. He also won the Trapeze with Perfect Wife in 2016.
Park On the Nile, a 2-year-old daughter of Cairo Prince, out of the Majesticperfection mare Park in Back, has been made the lukewarm 3-1 morning-line favorite in the Trapeze after breaking her maiden at Churchill Downs by 7-1/4 lengths on Nov. 27, in a race at 1-1/16 miles.
Park On the Nile had been working forwardly for her career debut, putting up a 1:00.80 breezing at Churchill before shocking her competition with a daylight victory at 21-1 odds. Jockey Corey Lanerie was up for that victory, but it is Julien Leparoux who has been named for the mount in the Trapeze. Leparoux is a multiple graded stakes winning rider whose horses have earned just shy of $180 million in his career. He rode Tepin to victory in the 2015 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile on the turf. He also rode Classic Empire to the win in the 2016 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. In all, Leparoux has seven Breeders’ Cup wins.
McPeek’s claim to fame came in the early 2000s when he won the Belmont Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown in 2002 with Sarava, the longest shot ever to win the Test of a Champion. He went off at 70-1 odds with Medaglia d’Oro at 16-1 in second. That $2 exacta was worth $2,454.
Park On the Nile’s sire, Cairo Prince, currently sits seventh among top sires for 2-year-olds. Cairo Prince was precocious early as a racehorse, winning his first two starts and Park on the Nile will try to emulate that effort. Cairo Prince won the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes in his second start. Park on the Nile will try to add the black type to her resume if she can repeat her father’s effort.
Park On the Nile was purchased in the Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase Sale of 2020 for $110,000 by current owners Bret Jones and Cold Press Racing. She was bred in Kentucky by Brererton Jones and had earned $69,460 in her only race.
The second choice in the Trapeze morning line odds is Golden Sights out of the barn of the country’s leading trainer, Brad Cox. This 2-year-old daughter of Goldencents, out of the Eskendereya mare Celestial Sighting, took four tries to win for the first time, but when she did last time out it was by 5-1/2 lengths over a sloppy track at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. Chris Landeros rode her that day, but Florent Geroux will get a leg up from Cox for the Trapeze. Geroux is seventh in the country among jockeys with his horses pocketing $18,377,044 this year. Geroux has ridden Horse of the Year Gun Runner and multiple Grade 1 winning mare Monomoy Girl.
Golden Sights’ record is four starts, one win, two seconds and $99,880 earned. She was bred in Kentucky by Taylor Made Stallions and is owned by September Farm, Union Park Thoroughbreds, Jonathan Wilmot, Rick Howard and Black Fern. She was purchased for $100,000 by September Farm at the Ocala (Fla.) Spring Breeders Sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Cox currently sits atop the nation’s earnings standings with $30,929,031 in his bankroll this year. Trainer Steve Asmussen, who sits behind Cox nationally with $30,426,747 earned, has two fillies entered in the Trapeze. He has Optionality, a Gun Runner filly, out of the Pulpit mare Simplify as the third choice in the morning line at 5-1 odds. She has won her last two in a row, including her first stakes win in the $50,000 Zia Princess Stakes on Nov. 23 in New Mexico. She drew off to win by 6-1/2 lengths with Irad Ortiz in the irons, the second-leading rider in the country. It will be his brother, Jose Ortiz, however, riding for Asmussen in the Trapeze. Optionality is owned and was bred by Winchell Thoroughbreds (Ron Winchell of Las Vegas).
Asmussen’s other filly is Morning Twilight, who has won two and run second in the other. An Oklahoma-bred, she won the $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Lassie Stakes at Remington on Oct. 15, then ran second to another filly in this field, Hits Pricey Legacy, the winner of the $75,000 Slide Show Stakes on Nov. 12. The latter is 8-1 in the morning line and Morning Twilight is 10-1. That Asmussen filly, owned by West Point Thoroughbreds (Terrence Finley), Edwin Barker and Titletown Racing (Paul Farr of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) was a $310,000 buy for West Point at the same Ocala sale from which Golden Sights came.
Here’s a look at the Trapeze filed from the rail out with post position, horse, jockey, trainer and odds:
Lilly’s Bidness, Lane Luzzi, Ronnie Cravens III, 30-1
Brodie Baby, Leandro Goncalves, Ray Ashford, Jr., 15-1
Point Two, Ken Tohill, Don Von Hemel, 12-1
Rollin Chrome, Luis Quinonez, Alejandro Baldillez, Jr., 20-1
Ring Me Darling, Iram Diego, Genaro Garcia, 10-1
Park On the Nile, Julien Leparoux, Ken McPeek, 3-1
Hits Pricey Legacy, Jose Alvarez, C.R. Trout, 8-1
Holy Justice, Carlos Montalvo, Genaro Garcia, 12-1
Golden Sights, Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 7-2
Morning Twilight, Stewart Elliott, Steve Asmussen, 10-1
Diamonds N Aces, Weston Hamilton, Michael Whitelaw, 20-1
Optionality, Jose Ortiz, Steve Asmussen, 5-1
There are four other stakes races on Dec. 17, including the cornerstone 2-year-old race of the meeting, the $400,000 Springboard Mile which includes Kentucky Derby points toward the 2022 run for the roses:
Race 8, $70,000 Jim Thorpe Stakes, 3-year-olds, 1 mile (Oklahoma-breds)
Race 9, $70,000 Useeit Stakes, 3-year-old fillies, 1 mile (Oklahoma-breds)
Race 10, $100,000 She’s All In Stakes, fillies and mares, 3 and older, 1 mile-70 yards
Race 12, $400,000 Springboard Mile, 2-year-olds, 1 mile
The total closing day card will have 13 races, beginning at 5pm and ending around 11pm. All times are Central.
Tracked by more than 167,000 fans on Facebook and 10,500 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $281 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 for the $400,000 Springboard Mile on Friday, Dec. 17. Simulcast horse racing featured daily, the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.