QUALITY ROCKET TURNS INTO GRASS MONSTER, WINNING SECOND TURF STAKES IN ROW, SCORING OKC TURF CLASSIC
There wasn’t much buzz around Quality Rocket when he came off a layoff from Fair Meadows in Tulsa this summer when he was beaten by 7-1/4 lengths in an allowance race, finishing fourth on Sept. 4 at Remington Park.
Now the bees are swarming and the buzz is deafening as he won his second turf stakes race in a row following that allowance race. The 6-year-old gelded son of Backstabber, out of the King of Scat mare Lady Cambridge mare, won the $70,000 Red Earth Stakes on Sept. 25 here. Then he doubled down with the $130,000 OKC Turf Classic on Friday night. Regular rider Garrett Steinberg, son of one of the greatest jockeys ever to ride at Remington, the late Pat Steinberg, brought Quality Rocket home again for consecutive stakes wins out of the barn of trainer Boyd Caster. The gelding won the Red Earth at 7-1/2 furlongs greensward and then took the Classics Turf at 1-1/16th miles Friday night.
Quality Rocket was sent off at 5-2 odds and just barely hit the finish line in front of Half Ours to Keep (15-1), winning by a head. Cowboy Mischief (even-money favorite) was another half-length back in third. Quality Rocket returned $7.60 to win, $4.60 to place and $2.80 to show. His winning time was 1:43.01 over the firm course, he raced just off the front-runners’ shoulder the entire race until the wire. He tracked Pacific Typhoon into the stretch and when that pace-setter faded to fourth, it left Quality Rocket, Half Ours to Keep and Cowboy Mischief (the defending champion in the OKC Turf Classic) fighting it out with nothing separating the three except the photo finish. The front-runner’s early fractions were :24.07 for the first quarter-mile, :48.42 for the half-mile, 1:12.91 for three quarters of a mile and the mile in 1:36.94.
Quality Rocket was bred in Oklahoma by the owner, M. Gerald Ball of Shawnee, Okla., and Oteka Ann Ball. He earned $78,000 from the purse to increase his earnings to $277,900. He now has started 27 times with seven wins, seven seconds and no thirds.
This was the second win in the OKC Turf Classic for Caster as he saddled Ridge Road to the victory in 2012 edition of Okahoma Classics Night.
Remington Park racing continues Saturday 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.