RA-MAX, LUNEACK HORSE, PUNCH EM, PULLS OFF UPSET AT 24-1 ODDS IN FEATURED ALLOWANCE RACE
Ra-Max Farms and trainer Teri Luneack may have retired their superstar horse Welder eight days ago, but that doesn’t mean they have stopped winning.
Since Remington Park’s all-time winningest horse, Welder (16 victories here), called it quits at 8 years old on Oct. 15, Oklahoma Classics Night, Luneack has continued to send Ra-Max horses to the winner’s circle. She won with Sandy Sangria last Saturday night at 5-1 odds and then won with Punch Em, who went off at 24-1, a week later, upsetting the field tonight in the allowance feature.
It was the only horse Ra-Max and Luneack entered this week. They don’t enter many because Luneack has to haul the horses from the farm in Claremore, Okla., a four-hour-plus roundtrip on race days every time they run. That makes her winning percentage even more impressive.
Punch Em paid $50.40 to win, $28.80 to place and $13.40 to show and keyed some monstrous payouts in the exotic wagering. Lookin High at 103-1 odds paid $70.40 to place and $22 to show. The 10-cent superfecta was the largest of the exotics as Punch Em hit the wire first, a neck ahead of Lookin High, who was a head in front of third-place finisher Tiz Showbiz (7-2). Checking in fourth was Jackman’s Ride (4-1). That combination of 1-9-8-7 returned a whopping $13,792.18 on a 10-cent wager. The 50-cent trifecta was worth $5,308.90 for those that backed the top three finishers.
Punch Em’s race was also the final leg of the Kickoff Pick 3 (races 3-5), the Premier Pick 4 (races 2-5) and the Pentastic Pick 5 (races 1-5). The Pick 5 that included winners Silverscape (9-5) in the first race, Rosie’s Outlaw (7-5) in the second, Wobberjod (3-1) in the third, Cherokee Lass (9-5) in the fourth and Punch Em (24-1) to finish it off paid $2,070.65. The Pick 4 was worth $580.70.
Punch Em, a 3-year-old gelded son of Paynter, out of the Two Punch mare Punchin’ Chudy, is owned by Ra-Max Farms (Clayton Rash) and was bred in Kentucky by Rock Talk Farm. The winner made the lead in the 6-1/2 furlongs race after a quarter of a mile in 21.85 seconds. Jockey Alfredo Triana, Jr., was able to get Punch Em to relax in second place, four lengths back of the front-runner Jackman’s Ride after that blistering first call. Punch Em came back to the lead in the stretch and then fought it out to the wire with late closer Lookin High. Triana got Punch Em to get that neck down at the finish line for the victory.
It was the third win of the meet for Luneack in only 19 starts as her horses are beginning to round into form. Punch Em was coming off a May-September layoff when he finished fifth, beaten 11 lengths at the one-mile distance against this class. Luneack has a knack for figuring out where they belong as she kept him at the first-level allowance but shortened up to the sprinter distance. Giving him a race under his belt and trying 6-1/2 furlongs did the trick. Luneack was winning at a 22 percent clip with horses second time out off a layoff.
She has been the top winning percentage trainer at Remington Park the past two years with conditioners that have sent out at least 17 starters. She won at a 30 percent clip last year.
Punch Em earned $20,196 from the $34,000 purse and improved his record to six starts, two wins, one second and two thirds for a bankroll of $41,301, almost doubling the money in his wallet. He stopped the timer for the 6-1/2 furlongs in 1:17.26.
The 8-5 favorite in the race, Shanghai’s Dream, could do no better than seventh in a field of nine.
Racing continues next week with a Wednesday-Saturday schedule. First post time is 7:07 p.m. each night.
Tracked by more than 167,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $272 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 $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes, on Friday, Oct. 29. Simulcast horse racing featured daily, the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.