Instygator came within a neck of winning the $3 million All American Futurity in 2020, so it’s no surprise that he has been made the prohibitive 8-5 favorite in Saturday’s Grade 2, $361,010 Heritage Place Derby.

It is the Night of Champions at Remington Park, that includes total purses of more than $2.7 million, the most in the history here and in Oklahoma racing. The evening is headlined by the Grade 1, $1,314,890 Heritage Place Futurity, the richest race ever run in Oklahoma City.

In the derby, Instygator, a 3-year-old brown gelding owned by Barboza Racing of Seagoville, Texas, ran third beaten a neck by Shott Gun in last year’s Heritage Place Futurity, and also lost by a neck to Whistle Stop Café in the All American Futurity. Overall, he has won five-of-eight starts, with those two seconds and a third. In his three losses, he has lost by two necks and a nose. He could easily be eight-for-eight with any racing luck. Three-time defending rider at Remington Park and two-time American Quarter Horse Association Champion jockey James Flores once again gets the call from trainer Edelmiro Carrizales aboard Instygator.

The son of Ivory James, out of the Mr Eye Opener mare Eye Popping, has won $811,691 in his young career and is the top money earner in the field. He was the fastest of 10 qualifiers for this Derby final. He finished only a head in front of the upstart Vocalize, who was 33-1 during that amazing run in their trial. It’s not often a horse runs second in a trial and still is the second-fastest of the best 10 in the trials.

Vocalize, a son of Kiddy Up, out of the Check Him Out mare Thinking Out Loud, ran poorly in his first two starts but both were troubled trips at Gillespie County Race Track in Fredericksburg, Texas, and Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, respectively. He reared at the start at Gillespie, running sixth, and finished ninth at Lone Star when he got away slowly. He broke his maiden in his debut at Remington Park this year at 22-1 and then ran huge against Instygator.
“We always knew he could run ever since we started training with him,” said trainer Hemerio Hernandez. “He’s a nice horse.”

Noe Garcia will get a leg up from Hernandez for owner HWD Racing Stables of Odessa, Texas. He may be the horse with the lowest amount of earnings in the field at $11,618, but that doesn’t take away the fact he was a head from the biggest upset of the meet.
Trainer Eddie Willis is the king of this race, having won it five times, three more times than any other trainer. He started the string with a victory in 2002 with A Real Man, winning three in a row from 2010-2012 with Streakin Down, Capo de Capi and Priceless Feature and taking his last one in 2014 with This Dude Can Fly. He would extend that record to six with a trip to the winner’s circle with Apollitical Bird (5-1 odds).

One thing is for certain about this derby, Jockey Ricky Ramirez will see his four-race win streak come to an end. He has won this race the past four years with Inaugurator (2020), Apollitical Pence (2019), PYC Fun N Fancy (2018) and Hold Air Hostage (2017). He has no mount in this year’s edition. His four victories in the Derby are one more than Larry Payne, G.R. Carter and the late, great Jacky Martin, who all had three wins.
Here’s a look at the Heritage Place Derby field from the rail out with post position, jockey, trainer and odds:
CR Appollitical Joe, Berkley Packer, Jason Olmstead, 15-1
Relentlessly, Raul Valenzuela, Jose Huerta, 4-1
Instygator, James Flores, Edelmiro Carrizales, 8-5
Vocalize, Noe Garcia, Hemerio Hernandez, 8-1
Apollitical Bird, Justine Klaiber, Eddie Willis, 5-1
Fallout, Jesus Ayala, Monty Arrossa, 8-1
Dreamland Express, Juan Pulido, Dee Keener, 20-1
Spotty Politics, Rolando Raudales, Matthew Eck, 15-1
A Pollitical Gal, Jorge Torres, Clint Crawford, 15-1
Woodys Gold, Francisco Calderon, Clint Crawford, 15-1

The Heritage Place Derby is race 10 of 12 on Saturday night, with an approximate post time of 9:12pm. The first race of the evening is at 5pm. All times are Central.

Tracked by more than 167,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $261 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 $1.3 million Heritage Place Futurity on the “Night of Champions,” Saturday, May 29, the richest night of racing ever in Oklahoma with total purses exceeding $2.7 million. The casino is always open. Visit for more information.