STAYED IN FOR HALF FINISHES BEST IN FEATURED ALLOWANCE RACE, PADDING LEADS OF TRAINER ASMUSSEN, LEADING RIDER ELLIOTT
Stayed in for Half won for the third time in his past four starts, outdueling 3-5 wagering favorite High Limit Room in a stretch battle in the featured allowance race on the turf at Remington Park on Saturday night. The win helped trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Stewart Elliott pad their seasonal leads in the standings.
The victory in the race at about five furlongs on the firm turf was the second of the night for both parties. Asmussen improved to 25 wins for the meet, seven ahead of second-place Karl Broberg at 18. Elliott expanded his lead in the jockeys’ standings to a margin of 20 with his 44 victories this meet, well ahead of Floyd Wethey’s 24.
Stayed in for Half, a 4-year-old gelded son of Maclean’s Music, out of the Yes It’s True mare Yes Liz, and High Limit Room hooked up in second and third place, respectively, down the backstretch. They stalked front-runner Impressed (10-1 odds) before Stayed in for Half made his move to victory in the turn, then held off High Limit Room at the finish.
Stayed in for Half cut into early fractions in Saturday’s race of :21.45 for the first quarter-mile and :44.74 for the half-mile before stopping the timer at :57.03.
Stayed in for Half, 9-5, paid $5.60 to win, $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show. High Limit Room held on for second, beaten only a half-length. Ship it Red (22-1) checked in third, another 1-1/4 lengths back of the runner-up.
A drop in class and a move to the grass turned the trick for Stayed in for Half. He previously had run sixth in the toughest sprint of the race meet over the main track, the $100,000 David M. Vance Stakes on Sept. 24. Asmussen returned him to the grass and dropped back to an open $40,000 allowance race and Elliott pushed all the right buttons for the trip to the winner’s circle.
Stayed in for Half was supposed to race at five furlongs on the turf at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, on June 22, but the race was taken off the grass because of weather. The surfaced switch did not matter. Stayed in for Half stayed in on the main track then and got up in the last jump to win by a neck in an optional claiming $30,000 race. Asmussen gave him a couple of months off and then shipped him to Remington Park. The bay gelding showed up fresh and ready to run. He won an allowance non-winners-of-four on the dirt at 5-1/2 furlongs by 4-1/4 lengths with Elliott up. Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Joel Rosario picked up the mount on him in the Vance, but it proved too tough. Stayed in for Half dropped down in class Saturday and it proved to be the best medicine for the horse, giving him his third victory in the past four months.
Stayed in for Half earned $23,898 from the $40,000 purse for owners Stonestreet Stables (Barbara Banke), J. Kirk and Judy Robison of Lexington, Ky. The gelding was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, LLC. He was purchased for $190,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale of 2020. His record improved Saturday night to 15 starts, five wins, three seconds and one third for $203,444 in earnings.
Remington Park racing continues next week, Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 18-21. The first race nightly is 7:07pm-Central. Friday night is Oklahoma Classics Night with the top Oklahoma-breds in vying for superiority in a full night of divisional stakes races.
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, the top night of racing in the state for Oklahoma-breds, 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.