STONE COLD LEADER PULLS OFF MINOR UPSET OVER MIDDAY NEWS IN FEATURED 550-YARD RACE AT REMINGTON PARK
Midday News, the near two-time winner of Remington Park’s SLM Big Daddy Stakes at 550 yards, was expected to cruise to another win at the distance Friday night with a drop in class, but Stone Cold Leader had other ideas.
Midday News had won the $50,000 SLM Big Daddy Stakes in 2021 and then missed in third by only a half-length this year, so it was no surprise that he was sent off as the 4-5 odds-on favorite in this allowance-optional claiming $25,000 race at his favorite distance.
Stone Cold Leader proved his prowess in Texas at 550 yards was no joke, however. He was the next favorite at 5-1, but that was a nice price for a horse that won the $50,000 Tower of Americas Stakes at 550 yards at Sam Houston Race Park last July 2. The 7-year-old gelded son of Brookstone Bay, out of the Leader of the Class mare Sheza Classy Leader, not only won that race, but did it impressively under jockey Bryan Candanosa. That combo crossed the finish line first in Houston by four lengths and was just as impressive here Friday, winning by a neck over Spotty Politics (14-1), who was another full length ahead of Midday News. Candanosa was aboard the winner again Friday.
It was Stone Cold Leader’s third win in five tries at 550 yards for owner Patrick Richardson of Huger, S.C., and trainer Duke Shults. The winner covered the distance in :27.527 on a fast track for a speed index of 91. His winning speed index in the Houston stakes races was a walloping 110. He came within a neck of winning the $112,000 Sam Houston Classic in May 2021 at 440 yards.
Stone Cold Leader, bred in Indiana by Mark Michel, earned $12,036 from the total $23,350 purse and improved his record to 34 starts, 16 wins, six seconds and five thirds for a career bankroll of $606,427. He was the top money earner in the field of 11 horses that went to post.
Live racing continues this week with Saturday and Sunday cards, beginning at 6 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively. Saturday’s feature is the Grade 1, $100,000 Leo Stakes featuring a field with total earnings surpassing $5 million. Reigning American Quarter Horse Association World Champion Danjer is the 9-5 morning-line favorite for the Leo.
Tracked by more than 168,000 fans on Facebook and 10,600 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $288 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 will feature the $1,000,000 Heritage Place Futurity and the $250,000 Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship on May 28. Simulcast horse is racing featured daily at Remington Park where the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.