SUNLIT SONG RETURNS TO WINNER’S CIRCLE IN REMINGTON GREEN STAKES
Sunlit Song won the Remington Green Stakes in 2020, but it took the old man three years to return to the winner’s circle in this race. He did so in convincing fashion Sunday as the heavy betting favorite at 2-5 odds.
Fans were willing to forgive this 8-year-old gelded son of My Golden Song, out of the Early Flyer mare Fly So True, for the last two years and jumped hard back onto his bandwagon at the windows Sunday. They were not disappointed as jockey Stewart Elliott sat in mid-pack with the odds-on choice and then sprang on his opponents like a lion on a wildebeest down the stretch. Sunlit Song was driven hard to the wire, however, as a fast-closing Paluxy (6-1) pressured him to the finish. Paluxy had run eighth in last year’s edition of this race, nine lengths behind the winner Price Talk. Sunlit Song was the runner-up in 2022, 8-1/2 lengths in front of Paluxy. This year was a different story.
Jockey Floyd Wethey, Jr., had Paluxy champing on the bit in an effort to pull off the upset. But it was Sunlit Song hanging on to win this Remington Green by a half-length. Sonny Smack (17-1) ran third, another 4-3/4 lengths back. Completing the finish were Presidential (3-1) in fourth, Mazuma (15-1) fifth, Don’tcrossthedevil (20-1) sixth and Hooves Your Daddy (69-1) seventh.
Trainer Mindy Willis was somewhat concerned about Sunlit Song’s chances coming into Sunday’s race. When he won this race in 2020, Sunlit Song raced on Lasix. The race, as all stakes races at Remington Park this year, will run under the new HISA rules of no Lasix for any of the runners.
“This was pretty emotional for me,” said Willis. “I was concerned about the Lasix issue because he had never run without it. He seemed to do fine. I’m a wrung-out mess in the winner’s circle while he looks great. Maybe I’m the one who needs the Lasix (laughs).”
Elliott, the leading rider at Remington Park this meet by double-digits, said he never felt the pressure regardless of Paluxy’s late effort.
“This horse (Sunlit Song) makes me feel like there’s nothing to worry about,” he said. “You just find some room for him and he does the rest.”
Sunlit Song was behind horses down the backstretch, but Elliott pulled him wide and he came running down the middle of the stretch turning for home and never could be caught. It was the first win in this series for a local jockey since Lindey Wade won on Sunlit Song in 2020.
The winner paid $2.80 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. He earned $45,000 from the $75,000 purse for owners Carolyn Barnett and Becky Harding of Pollok, Texas, and improved his career record to 42 starts, 18 wins, 12 seconds and four thirds for $731,018 in earnings. He was bred in Texas by Barnett.
Sunlit Song is apparently not getting older; he’s just getting better. This was the old gray gelding’s sixth win in his last seven starts. In that streak, he also won the $75,000 Texas Hall of Fame Stakes at Lone Star Park; the $100,000 Richard King Stakes and $75,000 Houston Turf Stakes, both at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.
Sunlit Song had the lead at 1:38.88 when they hit the mile pole over the firm course. Final running time for the winner at 1-1/8 miles on the grass was 1:51.43.
Remington Park racing continues Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 27-30, with a nightly post time of 7:07pm-Central.
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 Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and the Grade 3 Remington Park Oaks on Sunday, Sept. 24, 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.