ALL THREE TITLE WINNERS AT REMINGTON PARK TOOK HOME TROPHIES FOR FIRST TIME – JOCKEY ESCOBEDO, TRAINER KEENER, OWNER MAHER
Only two or three wins separated the competitors in every category of the final leaders for the horsemen titles at Remington Park for the just concluded American Quarter Horse / Paint and Appaloosa Season. All three winners earned titles for the first time – jockey Edwin Escobedo, trainer Dee Keener, and owner Tom Maher.
Edwin Escobedo – Leading Jockey
Escobedo won his first riding title here, outlasting three-time American Quarter Horse Association World Champion and three-time Remington Park top jock James Flores by three wins, 43-40. Flores trailed Escobedo by four wins going into Champions Night on Saturday, June 3, 43-39, and despite Escobedo not winning a single race, he was able to survive any kind of Flores flurry. Flores was able to get one trip to the winner’s circle on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough.
The top five jockeys from the 2023 meet were:
1. Escobedo, 43 wins
2. James Flores, 40
T3. Roman Cruz, 36
T3. Francisco Calderon, 36
5. Juan Pulido, 25
It was a little different story in the jockeys’ money race. Calderon began Champions Night in second place at $946,728 for horses’ earnings and won five races Saturday and ran second in the biggest race of the year – the $1.2 million Heritage Place Futurity for earnings of $629,646 in one night. That propelled him to the front like a speed boat passing a dinghy for the win at $1,576,374. He finished more than a half-million dollars ahead of runner-up Pulido at $1,269,436. The only other jock with more than $1 million earned was third-place finisher Escobedo at $1,131,409. Rounding out the top five were Cruz in fourth at $926,623 and Flores in fifth at $901,374.
Dee Keener – Leading Trainer
Keener, the all-time winningest Paint trainer in that genre, needed his Paints, Appaloosas, Quarter Horses and all their wins to defeat the conditioner that Escobedo rides first call for, Jason Olmstead. Keener, of Inola, Okla., squeaked by Olmstead, of Pryor, Okla., 37-35.
It would have taken somewhat of a miracle for Olmstead to overtake Keener on closing night. Olmstead only had three horses entered on Champions Night and they were all in the same race, the Heritage Place Futurity. Keener had 11 entered and held a 36-35 lead over Olmstead. When all was said and done, Keener had one win on Saturday and Olmstead was shut out in the futurity. The final tally was 37-35.
The top five in the trainers race were:
1. Keener, 37
2. Olmstead, 35
3. Eddie Willis, 27
T4. Matt Whitekiller
T4. Waylan Melton, 22.
In the money race, the top five trainers were:
1. Melton, $1,204,504
2. Olmstead, $1,110,678
3. Keener, $1,011,608
4. Eddie Willis, $837,091
5. Monty Arrossa, $698,027
The win in the final race of the meet with San Lencho taking the $1.2 million Heritage Place Futurity on Champions Night pushed Melton past Olmstead and Keener for the earnings lead.
Tom Maher – Leading Owner
In the owners’ race, it was just as tight as the other two races with the chase coming down to the Battle of the Dakotas. Tom Maher of Pierre, S.D. finished two victories ahead of Brenda Reiswig of Bismarck, N.D., 13-11. Maher didn’t have to sweat it out on Champions Night. When Tempting Scout won her career debut on Friday in the 11th race, it gave Maher the title as top owner. Olmstead was Maher’s main trainer and Escobedo rode Tempting Scout to clinch the title.
The top five owners for the meet by wins were:
1. Maher, 13
2. Reiswig, 11
T3. Double A Ranch, Miami, Fla., 9
T3. Dunn Ranch, Wynnewood, Okla., 9
5. Jeff Adams, 9
The top five owners by money earned were:
1. Rogelio Marquez, $538,901
2. Reiswig, $446,517
3. Dunn Ranch, $441,111
4. TYKHE Racing, Mission, Texas, $338,981
5. Thomas J. Scheckel, Bellevue, Iowa, $329,559.
Tracked by more than 175,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $320 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 begin the 2023 Thoroughbred Season on Aug. 18. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.