TOP TWO TRAINERS IN COUNTRY, BRAD COX and STEVE ASMUSSEN, NOMINATE OTAL OF SEVEN HORSES TO GRADE 3 OKLAHOMA DERBY
This year’s fifth-place Kentucky Derby finisher and fourth-place Belmont Stakes runner, Hit Show, highlights the nomination list for the upcoming Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby set for Sunday, Sept. 24 at Remington Park and 1-1/8th miles.
Hit Show, a 3-year-old son of Candy Ride (ARG), out of the Tapit mare Actress, hails from the barn of the nation’s leading trainer by money earned, Brad Cox, and is a possible starter according to Remington Park stakes coordinator Don Thompson. Cox currently leads the all-time horse racing leading trainer Steve Asmussen by about a million dollars so far this year. Cox’s runners have earned $20,809,292 while Asmussen, Remington Park’s all-time leading trainer, and also leading this season, has had starters bank $19,810,650, according to Equibase. Cox has nominated five horses for the Oklahoma Derby to Asmussen’s two.
Hit Show, who picked up a check in those Triple Crown races, has raced eight times, winning three and running second once for earnings of $447,500. His biggest win to date came in the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers at Aqueduct in New York on Feb. 11 this year. Hit Show, subsequently, ran second in a Kentucky Derby prep race, as runner-up to Lord Miles in the Grade 2, Wood Memorial, losing only by a nose. He is owned and bred in Kentucky by Gary and Mary West.
Cox’s other four horses nominated for the Oklahoma Derby are Jim Dandy Stakes runner-up Saudi Crown, Pegasus Stakes winner Salute the Stars, and St. Louis Derby winner and runner-up Tabeguache and Slip Mahoney.
Asmussen’s pair are Preakness Stakes fourth-place finisher Red Route One and Iowa Derby winner How Did He Do That. Red Route One, owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds (Ron Winchell), was on the Kentucky Derby trail early this spring after running second in the Grade 3, $750,000 Southwest Stakes and the Grade 2, $1 million Rebel Stakes, both at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. After finishing sixth in the Grade 1, $1,250,000 Arkansas Derby, he was put in the $200,000 Bath House Row Stakes at Oaklawn and came up a winner.
From there Red Route One was sent to the Preakness where he finished a respectable fourth, only 2-1/2 lengths back of Kentucky Derby winner Mage, who ran third. The 3-year-old son of Gun Runner, out of the Tapit mare Red House, was eased in the Belmont Stakes before coming back to win the Grade 3, $500,000 West Virginia Derby. He has raced 13 times, winning three, running second twice and third once for $1,053,025 in earnings. Red Route One would be the top earner in the Oklahoma Derby if he goes. He was bred in Kentucky by his owners.
Asmussen’s other nominee, How Did He Do That was third recently in the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. He shared victory in the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows when he dead-heated with One In Vermillion.
Others that were nominated and appear to be strong possibilities for the Oklahoma Derby include, in alphabetical order:
Cagliostro – recent runner-up in Grade 3, $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx in Philadelphia, Pa. This son of Upstart is trained by Cherie DeVaux. Record – seven starts, one win, three seconds and one third, $167,828.
Denington – ran third in the St. Louis Derby at Fan Duel Park in Illinois. This son of Gun Runner is trained by Kenneth McPeek. Record – 15 starts, two wins, one second and three thirds for earnings of $260,145.
Groveland – runner-up in the Grade 3, $250,000 Sam Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs for trainer Eoin Harty. Record – eight starts, two firsts, two seconds and two thirds for a bankroll of $98,710.
No White Flags – son of Union Rags is trained by Carl Woodley. Lightly raced, but ran second, beaten only three-quarters of a length in the $200,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. Record – four starts, two wins, one second for $70,720 in earnings.
One in Vermillion – Recent winner of the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial at Saratoga going seven furlongs. He ran third to Red Route One in the West Virginia Derby. The son of Army Mule, trained by Esteban Martinez, dead-heated for the win with How Did He Do That in the Iowa Derby, but was disqualified and placed second. Record – 12 starts, six wins, three seconds and one third for a bankroll of $653,840.
Raise Cain – owned by Tulsans Andrew and Rania Warren, this son of Violence won the Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct by 7-1/2 lengths. Finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby and then later just missed by a nose in the Grade 3, $300,000 Indiana Derby at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Trained by Ben Colebrook. Record – 11 starts, two wins, two seconds and one third for $400,003 in earnings.
West Coast Cowboy – son of West Coast, trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr., would send this horse to the Oklahoma Derby without a win in stakes company. He did run second to Red Route One in the West Virginia Derby. Record – seven starts, two wins, one second and one third for a bankroll of $194,290.
Remington Park racing continues Wednesday-Saturday, Sept. 13-16. The first post time is 7:07 p.m. CDT nightly.
Remington Park has provided more than $328 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.