TRAINER BRAD COX’S PLAINSMAN MADE 2-1 MORNING LINE FAVORITE FOR OPENING NIGHT’S $175,000 GOVERNOR’S CUP
The country’s second-ranked trainer by horses’ earnings this year, Brad Cox, entered Plainsman Friday morning in the $175,000 Governor’s Cup. The first stakes race of the season headlines the opening night program for Remington Park racing on Aug. 20.
Remington Park morning-line maker Jerry Shottenkirk has established Plainsman the 2-1 favorite for a competitive field of 10 horses top to bottom. The Governor’s Cup will go as the eighth race on a nine-race card that begins at 7:07 p.m. next Friday. Post time for the 1-1/8th mile race on the dirt has been set for approximately 10:23 p.m.-central.
Plainsman, a 6-year-old by Flatter, out of the Street Sense mare S S Pinafore, is owned by Shortleaf Stable of Hot Springs, Ark. and he will be ridden by Francisco Arrieta. Arrieta took over the duties on Plainsman three races back at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, and has not lost on him since he was given a leg up by Cox. Plainsman won an allowance race on April 15 at Oaklawn, followed by victories in the $50,000 Jim Rasmussen, an overnight stakes at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa on June 4, and the $85,000 Michael G. Schaefer Stakes at Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, Ind. Arrieta has most recently been riding at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky. Plainsman’s record is 23 starts, seven wins, five seconds and three starts for $515,407 in earnings.
Despite the win streak, Plainsman has been beaten by a couple of horses in this race, including defending champion Hunka Burning Love in the 2020 Jeffrey A. Hawk Memorial at Remington Park. Hunka Burning Love won the Governor’s Cup last year by 6-1/2 lengths and has been made an 8-1 slight outsider to repeat because of his recent dull form. Trainer Karl Broberg sends out this 7-year-old gelded son of Into Mischief, out of the Thunder Gulch mare Touch of Fire, for owner End Zone Athletics of Mansfield, Tex. He will be ridden by Remington Park newcomer Reylu Gutierrez.
Hunka Burning Love has never lost in three tries around two turns at Remington Park. Three-time defending champion jockey David Cabrera has ridden him in two of those wins and Ramon Vazquez was aboard for the other. Both of them have other mounts in the Governor’s Cup. Hunka Burning Love has had a third and two fourth-place finishes in his last three starts. He was fourth in the $400,000 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Tex. All of three of his recent losses came over a sloppy or muddy track, however.
Vazquez will ride Rated R Superstar, who was supplemented for $5,260 at time of entry by Remington Park’s all-time leading owner Danny Caldwell of Poteau, Okla. (371 wins). The 8-year-old gelded son of Kodiak Kowboy, out of the Gold Case mare Wicked Wish, was made the 9-2 second choice in the morning-line in this spot. He is one of two millionaires in the field. Rated R Superstar, trained by Federico Villafranco, has earned $1,068,014 in 54 starts with eight wins. He finished a neck back of Plainsman in the Rasmussen, but hasn’t won in stakes company the past two years.
The other millionaire is Tenfold, the top money-earner in the field with $1,179,745 in 25 starts. The 6-year-old by Curlin, out of the Tapit mare Temptress, appears to be the class of the field, having run against graded stakes horses in nine of his last 13 races. Among the horses that he has faced:
Knicks Go, currently the No. 4 horse in the world, according to the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, and top American horse in racing on that list.
Improbable, the 4-1 favorite in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, finishing fourth; and winner of multiple Grade 1 races the past two years, including the 2020 Whitney.
Toms D’etat, multiple graded stakes winner with the 2020 Stephen F. Foster Stakes in the win column.
Lone Rock, winner of five races in six starts this year, including two stakes in New York, one a graded stakes.
Finishing behind this kind of company has to give Tenfold a legitimate shot. Stewart Elliott will ride for trainer Steve Asmussen owner Winchell Thoroughbreds of Las Vegas. Tenfold has been made the 5-1 third choice in the line.
Asmussen, the new all-time leading trainer by wins in racing, also has Tapit Wise representing the barn at 10-1 morning-line odds.
Another horse entered on a win streak is Guided Missile, going for his third straight win. At 8-1 odds, trainer Boyd Caster sends out this 4-year-old colt by Tapit from the Tiznow mare Pussyfoot. He has won two in a row in allowance events at Prairie Meadows.
This will be the 30th Governor’s Cup at Remington Park, contested at 1-1/8 miles since 2011. The race was originally called the Remington Cup from 1988-1994. Asmussen has won the race six times (2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2018) while Broberg has one win, last year with Hunka Burning Love.
Jockey David Cabrera is the lone rider in the field to have a score in the Governor’s Cup, winning aboard Hunka Burning Love last year.
Here’s a look at the field from inside to outside with jockey, trainer and morning line odds:
Tenfold, Stewart Elliott, Steve Asmussen, 5-1
Guided Missile, Curtis Kimes, Boyd Caster, 8-1
Trident Hit, David Cabrera, Ron Moquett, 6-1
Box Seat, Iram Diego, Boyd Caster, 20-1
Rated R Superstar, Ramon Vazquez, Federico Villafranco, 9-2
Baozun, Weston Hamilton, Juan Gomez Jr., 30-1
Plainsman, Francisco Arrieta, Brad Cox, 2-1
Popularity, Richard Eramia, Joe Offolter, 15-1
Tapit Wise, Leandro Goncalves, Steve Asmussen, 10-1
Hunka Burning Love, Reylu Gutierrez, Karl Broberg, 8-1
Tracked by more than 167,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $269 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 features live and simulcast horse racing, and the casino is always open! The 2021 Thoroughbred Season begins Aug. 20. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.