TRAINER DONNIE VON HEMEL PADS HISTORICAL WINNING MARGIN IN OKLAHOMA CLASSICS WITH VICTORY BY EAKLY ON TURF
Eakly helped Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame trainer Donnie Von Hemel to pad his incredible lead among trainers on Oklahoma Classics Night by winning the Turf in a mild upset.
This trip to the winner’s circle for Von Hemel was his 31st time he has won on this epic Oklahoma-bred night. C.R. Trout is a distant second on that list with 16, followed by the now-retired Roger Engel, 11; Steve Hobby, 10, and Kari Craddock 9. It was the sixth time Von Hemel has won the Turf.
Jockey Richard Eramia booted Eakly to the lead in the 1-1/16th mile race on the firm grass course, as he dueled with Rowdy Rascal throughout the race. Eakly sustained his drive to the wire, holding off Rowdy Rascal (8-1) by a half-length at the finish line.
Eakly went off at 6-1 odds and paid $15.40 to win, $6.80 to place and $4.20 to show. It was Eramia’s 12th win in the Oklahoma Classics and his seventh year in a row he has won at least one race in this series. His other victories came atop She’s All Wolfe in 2021 and 2022; Number One Dude, Three Chords and She’s All Wolfe in the Juvenile, Distaff Sprint and Distaff, respectively, in 2020; Cowboy Mischief in the 2019 Turf and Rowdy Yates in the 2019 Juvenile; Charlie Webb in the 2018 Turf; and Shotgun Kowboy in the 2017 Classics Cup. Prior to that, he had two other Classics winners – Picaso in the 2007 Juvenile and Charlie Sioux in the 2006 Lassie.
Eramia sits in fifth on the all-time Classics jockey list, behind four Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Famers – Cliff Berry (26 wins), Luis Quinonez (22), Don Pettinger (21) and Tim Doocy (14). This was the third time Eramia has won the Turf.
“I really liked the way (Eakly) ran last time out on the grass,” said Eramia. “Today, we made the money. We just laid back, waiting. When I asked him, he really took off. It worked perfect.”
Eakly, a 3-year-old colt by Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner for Von Hemel, Caleb’s Posse, out of the Lonhro (AUS) mare Vian, set every interior fraction but one, taking the lead at the quarter-mile in :24.51, then falling back to second behind Rowdy Rascal by a head at the half-mile in :49.99. From there, Eakly set the pace the rest of the way, doing three-quarters of a mile in 1:15.09 and 1:39.57 for the mile. His winning time was 1:45.99.
Eakly paid $15.40 to win, $6.80 to place and $4.20 to show. Running third, three-quarters back of Rowdy Rascal was Spirit of Spoatie (23-1). The completed order of finish was post-time 1-2 favorite Dark Afternoon, fourth; Kodaline (20-1), fifth; Inca Empire (44-1), sixth; Just a Irish Lad (8-1), seventh; Gospel Musketeer (84-1), eighth; Rachel’s Caper (23-1), ninth; Rowdy River (31-1), 10th, and Sweet Medicine (45-1), 11th.
Eakly earned $59,760 from the purse for owner Cheyenne Stables (Everett Dobson) of Oklahoma City and improved to 12 starts, three wins, three seconds and two thirds for a lifetime bankroll of $153,824.
Remington Park racing continues Saturday, Oct. 21 with first 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 Springboard Mile, a Kentucky Derby points-qualifying race, on Friday, Dec. 15, 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.