TRAINER EDDIE WILLIS WINS MR MASTER BUG STAKES FOR THIRD YEAR IN ROW, WINNING HORSE B LEAVING LEFT THEM IN HIS DUST
Twelve-time training title winner at Remington Park, Eddie Willis, showed his prowess in the restricted Grade 3, $68,000 Mr Master Bug Stakes for the third year in a row, taking it down Saturday night with jockey Justine Klaiber in the saddle of B Leaving.
It was Willis’ fourth overall win in this series and Klaiber’s first. They brought this 3-year-old gelding into the winner’s circle for owner WW Partners of Cache, Okla. Willis’ other winners in the series were Bran Nu Dae (2021), jockey Jose Alvarez; Love is Everything V (2020) jockey Jimmy Brooks, and Blackwater Command, who won the first running of the event in 2011 with Brooks up.
Klaiber and Willis took the first two stakes races on an eight-stakes card with this win, also taking the Laico Bird Stakes the race before with Relentless Scorpion. B Leaving, a 3-year-old gelded son of Valiant Hero, out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Jess B Mighty, suffered quite a bit with second-itis last year, finishing second five times in seven tries in 2021. He got over that problem with this win, earning $37,800, improving to two wins in eight starts for a bankroll of $87,797. He was bred in Oklahoma by the Homer A. Hill Estate.
B Leaving, at 10-1 odds, finished a half-length in front of 4-5 post-time favorite Mr Apollo Jess, and paid $22.40 to win, $6.80 to placer and $3.80 to show. The runner-up was another three-quarters of a length ahead of third-place finisher AJs Tres of Paint (3-1).
The Mr Master Bug was B Leaving’s first stakes win. He had not raced since Sept. 26 last year at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla., where he ran second by a neck to Docs Dusty Cartel in the $194,504 Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Mystery Futurity. The gelding’s win Saturday was the first race with Klaiber in the irons.
B Leaving handled 350 yards in :17.416 over a fast track for a speed index of 96.
There was an indication that B Leaving might be sitting on his best race ever as he posted an :11.48 workout in the morning on April 2 at Remington Park. It was a bullet workout, the fastest of the day at 220 yards for 10 horses that worked that distance.
The Mr Master Bug is named after the 1982 All American Futurity winner who was bred and owned by Marvin and Lela Barnes of Ada, Okla. Mr Master Bug earned American Quarter Horse Champion honors in three consecutive years from 1982-1984 and retired with more than $1.7 million in earnings.
There will be no racing on Easter Sunday. Live racing continues next week with racing Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. A week from Easter, racing resumes on Sundays at 4 p.m.
Tracked by more than 168,000 fans on Facebook and 10,600 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $288 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 feature the $1,000,000 Heritage Place Futurity and the $250,000 Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship on May 28. Simulcast horse is racing featured daily at Remington Park where the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.