TRAINER JASON OLMSTEAD, JOCKEY EDWIN ESCOBEDO PULL OFF UPSET WITH APOLLITICAL PAYOFF IN MIGHTY DECK THREE STAKES
Trainer Jason Olmstead and jockey Edwin Escobedo are no strangers to pulling off upsets. Friday night at Remington Park was no different as they combined with 4-year-old gelding Apollitical Payoff to win the $68,000 Mighty Deck Three Stakes for Oklahoma-breds.
That 4-year-old gelding had the longest nose of any of the nine horses that hit the finish line together in the 250-yard event. It literally was a nine-horse photo at the end of the race. Apollitical Payoff, a son of Apollitical Jess, out of the Tres Seis mare Seis the Royal Cash, went off at 5-1 odds and was a step faster than favorites Charlies Fury (5-2 in third) and Kiss the Cartel (8-5 in sixth).
Apollitical Payoff hit the finish in :13.269 over a fast track for a speed index of 93, just nipping runner-up JK Wildcat Red (12-1) by a head. The second-place horse was a neck in front of Charlies Fury. The margins of the next horses back were a neck, a head, a nose, a head, a head, a head and a head. That final head in that sequence was how far the ninth-place horse was behind the eighth place horse.
“He didn’t get a good break,” said Escobedo, “but I just kept after him and after him and he got it done.”
Apollitical Payoff earned $38,400 from the purse for owner Brenda Reiswig of Bismarck, N.D., who also bred the horse in Oklahoma. The trio of Reiswig, Olmstead and Escobedo were on such a high that they completed the late daily double by winning the 12th race with another 5-1 horse – Double Didget in an allowance race for non-winners of three Quarter Horses. Their $2 late Daily Double returned $96.40.
Olmstead wasn’t worried about the class of his horse in the stakes, but was a little concerned with the short distance.
“He won the Black Gold Futurity (2021) but then had a mediocre year as a 3-year-old,” he said. “I thought if we could stay close, we might be all right. I really didn’t think we had much chance going this short.”
Apollitical Payoff improved his record to 19 starts, five wins, five seconds and two thirds for a bankroll of $189,827. It was his first win since taking the Black Gold Futurity two years ago at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla.
It was the first win in the Mighty Deck Three for all the connections of Apollitical Payoff. The race is named in honor of the ultra-fast runner who dominated 2-year-old competition in 1980. The Oklahoma-bred was undefeated through 10 races, including the Rainbow Futurity, and posted the top qualifying time for that year’s All American Futurity. He was upset in the All American, beaten a nose by Higheasterjet. Despite the loss, Mighty Deck Three was still voted the Champion 2-year-old for 1980.
The 2023 Remington Park American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season continues with 17 races for the Oklahoma Futurity trials on Saturday starting at 3 p.m. and then concluding with 10 races on Sunday, beginning with a 4 p.m. first post.
Tracked by more than 172,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $316 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 the 2023 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa season through June 3. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.