Trainer Juan Diaz, Jr., of San Antonio, crossed the Red River this year with some talented runners, one of which was Joose Boxx, who was the fastest qualifier on the first night of trials for the Grade 2, $502,385 Oklahoma Futurity final set for March 23.

Diaz has won the last three training titles at the Sam Houston Race Park Quarter Horse meets from 2021-2023. Joose Boxx, a 2-year-old grey Quarter Horse by Kiss My Hocks, out of the Big Daddy Cartel mare CD Daddys Home, was sparkling in his trial, stopping the timer for 300 yards in :15.343 seconds for a speed index of 95 over a sloppy track with a 20 mph tailwind. Despite that dominant time for the evening, Joose Boxx still only beat the runner-up in his trial, Finn McOol, by a head.

Finn McOol’s rider, Roman Cruz, lost his whip halfway through the race. That could make for a nice rematch in the finals with Joose Boxx as They were the two fastest horses on Friday night at Remington Park.

Storylines were in abundant supply on this night of trials as trainer Trey Wood won three trials, qualifying one of those for the finals and trainer Milton Broadnax of Spencer, Okla., won the first race of his career.

Broadnax began starting horses in 2011 and did not have an official Quarter Horse starter on a racetrack since 2019. Broadnax ended a career 0-for-55 streak if you include Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Paints and Appaloosas. In fact, only one time of those 55 races did a Broadnax horse run first, second or third. Friday night was his night in the spotlight as Liberty for Jess, who was the fastest qualifier after three trials, held on to finish fourth-fastest of the night to make the lucrative Oklahoma Futurity.

Broadnax was 0-for-41 with Quarter Horses, 0-for-11 with Thoroughbreds and 0-for-3 with mixed-breeds until Friday night. Liberty for Jess, a 2-year-old colt by Dash Master Jess, out of the Rushago mare Liberty Rush, earned $5,784 for the trial win and now, after only one start, sits second on Broadnax’s list of all-time top horses. To make it even better, the horse Liberty for Jess has to catch to move into first for Broadnax is his mama, Liberty Rush, who earned $7,523. Broadnax, is also the owner and breeder of Liberty for Jess, an Oklahoma-bred.

Liberty for Jess went off at 21-1 odds and paid $44.20 to win, $14.80 to place and $7.20 to show. He was ridden to victory by last year’s leading rider at Remington Park, Edwin Escobedo.

Diaz had some sharp runners at Remington Park last year as well. He won with Ivory Senator, Rey Donovan, Dashin Hocks and Colleys Cartel. His biggest win came with Ivory Senator in the Grade 3 Mr Master Bug Stakes on April 22, 2024. In his career that started officially in 2018, according to Equibase statistics, Diaz has had 1,011 Quarter Horse starters, winning 247 times, running second 164 times and third another 119 times for horses’ earnings of $7,347,445. He is winning at a 50 percent-clip in 2024, taking six trips to the winner’s circle with 12 starters. Diaz has two more starters in Saturday night’s Oklahoma Futurity trials.

The fastest five horses from Friday and Saturday night’s trials will qualify as the 10 finalists of the Oklahoma Futurity on March 23. The five tonight were, with their jockey, trainer, trial number (race number), times and speed index were:

Joose Box – Nestor Duran, Juan Diaz, Jr., trial three (race six), :15.343, 95
Finn McOol, Roman Cruz, Dee Keener, trial three (race six), :15.374, 94
Evidenz, Ricky Ramirez, Trey Wood, trial eight (race 10), :15.442, 91
Liberty for Jess, Edwin Escobedo, Milton Broadnax, trial two (race four), :15.463, 91
Cowboy Blue Z, Bryan Candanosa, Michael Joiner, trial one (race three), :15.471, 90

This will be the 83rd edition of the historic Oklahoma Futurity. The race was first contested in 1947 and has been run at Remington Park since 2006.

Racing resumes Saturday night with 11 races that begin at 6 p.m., including eight more trials for the Oklahoma Futurity. Sunday’s racing card begins at 4 p.m. and features trials for the Oklahoma Derby as well as the initial stakes races of the 2024 season, the Grade 2 SLM Big Daddy Stakes and the Mighty Deck Three Stakes.

Remington Park has provided more than $345 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 presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. The 83rd edition of the historic Oklahoma Futurity, first contested in 1947, will be run Saturday, March 23. The American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season continues through June 1. Parking and admission are always free. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing or enter the casino gaming floor. Visit for more information.