TRAINER KARI CRADDOCK, JOCKEY LEANDRO GONCALVES SWEEP OKLAHOMA STALLION STAKES AS NUMBER ONE DUDE SCORES WITH COLTS/ GELDINGS
It’s been a crazy ride for owner Terry Westemeir of Broken Arrow, Okla. with Number One Dude, the winner of Friday night’s Colts & Geldings division of the $50,000 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes.
First, Westemeir had to break the news to his wife Leslie that he had bought Number One Dude’s dam (mother) three years ago. To top it off, the mom, Ebony Uno was in foal at the time with Number One Dude.
“Leslie didn’t even want me to buy one horse, let alone two in one,” Westemeir said. “She’s forgiven me about it now.”
Of course she has. Number One Dude, a 3-year-old gelding by American Lion, out of Ebony Uno (Macho Uno), earned $30,000 for the win, and gave trainer Kari Craddock and jockey Leandro Goncalves a sweep in the two divisions of the Oklahoma Stallion Stakes. The winner improved his lifetime record to eight starts, five wins and one second for a bankroll of $204,243.
The money has been hard-earned as Westemeir bred this gelding in Oklahoma and watched him bloom into a near superstar almost overnight. Number One Dude won the first three starts of his career, including victories in the $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile and the $75,000 Don McNeill Stakes as a 2-year-old. That led to Westemeir entering him in Remington Park’s cornerstone race for juveniles, the $200,000 Springboard Mile, raced on Dec. 18, 2020. He was beaten 20-1/4 lengths that night, giving Westemeir pause.
Returning home, Westemeir discovered an abscess on one foot, explaining the poor Springboard performance by Number One Dude. A layoff took place until May 9 when he entered him again after the five-month vacation. Again, Number One Dude was not competitive, finishing 13-1/4 lengths behind in an allowance race at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Since his Texas race, however, things have turned around for this Oklahoma-bred again. He won the $55,000 Will Rogers Stakes at Claremore, Okla., on May 25, followed by a second-place finish in the $89,000 Iowa Stallion Stakes on July 17. Number One Dude has now won four stakes races in his eight starts and moved his record to four wins in five starts at Remington Park.
Craddock made it two years in a row, winning this division and third time since 2013. She won last year with Ninethirtyturbo for Kirk Thoroughbreds and with Alpha and Omega for Dr. Robert Zoellner in 2013. This year, Goncalves won it for the first time, sitting just off the pace in third place down the backstretch. At one point, it appeared he might be losing contact with the two front-runners, You’reobadboy and Just Chillin.
“It was a fast pace,” Goncalves said. “I knew I could put this horse anywhere, but then he got a little bit lazy. I hit him a couple of times and by the time we turned for home, he switched leads and I knew it was over.”
Number One Dude, the heavy 1-5 favorite, took the lead and left the others in his dust, winning by seven lengths over Just Chillin (13-1). Rosie’s Outlaw (5-1) closed for third, another nose behind the runner-up in a tight photo finish. Running time for Number One Dude’s victory was 1:23.44 on the fast track. He chased early fractions of :22.28 for the quarter-mile, :44.68 for the half-mile and 1:10.17 for six furlongs. He paid $2.40 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show.
“This is a dream come true,” said Westemeir. “People know how hard this can be and it doesn’t happen very often.”
The Oklahoma Stallion Stakes is for 3-year-old colts and geldings who are progeny of stallions registered with the Oklahoma Stallion registrar.
Remington Park racing continues Saturday, Sept. 11 with the first race at 7:07pm-Central.
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 Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and Grade 3 Remington Park Oaks will take place on Sunday, Sept. 26. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.