TRAINER MICHAEL BIEHLER WINS HIS 1,000TH RACE, REACHING MILESTONE WHEN MEDALLA MATCH WINS OVER REMINGTON PARK TURF
Trainer Michael Biehler was 25 years old when he won the first race of his career in 1989 and now at 59 years old, he won for the 1,000th time in his career when Medalla Match won the eighth race on Friday night at Remington Park.
Biehler’s first trip to a winner’s circle was July 1, 1989 at Canterbury Park in Minnesota with Raise a Wolf in a maiden claiming-$5,000 race. His first win at Remington Park was on April 9, 1994, with Gato Macho and jockey Luis Quinonez in the saddle.
Friday night’s milestone victory was in allowance company for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and older, going about 7-1/2 furlongs on the turf.
“This is really exciting for me,” Biehler said of his 1,000th win. “I never had a number like this in mind when I first started. I’ve had some big wins at Remington Park. This was great and I’ll never forget this but it’s hard to top winning the Oklahoma Derby with Wally’s Choice in 2004. He was the longest shot on the board (33-1 odds) and I really didn’t think he had a chance that day. He came from dead last with Quinonez up. That was my only graded stakes win. I’ll never forget that one or this one.”
Biehler watched from his fifth wheel travel trailer on the lake in Minnesota with coverage from the RTN network. He didn’t have much choice since he has horses entered at Canterbury on Saturday. The celebrating will have to be postponed as well.
“Yeah, I have to get up at 4 a.m.,” Biehler said with a laugh. He currently makes his home in Jones, Okla.
Red hot jockey Stewart Elliott was aboard for Biehler’s 1,000th win and it was his sixth trip to the winner’s circle in the past two nights. Medalla Match, a 5-year-old mare by Summer Front, out of the Bernardini mare Channel of Gold, went off as the prohibitive favorite at 1-2 odds. She took all the suspense out of the milestone, pulling away in the stretch to win by three lengths.
“She’s a nice mare,” said Biehler, “and I think they picked her up for about $7,500. Bought her sight unseen.”
Medalla Match is owned by Twisted Chaps Racing Stables (John Morris) of Edmond, Okla. They pocketed $22,749 from the $38,000 purse. The mare improved her record to 18 starts, six wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $147,482. She covered the firm distance in 1:30.83 and led every step from the half-mile pole on. The interior fractions were :24.30 for the first quarter-mile, :48.09 for the half-mile, and 1:12.58 for three-quarters of a mile. She paid $3 to win, $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show.
Medalla Match bested runner-up Family Time (8-1) and third-place finisher Island Hideaway (2-1 second favorite), who was overtaken in the stretch and ran three-quarters of a length behind Family Time. The winner was bred in Kentucky by Jane Wiggins.
Racing continues Saturday to finish the week. First post time is 7:07 p.m. CDT.
Remington Park has provided more than $328 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 Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and the Grade 3 Remington Park Oaks on Sunday, Sept. 24, 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.