TRAINER RONNIE CRAVENS WINS TWICE FOR THIRD NIGHT IN ROW TO MOVE INTO SOLE POSSESSION OF SECOND PLACE IN STANDINGS
It was a week that a trainer dreams about and no one was more on fire than red hot Ronnie Cravens III. He moved from fifth place in the Remington Park trainers’ standings at the beginning of the week into sole possession of second place after the action on Saturday night.
Cravens won two races Saturday, the third consecutive evening he had a training double. His two winners Saturday were Prince of Glory (9-5 second favorite) in the third race, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds-and-older that had never won two races; the claiming tag was $10,000. Jockey Luis Fuentes booted home the 4-year-old gelded son of Cairo Prince by a nose over runner-up Barefoot Samurai.
Stockpiler (even-money) was his second winner Saturday in the fifth race, a seven-furlong sprint on the main track for $7,500 claimers that had not won three races lifetime. These were 3-years-old-and-older and Fuentes was again the winning rider. Both victories came for owner L and G Racing of Houston, Texas. Cravens races primarily in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.
His four other winners this week were Behind the Curtain and Roya on Friday night and Special Memory and Federal Hill on Thursday night’s card.
Cravens started the week in fifth place with eight wins for the meet and now sits alone in second place with 14 victories. Steve Asmussen, the all-time winningest trainer in horse racing history and 17-time training title holder here, is the only conditioner ahead of Cravens at this point of the meet. Asmussen was shut out Saturday night and is only two trips to the winner’s circle ahead of Cravens.
Cravens must have the patience of Job with the way his training career began. He became an official trainer in 2002, and through the first six years of his career, he had only four winners from 123 starters, with those horses earning just a little more than $50,000 total for those six years. This week, his six winners earned almost $100,000.
Like Asmussen, Cravens came from a family of horsemen and when you’re born into that kind of bloodlines, it’s tough to give it up.
“My love for the sport started early when I was 10 years old,” Cravens told Remington Park. “My family was in it and when I was in fourth grade, it was just me and Mom (trainer Patricia Cravens). I would go over and clean stalls and do laundry for her at the barn. All those years, I started just watching people at the tracks.”
Those first years for him were rough, but he persevered, but in the past two years, his horses have surpassed the $1 million mark in earnings each year. His 44 winners from 387 starters in 2022 banked $1,200,986 and this year, he is already at $1,211,697 with 58 winners from 365 starters and that’s with three months remaining in the year. This is his best year, a far cry from no wins with eight starters in 2002 for $1,630 in earnings.
“It takes a lot of long hours to see this grow like this and get rewarded,” Cravens said. “When you build something from nothing, it makes you appreciate everything you have. One day, if you’re lucky, you win a race and get your picture taken.”
Or you win six in one week for six pictures.
Remington Park racing moves to a new month with action continuing Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 4-7. The first race nightly is at 7:07pm-Central.
Remington Park has provided more than $331 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 Oklahoma Classics, the top night of racing in the state for Oklahoma-breds, on Friday, Oct. 20, 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.