TRAINER STACY BELT, JOCKEY RAMIRO GARCIA PULL OFF UPSET IN FEATURE RACE WITH LIL PETE EL SORUYO AT 10-1 ODDS
Jockey Ramiro Garcia has apparently righted the ship after starting the race meet at Remington Park, winning only four times in his first 85 starts. On Friday night, he won on two of his three mounts, including a victory for trainer Stacy Belt in the featured allowance race aboard 10-1 longshot Lil Pete El Soruyo.
Garcia also won the sixth race of the night aboard another longshot, Eye Do Tell at 8-1 odds. The victory for Belt in the feature was a bit of an outlier since it was only the second start of 2023 for the trainer, who ran sixth with the only other horse he has tried.
It might have been a tough call to put jock and trainer together for a win off past performances, but this horse was no stranger to the winner’s circle. Lil Pete Soruyo is now riding a three-race win streak, having won his last two of 2022 at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla. The 2023 debut was not an easy spot either. It was an allowance race for horses that had not won since May 12, 2022, or had not won four races in their life.
Garcia didn’t get out of the get well with the winner, breaking seventh in a field of nine, but came flying from the 7-hole to get up in the last few jumps by a head over Deutsch (9-2), the second favorite in the field. Deutsch had won the Valley Junction Juvenile Stakes at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Ia., two years ago, a $50,000 stakes race.
Running third was NSM Parks Candy Girl (5-1), a horse that only lost by three-quarters of a length in the $114,000 Altoona Derby on Sept. 30, 2022, at Prairie Meadows. That mare was a head behind the runner-up. Checking in fourth, another neck back, was the 8-5 wagering favorite LS Jacks Back. That horse just missed winning the $59,000 Derby Challenge at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico, running second, beaten three-quarters of a length on Aug. 27, 2022 and had won in allowance company at Remington Park on April 30.
Lil Pete Soruyo was totally overlooked Friday night even though the 4-year-old gelded son of Lil Kool Wagon, out of the Rare King mare Pistolpaknprincess, had fit right into stakes company last year in Iowa. The Iowa-bred ran third, beaten only a half-length in the $113,000 Polk County Derby, after making up almost four lengths at the start of that race. He followed that race with two wins at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla., in the fall against conditional allowance horses.
Garcia rode him like a pro Friday night for the well-timed victory at the wire and paid $23.40 to win, $11.40 to place and $5.80 to show. He is owned by Humberto Rivera of Des Moines, Iowa, who earned $15,009 from the $27,925 purse. Lil Pete Soruyo ran his record to 12 starts, four wins, three seconds and three thirds for a bankroll of $69,436.
He was bred in Iowa by his owner. Running time for the 350 yards was :17.579 for a speed index of 92. After Garcia’s night, he moved to 88 mounts and six wins on the Remington Park campaign.
Remington Park racing continues with racing Saturday and Sunday. First post time is noon on Saturday to coincide with Preakness Day at Pimlico in Maryland and at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Tracked by more than 175,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $320 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.