TRAINER STEVE ASMUSSEN BREAKS HIS OWN SEASONAL MONEY EARNINGS RECORD
National Racing Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen broke his own record for money earned for horses in a single Remington Park season on Saturday night when his two runners in the third race finished first and third.
That gave him $2,238,781 for purse money earned by his horses for the current meet, passing last year’s mark of $2,232,645. Blessings First, a 2-year-old filly by Pioneerof the Nile, out of the Deputy Minister mare Business Plan, put Asmussen over the top when she won the third, a 1-mile maiden race by 1-3/4 lengths in her career debut. Jockey Ramon Vazquez was in the saddle for Asmussen and owner WinStar Stablemates Racing LLC of Versailles, Ky. She won $19,749 for the victory and stablemate Giant Blossom, another firster for Asmussen, earned $3,621 by running third in the race.
Blessings First was bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, LLC. She had a series of strong workouts coming into her debut, getting the bullet for five furlongs at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, covering the distance in 1:01.40 seconds, breezing from the gate on Nov. 10. She covered the mile tonight in 1:42.10, stalking the pacesetter Ciao Ciao, looking over her shoulder the whole way and pouncing at the top of the stretch. The early fractions for the race were :24.10 for the quarter-mile, :49.25 for the half-mile, 1:15.31 for three quarters of a mile, and 1:28.37 for 7 furlongs.
Blessings First paid $3.40 to win, $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show.
The 13-time champion trainer at Remington Park, Asmussen from Arlington, Texas, finished with $2,238,866 at the end of the night. He is well on his way to an unprecedented 14th title here, with 84 trips to the winner’s circle this meet compared to second-place Karl Broberg at 50 victories.
WINNING TRAINER OF 2011 BELMONT STAKES TO SHIP EPIC DREAMER TO $400,000 SPRINGBOARD MILE
Kelly Breen, who trained 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler on Ice, has scheduled an airplane ride to Remington Park for 2-year-old colt Epic Dreamer, who is set to race in the cornerstone fall race at this Oklahoma City track, the $400,000 Springboard Mile on Dec. 16.
The Springboard is a mile race in which the top horses earn points to the 2019 Kentucky Derby. The first place finisher in the Springboard Mile earns 10 points toward the Run for the Roses, followed by four points for the runner-up, two points for third and one point for fourth. The Springboard is the final race of this calendar year with qualifying points for the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
In the Belmont Stake, Ruler on Ice beat Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, the derby runner-up Nehro, Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford and 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man. Breen also trained Pants on Fire, a horse that finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in 2014. He is hoping to catch lightning in the bottle once again with Epic Dreamer, a 2-year-old colt by 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb, was bred in Kentucky by J.D. Stuart. He is out of the Dixieland Band mare Dixie Crisp, and has shown signs of brilliance early on.
Epic Dreamer has raced twice in his life, finishing second in a six-furlong sprint among maidens at Belmont Park when running into some traffic troubles, and then winning the next time out when stretching out to 1-1/16th miles in a maiden race Oct. 26 at Belmont.
Jockey Javier Castellano had this horse well in hand for the victory in wire-to-wire fashion. He set fractions of :23.68 seconds for the quarter-mile, :46.75 for the half-mile, and had the mile in 1:36.42 before stopping the timer in 1:43.18, making every pole a winning one. He was sent off as the favorite at 2-5 odds and Castellano wrapped up on him down the stretch as he easily cruised to the 2-1/2 length victory. He never asked Epic Dreamer for more run.
Breen will be putting Epic Dreamer on Air Horse One from Tex Sutton’s Equine Forwarding Charter on Tuesday, Dec. 4. The colt is expected to arrive in Oklahoma City from Gulfstream Park in south Florida around 11 a.m. He will be checked into trainer Danny Pish’s barn here at Remington Park. Epic Dreamer has earned $56,250 in those two starts and a change of rider to Castellano happened before his only win. He is owned by Epic Racing.
Breen’s horses have earned more than $32 million in more than 4,000 career starts. Through Friday’s races, according to Equibase statistics, Breen had started horses 4,099 times with 699 wins, 614 seconds and 523 thirds for $32,060,716.
In the Sooner 6ix at Remington on Saturday night, one unique ticket had six of six correctly selected and paid $10,102 to one lucky bettor who took down the entire pool. The winning horses in the sequence were Anwara (6-5 odds) in the fourth race, Orphan Kiss (7-1) in the fifth, Tonedaddy (3-1) in the sixth, Cowboy Don (9-2) in the seventh, Westfest (6-1) in the eighth and Super Syd (5-2) in the ninth. Super Syd was placed first after a disqualification of Police Chief (5-1) who actually crossed the finish first but was taken down for interference in the stretch run.
The Sooner 6ix has now been hit six times since the wager started on Oct. 5. The winning ticket on Saturday night was played at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pa.
Tracked by more than 147,000 fans on Facebook and more than 9,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $207 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Remington Park is home to the $400,000 Springboard Mile for 2-year-olds on Sunday, Dec. 16. Remington Park is located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, Remington Park is in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.