TRAINER STEVE ASMUSSEN, JOCKEY STEWART ELLIOTT RULE NIGHT WITH FOUR VICTORIES APIECE
It’s not often you see horse racing’s all-time winningest trainer Steve Asmussen checking in as a bridesmaid in any category, so it was somewhat shocking when he didn’t win an 18th title at Remington Park last fall.
Asmussen’s barn teamed up with his number one jockey in Oklahoma City, Stewart Elliott, and have returned to the 2023 meet here with a vengeance. They showed the fire in their eyes Thursday night, the third night of racing this meet, picking up four wins apiece on the card. Seems like Asmussen took some offense to Karl Broberg landing on top of the standings at Remington Park last year here.
The onslaught of trips to the winner’s circle for the Asmussen barn came in the first race of the night when Suitable (3-1 odds) cruised home an easy winner by 2-3/4 lengths in a $10,000 claiming race for non-winners of three races lifetime. Elliott was in the irons for the first of four victories for him with this horse. Suitable covered the six furlongs on the main track in 1:11.34 setting every fraction but the first when he trailed in fourth. The interior fractions were :22.50 for the first quarter-mile, :45.87 for the half and :58.24 for five furlongs. Suitable, a 3-year-old gelded son of Twirling Candy, out of the Curlin mare Evening Wind, is owned by Asmussen and was bred by Pam and Martin Wygod in Kentucky. The winner paid $8.20 to win, $4 to place and $4 to show.
The Asmussen-Elliott combination picked up their second win of the night in the third race when Noble Honor scored in a $7,500 claiming race for non-winners of two races lifetime. These were 3-year-olds and older going 1 mile-70 yards. Noble Honor (7-1) was another winner by daylight, winning by 1-1/2 lengths. Elliott booted home this winner sitting just off the shoulder of the front-runner for half the race and then taking over after three-quarters of a mile. Noble Honor, a 3-year-old colt by Distorted Humor, out of the Pleasant Tap mare Indescribable, is owned by Courtlandt Farms (Donald Adam) of Ocala, Fla., and was bred in Kentucky by his owner. The winning time of the route race was 1:44.36 as the front-runners cut out fractions of :24.45, :49.30, 1:14.54 and 1:40.07 for the mile. The winner won for the second time in four tries. He paid a generous $16.60 to win, $8.80 to place and $4 across the board.
The third time was more than the charm in the fifth race when Ornately got up for the win by three-quarters of a length at one mile on the turf against maiden company. Elliott had this 3-year-old filly by Quality Road, out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Fantastic Style, sitting in fifth relaxed behind a relatively slow pace in the first half mile, but somehow found enough closing kick to get past Hooray for Credit, who had led every step of the race except the last few strides under jockey Sofia Barandela. Ornately (even-money) won for owner Stonestreet Stables (Barbara Banke) of Lexington, Ky. Ornately paid $4 to win, $2.60 to place and $2.40 to show. Running time for the winner was 1:39.52 over the firm greensward and she cut into interior fractions of :24.04 for the first quarter, :49.32 for the half and 1:14.83 for three-quarters. It was the filly’s first win in five tries. She is a Kentucky home-bred for her owner.
The eighth race of the night rounded out a fantastic effort on the part of this trainer-jockey pairing as they picked up their four-bagger in this spot, a win for Stayed in for Half, going 5-1/2 furlongs in an allowance race for non-winners of four. It was the second consecutive win for this 4-year-old gelded son of Maclean’s Music, out of the Yes It’s True mare Yes Liz. This was the most impressive win of the night for the duo as the winner drew off to a 4-1/4 lengths victory. Stayed in for Half (9-5) paid $5.80 to win, $4 to place and $2.60 to show. The winner had not raced in two months but it didn’t seem to matter. Elliott pushed him straight to the front out of the gate and never was headed. He also is owned by Stonestreet Stables along with J. Kirk Robison and Judy Robison and was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings. It was the fourth win in 13 tries for Stayed in for Half. The winning time was 1:03.07 over the fast track and he set all the fractions of :22.16, :45.35 and :56.89.
The four wins for Asmussen move him to five for the season, into first-place for the trainer standings by one over Karl Broberg. The Elliott quartet gives him seven wins on the season, putting his first in the jockey standings with Floyd Wethey, Jr. holding second with four wins.
Racing continues Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25 & 26 at Remington park with the first race nightly at 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.