TRAINER WILENSKY, JOCKEY GONZALEZ COMBINE FOR SECOND STAKES WIN AT REMINGTON PARK WITH CHI CHI WINS E.L. GAYLORD MEMORIAL
Trainer Herman Wilensky and jockey Edwin Gonzalez meant business when they shipped in to race on Oklahoma Derby Day at Remington Park. When Chi Chi won the $50,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial as a maiden upsetter at 5-1 odds, it was the duo’s second stakes win on this Sunday afternoon.
Wilensky is a 59-year-old conditioner from South Florida who may have found a new home, at least in September. Chi Chi, a 2-year-old filly, even as a maiden, had some pretty strong credentials. She had raced in two $82,000 maiden special weight races at Del Mar near San Diego, Calif., where the turf meets the surf. She had had only two races and nearly won in both spots on the tough West Coast. The juvenile filly daughter of Audible, out of the Candy Ride (ARG) mare Simply Confection, was beaten only 2-1/2 lengths in her first try and two lengths in her subsequent effort. She broke slowly in her career debut and then stumbled in her second start. There was none of that on Sunday.
Gonzalez set her just off the pace behind the two early front-runners in the 6-1/2 furlongs sprint on the main track for juvenile fillies. She moved up to second, coming into the stretch as Hittin My Stride and Katies Spirit began to fade after setting the early fractions of :22.37 for the first quarter-mile and :45.64 for the half-mile. When they folded their tents, it became a battle between Chi Chi and second-favorite Curlin’s Magic (9-5). The three-quarter mile time was 1:11.29 and winning time 1:17.98 over the fast track.
The later it got, the more Chi Chi found, digging deep for the win by 1-1/4 lengths. Curlin’s Magic was the runner-up, another 2-1/4 lengths ahead of third-place finisher Tx Women for Arts, the post-time favorite at 8-5.
Wilensky has trained from South Florida for 23 years. He began conditioning horses with his first stable in 2000. Gonzalez is a multiple-graded stakes winner, taking the Grade 3 West Virginia last year aboard Skippylongstocking, a horse that had been on the Kentucky Derby trail in 2022.
Chi Chi won $30,000 for owner Ernest Frohboese of Charlotte, N.C., making five times what she had previously earned and improved to three starts and one win for a bankroll of $36,560. She paid $13.40 to win, $4.20 to place and $3 to show.
Chi Chi was bred in Florida by France Weiner. The finishing order for the E.L. Gaylord was Hittin My Stride (4-1) in fourth, Magnolia Avenue (22-1) fifth, Katies Spirit (11-1) sixth, Too Much Dreaming (42-1) seventh and Okie Trouble (25-1) eighth.
The E.L. Gaylord Memorial is named in honor of the late chairman and publisher of The Oklahoman, the state’s largest newspaper. E.L. Gaylord was a staunch supporter of Oklahoma horse racing and Remington Park in the track’s early history.
Remington Park racing resumes Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 27-30, with the first post nightly 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 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.