Trainer Eddie Lee “Bubba” Willis has had A Tres of Eagle wound up and ready to spring and consequently he won with him for the second stakes win in a row, capturing the $100,000 Dee Raper Sooner State Stakes on Saturday night.

Visually, it was a most impressive win as A Tres of Eagle blew them all away at 400 yards, drawing off to put daylight between himself and the rest of the field, winning by 1-1/4 lengths in a time of :19.610. He earned a speed index of 96 for the effort in the restricted Grade 1 race for older Oklahoma-breds.

It was the second time this meet Willis has had this 4-year-old gelded son of One Fabulous Eagle, out of the Tres Seis mare A Tres of Paint, feeling his oats as he also won the $68,000 Mr Jet Moore Stakes at Remington Park on April 1. Ruben Castro has been in the saddle both times in his stakes wins. The long, lanky rider said he was only worried a couple of seconds after the race started as A Tres of Eagle was standing a bit flat-footed as the gate opened.

“He recovered quickly after the first three or four steps,” said Castro, “and then he really got rolling. Won another big one. His last 100 yards tonight were stronger than his win in the Mr Jet Moore. The outside horse gave us a good fight for a minute, but my horse has finally matured. He really knows what to do. He doesn’t waste any time.”

It was the first win in this stakes series for all connections. Owner Bella Vista Farms of Arcola, Ill., and his horse earned $58,200 for the victory and A Tres of Eagle’s new running lines are 13 starts, three wins, six seconds and one third for a bounty of $154,702 lifetime. He was bred in Oklahoma by The Mixer Ranch. A Tres of Eagle was purchased for $40,000 at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale in New Mexico two years ago.

The two stakes victories are the first black-type wins of A Tres of Eagle’s career. The crowd sent him off as the prohibitive even-money favorite and he returned $4.20 to win, $2.60 to place and $2.20 to show.
Apollitical Payoff (4-1) finished second, a half-length in front of Nobby Walsh (25-1) in third.

All the horses wore red saddle cloths in deference to Dee Raper, the late gentleman who was instrumental in the passage of pari-mutel racing laws in Oklahoma in the early 1980s. He was president of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association from 1993-2001. The University of Oklahoma Sooners supporter passed away in 2020.

Tracked by more than 174,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $317 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.