Tyger King was facing a former favorite in the $1.3 million Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park, the runner-up in the $177,000 Firecracker Derby in Louisiana and a horse that ran fourth in the $221,000 Black Gold Derby at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla.

None of that mattered in the end as Tyger King beat them all to the finish line by three-quarters of a length in the allowance 300-yard feature race Thursday night at Remington Park. This event was for horses that had never won three races in their careers.

It wasn’t like Tyger King was without credentials of his own. The 3-year-old colt by Apollitical Jess, out of the PYC Paint Your Wagon mare Cruzin the Wagon, had won the first two races of his career at Remington Park, including an impressive run in the Remington Park Futurity trials last April 1, about a year ago. His time wasn’t quite fast enough to qualify for the finals of the Remington Park Futurity, but he did race in the consolation $100,000 Remington Park Juvenile Stakes on April 16. He was the 2-1 favorite in that stakes and he lost a three-horse photo for second behind the winner Hooked N Gone.

In his final two races of the year last year, Tyger King ran second in his Texas Classic Futurity trials at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas and then never got his legs under him for the finals, running sixth in the $64,000 Texas Classic Juvenile. Trainer Cody Noel then gave him some time off and tried a completely new jockey for his Remington Park debut this season. Raul Valenzuela got aboard for the first time and it seemed like he was home. He comfortably beat this tough field that included LS Jacks Back, the 5-2 favorite, who was the favorite in the Heritage Place Futurity in 2021; Swags, who ran second in the Firecracker Derby last year at Delta Downs, and Hard Rock Candy, who ran fourth in the Black Gold Derby at Will Rogers Downs last year.

Under Valenzuela, Tyger King broke third from the gate, but was quickly in front in the next few strides. He stopped the timer in :15.651 for the 300 yards over a fast track, earning an 84 speed index. He was three-quarters of a length in front of Swags(5-2 odds) who was another head in front of third-place finisher Apollitical War (7-1), who was a neck ahead of LS Jacks Back in fourth.

Tyger King was sent off at the popular 5-2 odds and paid $7.40 to win, $3.80 to place and $2.40 to show. He earned $17,067 from the $30,625 purse value of the race for owner Reliance Ranches and the winner improved his record to 10 starts, three wins and three seconds for a bankroll of $73,161.

The 2023 Remington Park American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season continues with Friday-Sunday racing, March 31-April 2. First post time nightly is 6 p.m. with the exception of 4 p.m. on Sundays.
Tracked by more than 172,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $316 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.