WARRANT, 2021 OKLAHOMA DERBY WINNER, RETURNS TO REMINGTON PARK FOR TRAINER BRAD COX IN OPENING NIGHT STAKES – GOVERNOR’S CUP
Millionaire and graded stakes winner Warrant makes his first trip back to Remington Park as the 8-5 morning line favorite for the opening night stakes – the $100,000 Governor’s Cup on Aug. 18.
Warrant gave Cox, the nation’s top trainer by earnings this year, his third Oklahoma Derby win in a row, tying him for the most victories in this race with Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame conditioner Donnie K. Von Hemel. Cox is the only trainer to win three consecutive Oklahoma Derbies. The Governor’s Cup is the same distance – 1-1/8 miles on dirt – as the Oklahoma Derby. So, the favorite loves the track and the distance.
Warrant, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Constitution, out of the First Samurai mare Whisper Number, beat some pretty salty competition in his Oklahoma Derby win, taking down Arkansas Derby winner Super Stock; Flash of Mischief, who went on to race in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and West Virginia Derby winner Mr. Wireless. Warrant has raced 18 times, winning five, finishing second five times and third four more times for a lifetime bankroll of $1,082,833. His most recent stakes win came in the $175,000 Isaac Murphy Marathon at Churchill Downs at 1-1/2 miles in Louisville, Ky. on May 3 this year. He has since run fourth and fifth in graded stakes races at Belmont in Elmont, N.Y., and Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa.
Warrant will be ridden in the Governor’s Cup by jockey Luis Fuentes, who is bringing his tack to Remington Park for the first time. Fuentes has had 351 mounts this year, winning 73, running second 70 times and third another 49 for horses’ earnings of $2,232,829. His lifetime stats are 2,601-436-412-418, $10,440,048. He moves over from Louisiana Downs where he recently won the Louisiana Cup Juvenile Stakes on Aug. 5 with Strong Promise. Fuentes’ top horse in his career is 4-year-old filly named Bella Dona, a New Mexico-bred who has won 12-of-14 starts lifetime with earnings of $753,068.
Warrant is owned by Twin Creeks Racing Stables (Randall Gullatt) of Versailles, Ky.
Remington Park linemaker Jerry Shottenkirk has established Holden the Lute as the second favorite at 7-2 odds. This 6-year-old gelding by Midnight Lute, out of the Proud Citizen mare Casino Gold, has run first or second in 17-of-33 starts and has earned $353,175 for owner Charles Garvey of Nisku, Alberta, Canada. This Kentucky-bred gelding is coming off a seven-length win in allowance-optional claiming $35,000 company at Canterbury in Minnesota. His last stakes try was the Grade 3, $400,000 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, which proved to be a disappointment. Holden the Lute ran 10th in a field of 10, beaten 44-3/4 lengths. He has yet to win a stakes race and will be ridden by Isaac Castillo.
The third choice in the morning line is Presidential at 4-1 odds. The colt is conditioned by Steve Asmussen, the 17-time training title holder here and the all-time winningest trainer in the sport. His only entrant in the Governor’s Cup is a 4-year-old by Pioneerof the Nile, out of the Twirling Candy mare Uptown Twirl, is also looking for his first stakes win. The Kentucky-bred colt is owned by Courtlandt Farms (Donald Adam) of Ocala, Fla., and has a record of 12-3-4-0, $294,689. He gets in off a win in an allowance-optional claiming $50,000 race at Ellis Park in Kentucky, and will be ridden by Stewart Elliott.
Rounding out the top four entrants in odds is local hero, Number One Dude at 9-2. He is the only Oklahoma-bred in a field that includes six others, all Kentucky-breds. This 5-year-old gelding by American Lion, out of the Macho Uno mare Ebony Uno, this week was rewarded as the 2022 Oklahoma Breeders’ Champion Thoroughbred Male Turf Runner, presented by the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma. Owner Terry Westemeir of Broken Arrow, Okla., sends out his multiple stakes winner off an 8-1/4 length win on the dirt in the $55,000 Classics Cup at Will Rogers Downs on May 9 with regular rider Leandro Goncalves aboard who has the call again. Number One Dude’s most recent stakes win came in the $70,000 Red Earth Derby at 7-1/2 furlongs on the turf at Remington Park on Sept. 23, 2022. Number One Dude moves from the barn of trainer Kari Craddock to Scott Young’s for this meet. His record is 21-9-6-0, $449,100.
Here’s a look at the seven-horse field for the Governor’s Cup with post, horse, odds, trainer, jockey:
Kokokomo, 6-1, Danny Pish, Jansen Melancon
Presidential, 4-1, Steve Asmussen, Stewart Elliott
Warrant, 8-5, Brad Cox, Luis Fuentes
Holden the Lute, 7-2, Robertino Diodoro, Isaac Castillo
Number One Dude, 9-2, Scott Young, Leandro Goncalves
Sonneman, 10-1, Karl Broberg, Harry Hernandez
Paluxy, 20-1, Scott Young, Floyd Wethey, Jr.
The Governor’s Cup is the eight of nine race on Opening Night at Remington Park with a schedule post time of 10:23pm. The first race of the evening is at 7:07pm. All times are Central.
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.