Oklahoma’s two-time Horse of the Year, Welder, won the $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Sprint for the third year in a row Friday night at Remington Park. The lightning fast gray gelding could well be headed toward Horse of the Year status again.

The 7-year-old son of The Visualiser, out of the Tiznow mare Dance Softly, won his 10th stakes race in a row at Remington Park, extending his record in that category. He toyed with this field of six for the first half-mile of the six-furlongs, and when jockey David Cabrera pushed the button?

“He grabbed the bit and said, ‘See ya!’” said Cabrera. “He is usually very aggressive, but tonight, whew. He really wanted to win this.”

Trainer Teri Luneack agreed with her rider.

“It’s been everything we could do to control him (at the farm),” she said. “I feel so bad for Courtney (Scanling, Luneack’s assistant). She has to hand walk him every day and sometimes he gets a little country. He ran a great race. I’m so proud of him. This was a tremendous team effort from top to bottom at the barn.”

Owner Clayton Rash (Ra-Max Farms), of Claremore, Okla., was wearing his lucky OU Sooners red sweatshirt. He said it really helps to have a horse like this that doesn’t have a down year, especially when your football team has started at two wins, two losses.

“It really does help,” Rash said with a belly laugh. He goes to the barn three or four times a week just to scratch Welder’s nose. “He even knows my cologne now. I’m a man of loyalty and I will continue to wear my Sooners stuff.”

This millionaire gelding, bred at Center Hills Farm’s division at Mighty Acres Ranch in Pryor, Okla., isn’t getting older; he’s getting better. Welder took another step toward the all-time winningest record at Remington Park. This was his 13th win in 17 tries in Oklahoma City. He is now two wins away from tying Highland Ice and Elegant Exxactsy, who won 15 races each in their Remington Park careers.

Luneack had a good feeling about Welder all week with him jumping out of his skin.

“He can be really crabby when the girls go in (the barn) until they break out the peppermints,” she said. “Courtney is in charge of the crazy with him so I don’t have to. I thought that close win on the grass might have taken something out of him, but it didn’t.”

Welder won the Remington Park Turf Sprint in his last start on Sept. 25, grinding out a neck-long victory in what has been determined to be his one and only turf start.

In the Classics Sprint, Welder sat just off the pace set by 3-year-old gelding Mesa Moon and then took over in the stretch, cruising to a four-length win as the heavy betting favorite at 2-5 odds. He covered the six furlongs in 1:09.78 seconds and paid $2.80 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. Mesa Moon (2-1 odds) held on for second, 2-1/4 lengths in front of No Lak of Speed. The interior fractions were :22.13 seconds for the first quarter-mile, :44.96 for the half-mile, and :57.18 for five-eighths of a mile.

Welder is expected to make his next trip to Remington Park for the Silver Goblin Stakes on Friday, Nov. 13. After that, if Welder doesn’t have another race in Oklahoma City, Oaklawn Park is a strong possibility in Hot Springs, Ark., for his 8-year-old year debut.

“Like I am with my Sooners and Welder, I’m very loyal to Oaklawn,” said Rash. “I’ve been going there for the races since I was 18 years old.” That’s over about a five-decade period now. There are two more loyalties Rash has no problem divulging.
“David and Teri are both phenomenal with Welder,” Rash said. “I can’t tell you how much they mean to me.”

Welder earned $78,000 for the win and now has raced 36 times, won 24 and finished second five times and third four times. His lifetime bankroll is $1,137,018.

Remington Park racing continues Saturday night with a nine-race program starting at 7:07pm-Central.

Tracked by more than 164,000 fans on Facebook and 10,500 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $250 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 open daily for casino gaming and simulcast horse racing. The 2020 Thoroughbred Season features the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, simulcast from Keeneland, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 & 7. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.