WIDE-OPEN FIELD IN CONTENTIOUS GRADE 1 JUNOS REQUEST STAKES; PJ SPLASH OF JOY LUKEWARM 7-2 FAVORITE
PJ Splash of Joy is the morning-line favorite at 7-2 odds in this year’s edition of the Grade 1, $85,000 Junos Request Stakes at Remington Park, possibly the most contentious in history. The 400-yard race takes place on Saturday, May 30.
The Junos Request has drawn a full-field of fillies and mares, many of them stakes winners and many that have barely missed in stakes-company. A total of 12 distaffers have been drawn, going as the ninth race on a 12-race card that includes nine stakes races worth more than $1.7 million.
PJ Splash of Joy, a 4-year-old mare by First Moonflash, out of the Genuine Strawfly mare Jenuine Joy, is owned by Valeriano Racing Stables of Odessa, Texas. She has earned $133,412 in her career that includes 13 starts and four wins. Her only start here this meet was a win in the $54,200 Easy Date Stakes, facing many of these horses once again. She went off at 13-1 odds on that April 18 night with jockey Ricky Ramirez up for trainer Monty Arrossa.
Splendid Cause is the second morning-line favorite at 9-2 odds and ran second to PJ Splash of Joy in the Easy Date Stakes, beaten a length. This 5-year-old mare by Apollitical Jess, out of the Tres Seis mare Answer the Dream, has raced 34 times, running first, second and third six times in each spot. She has won three times in nine tries at Remington Park. Splendid Cause is owned by Kelly Yother Equine of Culver City, Calif., and is trained by Dee Keener. Raul Valenzuela returns to the saddle for the third time in a row for this mare.
The top money-earner in the race is Curls Happy Wagon, the third choice at 5-1 odds in Jerry Shottenkirk’s morning line. This 5-year-old mare by PYC Paint Your Wagon, out of the Spit Curl Jess mare Eye a Spit Curl Girl, has $242,781 in her wallet and is a multiple stakes winner. She has won the Decketta Stakes at Remington Park in 2019 and then again this year.
Curls Happy Wagon comes from the barn of trainer Stacy Charette-Hill for owners Michael A. Pohl and Martin Stacy of Irving, Texas. She is ridden by that barn’s top rider, Jorge Torres.
Here is the field by post-position and program order, with jockeys, trainers and morning-line odds:
1) Jessie Marie, Agustin Silva, Luis Villafranco, 20-1
2) PJ Splash of Joy, Ricky Ramirez, Monty Arrossa, 7-2
3) Fosse, Benito Baca, R. Allen Hybsha, 15-1
4) Splendid Cause, Raul Valenzuela, Dee Keener, 9-2
5) Jess Let It B, Justine Klaiber, Eddie Willis, 15-1
6) Americas Dynasty, James Flores, Monty Arrossa, 6-1
7) Curls Happy Wagon, Jorge Torres, Stacy Charette-Hill, 5-1
8) Pricey Girl, Andrew Samaniego, Rex Brooks, 8-1
9) Jess B Glory, Jimmy Brooks, Eddie Willis, 15-1
10) Diamond and a Half, Juan Pulido, Jorge Hernandez, 12-1
11) First N Sassy, Jose Alvarez, Marcos Carrizales, 15-1
12) LJ Moonrise, Francisco Calderon, Charlton Hunt, 12-1
The Junos Request Stakes is named for multiple Remington Park seasonal champion Junos Request who won the 1992 Remington Park Championship in a year where she was eventually voted the American Quarter Horse Association’s Champion Aged Mare.
Racing is scheduled to continue on this final week with Friday night’s card at 6 p.m. and then 12 races on tap for the Saturday finale, with a special first post of 5 p.m.
Tracked by more than 163,000 fans on Facebook and more than 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $242 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, Remington Park is in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District.