CD STAKES WINNER, CAIRO CAT, ADDED TO LIKELY OKLAHOMA DERBY LIST THAT INCLUDES LONG RANGE TODDY, TAX, MUCHO GUSTO, OWENDALE
Cairo Cat, a Churchill Downs stakes winner, has been added to the list of horses likely to compete in the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby against Long Range Toddy, Tax, Mucho Gusto and Owendale.
All four of the latter horses have been winners among the top sophomores racing in 2019.
– Long Range Toddy won the $400,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park as a juvenile and a division of the Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., this spring.
– Tax won the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga in upstate New York on July 27.
– Mucho Gusto won both the Grade 3, $100,000 Laz Barrera Stakes and the Grade 3, $100,000 Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita in California this spring and then pushed the best horses in the country in the 3-year-old division this summer. Trained by National Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Mucho Gusto held his own after the weather heated up, running second to Maximum Security in the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell at Monmouth and third in the Grade 1, $1,250,000 Travers Stakes at Saratoga to Code of Honor, who some believe is the top sophomore runner in the country.
– Owendale won the Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown after losing by only 1-1/4 lengths in the Preakness to War of Will.
Now, Cairo Cat comes from the barn of trainer Kenneth McPeek to land in the Oklahoma Derby mix. This son of Cairo Prince, out of the Tale of the Cat mare La Belle Cat, has won two of five starts, including the Grade 3, $150,000 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs, going 1-1/16th miles on Sept. 15 as a 2-year-old in 2018. He has run third and fourth in his two 3-year-old races this year.
The Oklahoma Derby is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 29 at Remington Park.
Nominations closed with 41 named as possibilities for the race. Here’s a look at some of the other horses likely to go to the gate for the Derby at 1-1/8th miles:
· CHESS CHIEF
A second-place run in the Grade 3, $500,000 West Virginia Derby in early August earned Chess Chief an opportunity in the mid-Summer Derby at Saratoga. Trained by Dallas Stewart, Chess Chief is still searching for his first victory in a graded event.
· EXTRA HOPE
Richard Mandella is hoping this son of Shanghai Bobby can get some revenge against Long Range Toddy, who beat him in the Rebel Stakes in March. This colt has not run since that race that saw him finish fourth, 3-1/2 lengths behind Toddy. He has yet to win his first stakes race.
· CARLOS L
This one is 75-25 about coming to the Oklahoma Derby, according to Remington Park stakes coordinator Don Thompson. If he does come to Oklahoma City, he will add a little international flavor to the race. Trainer Jorge Navarro has been running this son of Hold Me Back in Panama his first two years and the horse would get in off a 13-3/4 lengths win in the Grade 1, Cl Pres de la Republica Stakes.
GRADE 3 REMINGTON PARK OAKS LIKELY STARTERS INCLUDES STAKES WINNERS
The early list of likely 3-year-old fillies to race in the Grade 3, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks on Oklahoma Derby Day include stakes winners Classic Fit, Flor De La Mar, Lady Apple and Taylor’s Spirit, according to Thompson.
· CLASSIC FIT
This filly won the $75,000 Hut Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., as a 2-year-old and then was laid off from December 2018 to June of this summer. Godolphin must not have thought the layoff was going to take anything out of her because they ambitiously placed her in her first race back in the Grade 2, $250,000 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park in New York. She led most of the way in the 1-1/16 miles race before finishing second. She is versatile showing that front-running style after coming from dead last to win the Florida stakes. She has won three of six starts lifetime for trainer Michael Stidham.
· FLOR DE LA MAR
Baffert has committed Mucho Gusto to the Derby and will likely load this filly on the Tex Sutton Equine Air Charter to try the Oaks. Flor de La Mar, a daughter of Tiznow, out of the Pulpit mare Sacristy, is another Godolphin stakes winner. She is coming off a victory in the $75,000 B.J. Lewis Stakes at Laurel Racecourse in Maryland with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith up.
· LADY APPLE
Steve Asmussen trains this one for Phoenix Thoroughbred III and Katie Rich Stables. A daughter of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, out of the Clever Trick mare Miss Mary Apples, is a multiple stakes winner this year, taking the Grade 3, $200,000 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows on July 5, and the Grade 3, $500,000 Fantasy Stakes on April 12 at Oaklawn.
The second-place finisher in the Iowa Oaks, behind Lady Apple by only a half-length, Ulele also is expected for the Remington Oaks. She is trained by Brad Cox and owned by Cheyenne Stables, LLC.
· TAYLOR’S SPIRIT
This filly won the $65,000 Panthers Stakes at Prairie Meadows on June 6 for trainer Scott Gelner and owners Mark Norman and Norman Stables, LLC.
Oklahoma Derby Day will feature eight stakes events and purses surpassing $1.1 million on Sunday, Sept. 29. The first race of the afternoon is at 3pm-Central.
Tracked by more than 158,000 fans on Facebook and more than 10,000 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $228 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 the home of the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby and the Grade 3, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, to be contested on Sept. 29. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.