GOVERNOR’S CUP ON OKLAHOMA DERBY UNDERCARD LIKELY FEATURES MILLIONAIRE HORSE SHOTGUN KOWBOY
GOVERNOR’S CUP ON OKLAHOMA DERBY UNDERCARD LIKELY FEATURES MILLIONAIRE HORSE SHOTGUN KOWBOY, 2017 KENTUCKY DERBY HORSE
OKLAHOMA CITY – This year’s $175,000 Governor’s Cup on the Oklahoma Derby Day undercard Sunday, Sept. 30, will likely feature a rematch of a millionaire horse – Shotgun Kowboy – and a horse that competed in the 2017 Kentucky Derby and Preakness – Hence.
Shotgun Kowboy has earned more than $1 million in his career for owner-trainer C.R. Trout of Edmond, Okla., and this summer pulled off a huge upset in the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, defeating Grade 1 winner Mubtaahij, out of National Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s barn. Mubtaahij was the winner of the Grade 2, $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai in 2015 by eight lengths. He then competed in the Grade 1, $2 million Kentucky Derby and finished fourth to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes. Shotgun Kowboy went wire-to-wire in the Lone Star Handicap under jockey Luis Quinonez and was able to hold off Mubtaahij in the process by a length and a half.
Now it appears Shotgun Kowboy will run into another Triple Crown contender in Hence, owned by Calumet Farm and handled by another National Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. Shotgun Kowboy, a 6-year-old gelded son of Kodiak Kowboy, out of the Siphon mare Shotgun Jane, is the second of two millionaires owned and trained by Trout.
“My first millionaire was Maysville Slew,” Trout said. “He made part of that here and now (Shotgun Kowboy) is in the same stall and he’s made a million dollars. So we’re excited about that.”
To be exact, Shotgun Kowboy has earned $1,246,326 in his career with 12 wins from 29 starts. He has finished second or third on nine other occasions. He has won 7-of-11 at Remington Park for $710,402. He started the year at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., winning a couple of allowance races but then ran into some trouble.
“He had an abscess in his right foot,” Trout said. “And it popped and we just give him time to get over it (before sending him to Lone Star).”
He showed he was right at the Grand Prairie, Texas track by pulling off the upset.
Hence raced in the 2017 Kentucky Derby and Preakness after winning the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby by almost four lengths. Following the Triple Crown race efforts, he won the Grade 3, $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith up. The Governor’s Cup would actually be a rematch with Shotgun Kowboy. In Hence’s 2018 debut race at Oaklawn, he ran fourth, beaten six lengths by Trout’s superstar. A 4-year-old colt by Street Boss, out of the A.P. Indy mare Floating Island, Hence showed his best stuff this year, winning the $200,000 Downs at Albuquerque Handicap by a little more than six lengths.
Other horses likely to invade for the Governor’s Cup include Remembering Rita, Term of Art and possibly Leofric. There are a handful of locally-based horses also expected to take a shot.
Remembering Rita, owned by Jeral Keith Adams and trained by Doug Anderson, has actually beaten Hence this year in the Grade 3, $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows in Iowa. He is a 4-year-old colt by Spring at Last, out of the Unbridled Song’s mare Deep South. Remembering Rita’s record is 12 starts, three wins, one second and four thirds for a bankroll of $262,446.
Brad Cox, who is the No. 6 trainer in the country currently with horses that have earned more than $10 million in 2018, conditions both Leofric and Term of Art. Leofric has earned more than half a million in his career winning 6-of-12, including the Grade 3, $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s Stakes on Aug. 4. He is a 5-year-old son of Candy Ride, who was six-for-six in his racing career in Argentina and the U.S. before being retired.
Term of Art ran second, beaten only a neck by his stablemate in the West Virginia Governor’s Stakes and is a 4-year-old son of two-time Horse of the Year, Tiznow.
The Governor’s Cup is one of 10 stakes races on the Oklahoma Derby Day program on Sept. 30, which starts at 3pm-Central. The Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby is the headline event on the card. The Grade 3, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks is also in the bill, marking the first time in Remington Park, and Oklahoma, Thoroughbred racing history that more than one graded stakes race has been contested on the same program.