NATIONAL HALL OF FAME TRAINER STEVE ASMUSSEN HAS FOUR OKLAHOMA DERBY POSSIBILITIES ON REMINGTON GROUNDS, MAY SEND A FIFTH
OKLAHOMA CITY – National Racing Hall of Famer and 13-time title-winning trainer at Remington Park, Steve Asmussen, has four colts on the grounds here that may go in the Grade 3 $400,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sunday, Sept. 30. If that is not enough, he may make it five when entries are taken.
Combatant, Limation, Lionite and Retirement Fund are all stabled in barn A-6 in the Remington Park stable area. Title Ready could be on his way.
Combatant ran second in the $400,000 Springboard Mile last year at Remington Park as a 2-year-old before hitting the Kentucky Derby trail in Arkansas. He finished second in the Grade 3, $500,000 Southwest Stakes and $150,000 Smarty Jones before running third and fourth, respectively, in the Grade 2, $900,000 Rebel and Grade 1 $1 million Arkansas Derby, all at Oaklawn Park.
Asmussen is a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award for top trainer of the year nationally (2008, 2009) and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016. His horses have won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Dubai World Cup, Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
Limation is here off a nearly six-lengths victory in the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. Lionite just ran fourth in the Super Derby, but did beat Limation in a maiden race at Oaklawn this spring. Both colts have had official works at Remington – Limation (Sept. 18, 5 furlongs, 1:00.22, handily) and Lionite (Sept. 17, 5 furlongs, 1:01.15, handily).
Retirement Fund won the first two starts of his career at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, but hasn’t had much luck against stakes-company. Still, he has had two bullet workouts over the Remington Park track, one Saturday, Sept. 22, traveling five panels in 1:00.61 breezing in the fastest of five who tried the distance over a track rated good. He also put up the bullet on Aug. 28, covering five furlongs in :59.4, handily, the fastest of 12 that day. If Title Ready comes, he has run third in the Grade 3 $500,000 Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand and fourth in the Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown.
OK DERBY POSSIBILITY, TRAINER TOM AMOSS’ LONE SAILOR WORKS AT CHURCHILL DOWNS THIS MORNING
Lone Sailor, out of trainer Tom Amoss’ barn and a likely starter for the Oklahoma Derby, had a strong half-mile move in an official workout this morning at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. He covered the four furlongs in :48.40 seconds. His time was the fifth fastest of the day at that distance. Lone Sailor was a near winner in the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby this spring at Fair Grounds, losing by only a neck to Noble Indy.
Lone Sailor raced in the Grade 1, $2 million Kentucky Derby (8th) and was beaten only two lengths in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Preakness to Triple Crown winner Justify. Since the Triple Crown races, Lone Sailor has finished second in the Ohio Derby and Super Derby.
NOT EXPECTED FOR OKLAHOMA DERBY
Two horses that originally were thought to be headed to the Oklahoma Derby are now not expected to make the trip – trainer Peter Eurton’s Draft Pick and trainer Jeff Mullins’ Tatters to Riches, both West Coast-based horses.
RACING SCHEDULE NEXT WEEK AT REMINGTON PARK WILL INCLUDE SPECIAL SUNDAY CARD FOR OKLAHOMA DERBY DAY; POST TIME 3 P.M.
Remington Park, which normally races Wednesday-Saturday during the thoroughbred meet, adds an extra day next week – Sunday – with the special Oklahoma Derby Day scheduled for a 3 p.m. first post. Oklahoma Derby Day includes the top 3-year-old race of the meet, a Grade 3 event with a $400,000 purse; the Grade 3, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks for 3-year-old fillies; the $175,000 Governor’s Cup Handicap; $150,000 David Vance Stakes; $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes; $75,000 Ricks Memorial Stakes; $70,000 Bob Barry Memorial; $70,000 Red Earth Stakes; $50,000 Flashy Lady Stakes, and $50,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial Stakes. The card that day will feature 12 races with total purses of more than $1.3 million.