SEVEN-TIME ECLIPSE AWARD-WINNING TRAINER TODD PLETCHER SENDING CONTENDERS FOR OKLAHOMA DERBY and REMINGTON PARK OAKS
OKLAHOMA CITY – Todd Pletcher, a seven-time Eclipse Award winner as Trainer of the Year, has committed a colt and filly for the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby and the Grade 3, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, on Sunday, Sept. 30.
An itinerary of Tex Sutton’s plane “Air Horse One” shows Pletcher is sending 3-year-old colt Wooderson and 3-year-old filly Alborello from Louisville, Ky., to Oklahoma City for the derby and oaks respectively. They will be on the same plane with one of the expected favorites in the Oklahoma Derby – trainer Tom Amoss’ charge, Lone Sailor.
Pletcher has won the Kentucky Derby with Super Saver and Always Dreaming, and also stood in the Belmont Stakes winner’s circle with the filly Rags to Riches, Palace Malice and Tapwrit.
Wooderson, an Awesome Again colt out of the Roar mare Lotta Kim, is owned by Let’s Go Stable. He is lightly raced with only four starts, but did break his maiden at Saratoga in upstate New York with two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey of the year John Velazquez in the irons. Velazquez won the 2011 Kentucky Derby aboard Animal Kingdom and in 2017 with Always Dreaming.
Wooderson stalked the leader just heads apart in his maiden win, before prevailing by a length at 7-1 odds. He was a near-winner in his first start with allowance-company at Saratoga, finishing second beaten a half-length in a 1-1/8 miles event, the same distance as the Oklahoma Derby, on Sept. 1. Wooderson worked a half mile in :48.2 breezing on Sept. 15 to prep for his trip to Oklahoma City.
Alborello, a Bernardini filly out of the Carson City mare Carson Jen, has never been worse than second in four trips to the track, running at four different venues in her young career. She was beaten a head in a maiden race at Tampa Bay in her career debut in March, then broke her maiden at Keeneland by more than six lengths the next time out in April. Alborello was then shipped to Belmont Park in New York where she again ran second in her first start against winners, beaten less than a length in May. Her next time out on a sloppy surface at Saratoga, she romped wire to wire by almost six lengths on July 26. She has had a series of works at Saratoga in August and September to prep for the Oaks.
MORE HORSES ARRIVING VIA “AIR HORSE ONE”
Trainer Doug O’Neill, a prominent presence on the West Coast for many years and a two-time Kentucky Derby winner with I’ll Have Another and Nyquist, has 3-year-old filly Luminoso headed to Oklahoma City for the Remington Park Oaks. She will be on the same plane with trainer Jeff Mullins’ colt Tatters to Riches and filly Barleysugar. Also on that plane is trainer Peter Eurton’s colt Draft Pick.
Two other trips are scheduled on Tex Sutton’s jet, one with Pletcher’s two horses, Amoss’s Lone Sailor and his filly Lunar Approach. Paul Holthus is sending the filly Peace Front, bound for the $75,000 Ricks Memorial, on that plane as well.
The third plane bound for Oklahoma City has spots for the gelding Pop Keenan from trainer John Servis’ barn and his colt Diamond King also a passenger. A third horse on that flight will be trainer Christophe Clement’s horse Sea Foam. Pop Keenan is coming to Remington Park for the $150,000 David Vance Sprint, while Diamond King and Sea Form are bound for the Oklahoma Derby.
“Air Horse One” will make three trips to Oklahoma City and Will Rogers World Airport on Friday, Sept. 28. An early morning flight from Louisville to Oklahoma City. After flying to Ontario, California, the charter will return to Oklahoma City. Finally, a trip to Baltimore will retrieve the last set coming back to Oklahoma City for the richest racing program of the season at Remington Park.
OWNER END ZONE ATHLETICS INC. WINS FOR 100TH TIME
When End Zone Athletics Inc. won the second race on Wednesday night at Remington Park with Bernardina, it was the 100th time as owners these connections posed for a winner’s circle photo in Oklahoma City. David Cabrera was riding for trainer Karl Broberg. End Zone Athletics Inc., going into Friday night’s card, was second in the Remington Park standings this meet with nine victories to leader Danny Caldwell’s 11.
BOXCAR $1,000-PLUS PAYOUTS BACK ON TRACK AT REMINGTON PARK
You couldn’t watch a race at Remington Park in the first couple of weeks without seeing eye-bulging $1,000-plus payouts for exotic wagers. That scenario continued the first two days of racing this week, Wednesday and Thursday. On those two days there were 10 more wagers that left Remington Park players’ pockets overflowing with money. They were:
· Race 5 – 50-cent Pick 5 – $8,785.50
· Race 8 – $2 exacta – $1,475.40
· Race 8 – 50-cent trifecta – $1,338.65
· Race 8 – 10-cent superfecta – $3,119.49
· Race 9 – $2 daily double – $1,317.20
· Race 9 – 50-cent Pick 4 – $1,215
· Race 9 – $2 exacta – $1,268.80
· Race 9 – 50-cent trifecta – $2,831.90
· Race 9 – 10-cent superfecta – $2,347.64
· Race 9 – 50-cent Pick 4 – $2,953.25
· Race 5 – 50-cent Pick 5 – $1,077.10
This brought the number of times in 17 racing nights that an exotic payout surpassed $1,000 in 47 instances.