Welder won every award under the sun for horse racing in Oklahoma last year. He had more hardware than a carpenter’s toolbox at the start of a construction project.

Now Oklahoma’s Horse of the Year from 2018, and Remington Park’s Horse of the Meeting last year, will return to defend his title in this year’s $150,000 David M. Vance Stakes at Remington Park. The Vance is a major stakes race on the Oklahoma Derby Day undercard this Sunday. Welder has been made the 3-5 morning line favorite in the six-furlongs race, open to 3-year-olds-and-up.

Welder, owned by Clayton Rash (Ra-Max Farms, LLC) of Claremore, Okla., and trained by Teri Luneack, has been a monster the past couple of years at Remington Park. The 6-year-old gelded son of The Visualiser, out of the Tiznow mare Dance Softly, won four stakes in a row last year at Remington Park, the first horse in the track’s history to manage that feat.

Now, Welder has a six-race winning streak in Oklahoma City, winning 18-of-28 races lifetime for career earnings of $751,998. Last fall he won the Remington Park Turf Sprint that was taken off the grass and run over a sloppy main track, followed by the Vance, the Oklahoma Classics Sprint and the Silver Goblin. He took on shippers from around the country and turned back their charges. This year, he scared them away.

A field of six for the Vance Stakes, mostly locals, makes this Welder’s race to lose. D’Rapper, drew the rail post position, did beat Welder in Iowa this year in the Skinner Stakes, but Welder gained vengeance when both horses returned to Oklahoma City. Welder won an open allowance against him and D’Rapper finished nine lengths back. This will be the rubber match between the two. D’Rapper, owned by Remington’s all-time winningest owner Danny Caldwell, is the 6-1 third choice on the morning line.

There are a couple of horses that could make it interesting for the Remington Park Champion. King of the Court is the second favorite in the line at 5-1. He just ran second in the Aug. 31 allowance race to Welder, beaten three lengths when Welder handled six furlongs in 1:08.74 over a fast track. The other intriguing entry is Trumpence, a 5-year-old gelded son of Eskendereya, out of the Sky Mesa mare Enchanted Mesa. He is three-for-three lifetime but has never raced in stakes-company. Trumpence comes from the Kenny Nolen barn and is 10-1 on the morning line despite winning three in a row by open daylight.

Trumpence broke his maiden by five lengths at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore on May 20, and then shipped to Minnesota. While at Canterbury Park, he won with allowance non-winners of two career races by 3-1/2 lengths and stepped up again to win an allowance for non-winners of three career races by six lengths.

Here’s your field for the Vance Stakes, by post-position and program number order, trainer, jockey and morning-line odds:
1) D’ Rapper – Federico Villafranco, Ramon Vazquez, 6-1
2) Trumpence – Kenny Nolen, Richard Eramia, 10-1
3) King of the Court – J.R. Caldwell, Stewart Elliott, 5-1
4) Welder – Teri Luneack, David Cabrera, 3-5 (morning-line favorite)
5) Fast Breakin Cash – C.R. Trout, Jon Court, 20-1
6) Tiz Alluptome Now – Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana, Jr., 12-1

The Vance Stakes, the richest sprint race conducted at Remington Park, is set for race six on Sunday afternoon with a post time of 5:21pm. The first race on Oklahoma Derby Sunday is at 3pm. All times are 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.