TRAINER KEN McPEEK EXPECTED TO SEND PREAKNESS THIRD-PLACE FINISHER, CREATIVE MINISTER, TO OKLAHOMA DERBY
Creative Minister, the third-place finisher in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Preakness Stakes, is expected to come to Remington Park for the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sunday, Sept. 25.
Trainer Ken McPeek conditions this 3-year-old son of Creative Cause, out of the Tapit mare Tamboz, for owners Fern Circle Stables, Back Racing and Magdalena Racing. Creative Minister was beaten by Early Voting in the Preakness by 3-1/2 lengths. He was only 2-1/4 lengths behind Epicenter, the Preakness runner-up, who has since stamped himself as the top 3-year-old in the country with wins in the Jim Dandy and Travers Stakes this summer.
The Oklahoma Derby, a race for 3-year-olds going a mile and an eighth on the dirt, is set for the only Sunday of racing this meet. A total of eight stakes races are scheduled for the richest afternoon of the season – the cornerstone Oklahoma Derby, the Grade 3, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, the $150,000 David Vance Stakes for sprinters, the Flashy Lady Stakes, the Ricks Memorial Stakes, the Remington Green Stakes on the turf, the Kip Deville Stakes for 2-year-olds, and the E.L. Gaylord Memorial Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.
Creative Minister has yet to win a stakes race in his seven tries, but has been competitive with the best sophomore runners in the country. An indication of that is the $426,045 in his bankroll even though he is still eligible for non-winners of three races lifetime.
Another horse from the McPeek barn that is a possibility for the Oklahoma Derby is Rattle N Roll. This 3-year-old colt by Connect, out of the Johannesburg mare Jazz Tune, is coming off a win in the $250,000 St. Louis Derby at the old Fairmount Park Race Track, now FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing. He won that race by 4-1/2 lengths. Earlier in the year, Rattle N Roll ran third to Cyberknife in the Grade 3, $225,000 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs. Cyberknife, the Arkansas Derby winner, went on to be victorious in the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Stakes and was runner-up in the Travers.
The country’s No. 4 trainer in horses’ earnings this year, Brad Cox, and winner of the Oklahoma Derby the past three years in a row, is expected to ship Home Brew in for this year’s edition. This son of Kentucky Derby-winner Street Sense, out of the Tapit mare Omnitap, has won four-of-seven starts in his career with his top wins coming in the $150,000 Oaklawn Stakes in Hot Springs, Ark., and $153,000 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. He won the Oaklawn Stakes by 1-3/4 lengths on April 23 and scored by 6-1/4 lengths in the Pegasus on June 18. Cox trains this colt for owners Gary and Mary West.
Cox has won the last three Oklahoma Derbies with Owendale in 2019, Shared Sense in 2020 and Warrant last year.
Some of the other Derby prospects expected for the biggest race for 3-year-olds at Remington Park this year are:
• A. P.’s Secret – A colt by Cupid, from the Uncle Mo mare Afleet Honey, is trained by Saffie Joseph, Jr., the ninth leading trainer in the country. Joseph won the $400,000 Springboard Mile here last year with Make it Big. A.P.’s Secret ran fourth in the $750,000 Wood Memorial to Belmont Stakes winner Mo Donegal this spring while on the Triple Crown trail. He is owned by Anthony Gentry.
• Great Escape – A colt by Midnight Storm, out of the Indian Charlie mare Chickasaw Gal, is coming off a win in the Grade 3, $200,000 Canadian Derby for trainer Robertino Diodoro. The win came over the Century Mile track in Edmonton, Alberta. That was his first stakes triumph.
• Red Knobs – Another colt that Diodoro could send to the Oklahoma Derby. This son of Union Rags, from the Lonhro (AUS) mare Hokey Okey, like his stablemate Great Escape, has had some success in Canada. He won the $101,000 Manitoba Derby at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, beating Great Escape. He then came back and ran second to him in the Canadian Derby the next out. The Manitoba Derby was at 1-1/8th miles, like the Oklahoma Derby, and the Canadian Derby was run at 1-1/4 miles.
• Maximum Impact – A colt by New Year’s Day, out of the Pulpit mare Slow Gin, won an allowance race at Laurel Park in Maryland on Aug. 7 and is looking for his first stakes win for trainer Norman Cash and owner Built Wright Stables.
• King Ottoman – A colt by Curlin from the Tapit mare Shook Up, the winner of the $300,000 Texas Derby at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie on May 30 is seeking his second stakes triumph for racing’s all-time winning trainer, Steve Asmussen. The Hall of Fame conditioner sent King Ottoman out to a third-place run in the Grade 3, $300,000 Indiana Derby at Horseshoe Indianapolis on July 9 before he finished fifth in the Grade 3, $500,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 6.
The post-position draw for the Oklahoma Derby and the Sunday, Sept. 25 racing program will be conducted on Thursday morning, Sept. 22, in the Remington Park racing office.
The Oklahoma Derby program will cap the only five-date race week of the season. Remington Park action will take place Wednesday thru Sunday, Sept. 21-25. The first race nightly is at 7:07pm, with the derby card on Sunday afternoon at 3pm. All times are Central.
Tracked by more than 171,000 fans on Facebook and 10,600 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $301 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 features the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and Grade 3 Remington Park Oaks on Sunday, September 25. Thoroughbred racing continues through December 17 with simulcast racing daily, and a casino that is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.