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Oklahoma Derby Headlines Big Sunday at Remington Park

Oklahoma Derby Headlines Big Sunday at Remington Park: Remington Park is ready for their time in the limelight this weekend as they host the 27th annual Oklahoma Derby which is Oklahoma’s richest Thoroughbred race. The 27th annual Grade III event is for 3 year-olds and up running 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs) on the dirt for a purse of $400,000.

Shotgun Kowboy

Shotgun Kowboy, pictured above winning an allowance at Remington Park, enters the Oklahoma Derby for trainer Trainer C.R. Trout.
Photo: Dustin Orona Photography

Originally named the Remington Park Derby, in 2001 the race was renamed the Oklahoma Derby. It is the track’s flagship event and the most lucrative Thoroughbred race at Remington Park. Other big races at the track include the Oklahoma Classic, the Springboard Mile, and the Heritage Place Futurity.

Local trainer Donnie Von Hemel owns the most wins with three; Clever Trevor (1989) and Queen’s Gray Bee (1991) who gave him his his first two Oklahoma Derby wins, back when the race was known as the Remington Park Derby. He won again in 2007 with Going Ballistic for his third score in the race. The track record is held by Classic Cat set in 1998 at 1:48.00. Last year this race was won by SoCal trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Tonito M with Rafael Bejarano up in the time of 1:50.41.

The Oklahoma Derby is the headline race of seven stakes races with more than $1,000,000 in purse money to be won. Also included are the $50,000 Flashy Lady Stakes, the $75,000 Kip Deville, the $75,000 Rick’s Memorial Stakes, the $100,000 Remington Green Stakes, the $150,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup and the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks. The Kip Deville kicks-off the series of 2-year-old stakes races that culminate in the Springboard Mile in December.

Remington Park also features the Bricktown Brewery on the casino floor which is part of the whole experience and the track. They are open daily at 10:30 am for casino gaming and simulcast racing where admission, general parking and valet parking are always free. They are the only Racetrack & Casino in Oklahoma. They are located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma Adventure District. For more information, reservations and group bookings you can call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit

The 2015 Oklahoma Derby is the 9th race of the day following the Remington Park Oaks on a card of 11 with a start time of 5:22 p.m. CST.

We have a nice field of twelve set for this race with some nice Oklahoma horses lined up and a few coming from out of town.

Lucky Player looks ready to be back in the winners circle to me. The son of Lookin At Lucky was one of my top picks to win the Iroquois Stakes last year for juveniles and he did so in quite the fighting fashion. He won by a neck over his stablemate Bold Conquest, whom he again faces in this race. He pushed the pace as he fought for the win by a neck at odds of $11.50. After that he was 8th in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile and just seemed to have been emptied out the rest the year. As he ran on to finish 7th, 8th and 8th in three more races to be shelved in February, 2015. He returned on August 22 at Remington in a one-mile allowance race where he finished up a strong 3rd off the bench. He finished behind two other derby foes Poseidon’s Way and Hillbilly Royalty. Can he get back on track? Those Lookin At Lucky babies generally win early so we’ll see. I hope he wasn’t a two-hit wonder. He also is adding blinkers which is a handicapping angle that always yanks my chain.

Shotgun Kowboy has a great shot to hit the board and possibly win this as well. Trainer C.R. Trout’s homebred out of Kodiak Kowboy recently jumped back into action on August 29 when he romped in an allowance going 6 ¼ f by 11 ¼ lengths. He was quite the 2-year-old at Remington Park in 2014 where he finished 2nd to Bayerd in the Springboard Mile last December. He was shelved with a minor issue & colic. He’s back! He’s never been off the board with a race record of 6:4:1:1 so lookout. Has a nice recent work breezing a half-mile in :48.07. He looks to be the main competition from the Oklahoma Bred horses.

Tale of Verve Oklahoma Derby

The Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park features a nice field of twelve including 2015 Preakness and Belmont Stakes contender Tale of Verve.
Photo: Susie Raisher, Coglianese/NYRA

Trainer Eddie Plesa is sending in his War Front colt Souper Colossal who seems to have a case of seconditis as he’s finished that way in his last four starts. Otherwise he’s only been worse than first or second once finishing up 7th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, just ahead of Lucky Player. He has a race record of 9:4:4. He’ll hit the board unless something weird happens in my opine. In his last two races he ran second in the Grade III Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx August 29th and prior was second in the Grade II West Virginia Derby August 1st losing to Madefromlucky. He’s been training at Monmouth Park in New Jersey and recently breezed a half-mile in :49.4/5. You can bet he’ll be there from a pace standpoint. Can he track some of these speedy Oklahoma horses? He’s ran both ways, pace setter and pressing. Seems to win best though going gate-to-wire and with the track playing fast, I think he has a nice chance to hit the board or possibly win.

The Remington Park track has been running fast so far this meet and there looks like there is definitely some speed signed on with Hillbilly Royalty, Desert Dynamo, Souper Colossal and a few others that have flashed early speed and/or pressed the pace Poseidon’s Way, Witt Six and Classy Class. With that in mind Lucky Player will need to stay up closer like he did in the Iroquois, which is my guess as to why they are adding blinkers. If he runs back to his 2014 form, he wins. I’ve never been a big Steve Asmussen fan but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get his first Oklahoma Derby win here. Otherwise, I love the Okie boy Shotgun Kowboy to win it for Oklahoma Trainer Trout. This race shapes up to look like a blanket finish in the stretch so get out your cameras folks for a photo. Any of the contenders could win it.

I’m not sure how I’ll play the Oklahoma Derby just yet. Most likely a Daily Double using Include Betty as a single in the Oaks with 4-5 from this race. I will most likely use Lucky Player, Souper Colossal, Shotgun Kowboy,Witt Six and Desert Dynamo. Best of luck to everyone and safe ride.

Oklahoma Derby 2015 Post Positions & Odds
Race 9 5:22 PM CT
1 Poseidon’s Way 20-1 L.Quinonez/D. Von Hemel
2 Lucky Player * 30-1 R.Vazquez/S.Asmussen
3 Witt Six 20-1 C. McMahon/J.Gourneau
4 Mobile Bay 7-2 E.Prado/V.Arceneaux
5 Desert Dynamo 5-2 M.Gutierrez/J.Hollendorfer
6 Souper Colossal 9-2 P.Lopez/E.Plesa Jr.
7 Shotgun Kowboy 15-1 M.Berry/C.Trout
8 Bold Conquest 10-1 A.Cruz/S.Asmussen
9 Classy Class 8-1 J.Bravo/K. McLaughlin
10 The Truth Or Else 6-1 C.Borel/K.McPeek
11 Tale Of Verve 20-1 J.Theriot/D.Stewart
12 Hillbilly Royalty 20-1 A.Birzer/D. Von Hemel
*Blinkers added – Lucky Player