A competitive field of nine horses were drawn Wednesday morning for Sunday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Oklahoma Derby with Indiana Derby winner Shared Sense being made the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
The 32nd Oklahoma Derby is set for the 10th race of 11 on Sunday. The stakes-laded program of action begins at 3pm with the derby set for 7:12pm. All times are Central.
The three horses with top earnings in the field are close in talent and in odds with Dean Martini at 7-2. He comes in as the winner of the Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby and the top money earner in the field of nine horses at $393,202. Rowdy Yates, trying to become only the third Oklahoma-bred to win the Oklahoma Derby (Clever Trevor in 1989 and Shotgun Kowboy in 2015), is second in earnings with $346,556, and listed as the third-choice in the morning line at 4-1 odds. He will carry the colors of L and N Racing of Tulsa, Okla., and will be the hometown favorite, having won two stakes races over the Remington Park track as a 2-year-old last year. The favorite, Shared Sense, is third in earnings at $327,745.
Here’s a closer look at your 2020 Oklahoma Derby field:
1 – Salow, 15-1
Owner: Tony Caver and D.K. Strickland of Cordova, Tenn.
Trainer: Terry Brennan
Jockey: Iram Diego
Undefeated Kentucky-bred colt by Distorted Humor, out of the Five Star Day mare Eve Giselle, is very lightly raced. He is two-for-two lifetime and both victories came over the turf. He won a maiden special weight race at Gulfstream Park in July at the Hallandale, Fla., track. He then followed that up with a win greensward at the first-level allowance level as the 2-1 favorite at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas on Aug. 2. He won his maiden race by 2-3/4 lengths and then scored by one length in allowance-company. He hasn’t raced since Aug. 2, but has a bullet work at a half mile at Double M Training track in Arkansas, just outside of Hot Springs. He covered a half mile in :49.80 seconds breezing on Sept. 7. This will be the colt’s first try in a stakes race. Earnings of $48,600.
2 – Creative Plan, 8-1
Owner: M and M Racing of Colleyville, Texas
Trainer: Karl Broberg
Jockey: Orlando Mojica
Another entrant with more experience on the turf than the dirt, but has shown a willingness to win. The gelded Kentucky-bred son of Creative Cause, out of the Divine Park mare Let’s Park, has won four-of-seven in his career, two wins on the grass and two on the dirt or off-track. Five of his seven starts have come on turf courses. Both times he has started on the main track, he was a winner, however. His first win came on the turf course at Fair Grounds in New Orleans in a maiden claiming $30,000 race and he came home 3-1/4 lengths in front. His other three wins have come in allowance or allowance-optional claiming conditions at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, and Canterbury Park in Minnesota. His main track wins have both come at the one-mile distance. In his only stakes try, he ran third in the $100,000 Mystic Derby at Canterbury on July 15, beaten only one length. Trainer Karl Broberg has been the winningest conditioner in the country for six years. Earnings of $74,265.
3 – Rowdy Yates, 4-1
Owner: L and N Racing of Tulsa, Okla.
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Stewart Elliott
Trained by Steve Asmussen, the leading trainer in the country by money earned this year and 15-time leading trainer and all-time winningest trainer at Remington Park. Asmussen is a Hall of Famer nationally and in Oklahoma. He is a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award for top trainer in the country. This colt by Morning Line, out of the Yes It’s True mare Spring Station, has won 5-of-11 starts lifetime, four of those in stakes races. He is a two-time stakes winner over this track surface, taking the $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile on Oct. 18, 2019, at six furlongs and the $75,000 Don McNeill Stakes on Nov. 15, 2019. Both of his local stakes triumphs were against fellow Oklahoma-breds. Other than his Oklahoma stakes wins, he also took home the $100,000 Ellis Park Juvenile on Aug. 19, 2019 and the $100,000 Riley Allison Derby at Sunland Park on Jan. 26 this year. Owners L and N Racing have sent out Lookin at Lee, who ran second in the Kentucky Derby, and Echo Town, a top sprinter/miler in the country this year.
4 – Liam, 15-1
Owner: Red Lane Thoroughbreds and JSM Equine of Lexington, Ky.
Trainer: Danny Pish
Jockey: Lane Luzzi
Another lightly raced Kentucky-bred colt, showing only three starts lifetime, but winning his only try around two turns last time out. This colt by Liam’s Map, out of the Street Sense mare S S Pinafore, broke his maiden at 1 mile-70 yards by a full length in near wire-to-wire fashion. He began his career as a 2-year-old at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, sprinting six furlongs and finishing sixth, beaten five lengths. He improved in his second start, running second on Aug. 29 at Remington Park, his debut as a 3-year-old with maidens. Trainer Danny Pish stretched him out to a route race and he was the winner at 4-5 odds. Liam tries a stakes race for the first time. Earnings of $22,996.
5 – Shared Sense, 5-2
Owner: Godolphin Racing of Lexington, Ky.
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Richard Eramia
This Kentucky-bred colt by Street Sense, out of the Bernardini mare Collective, won the Grade 3, $300,000 Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand on July 8 as the 5-2 favorite. He has been first or second in five-of-nine starts lifetime. Has not been out since running fifth to Art Collector in the Ellis Park Derby on Aug. 9, but has worked forwardly at Churchill Downs at Louisville, Ky., since. Trainer Brad Cox is currently second in the country in money earned with his horses pocketing more than $11 million, second only to Asmussen’s $14 million-plus.
6 – Code Runner, 10-1
Owner: Calumet Farm in Lexington, Ky.
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Lindey Wade
This Kentucky-bred colt by Honor Code, out of the Rock Hard Ten mare Nereid, was nominated to the Kentucky Derby, but never made it to the gate for the “run for the roses.” He did, however, compete in two graded stakes races this year, trying his wares in both the Grade 1, $500,000 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., and the Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby. Code Runner was soundly defeated by two in this field while in Ohio, both Dean Martini and Rowdy Yates, but you can never discount horses out of Asmussen’s barn. His best finish in stakes-company was a fifth-place finish in the $100,000 Robert Hilton Memorial at Charles Town in West Virginia on Aug. 28. Earnings of $89,887.
7 – Avant Garde, 6-1
Owner: Gelfenstein Farm of Ocala, Fla.
Trainer: Jesus Lander
Jockey: Luis Quinonez
This gelded Kentucky-bred son of Tonalist, out of the Afleet Alex mare Dancing Afleet, is riding a four-race win streak at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., but all four victories have come in lesser company than he will face in a stakes race. Winning this race and the $120,000 portion of the purse would make possibly make him the “claim of the year.” Gelfenstein Farm claimed him for $10,000 out of a maiden race in Florida on June 10. Since the claim, trainer Jesus Lander has led him to the winner’s circle in four races in a row, three of them around two turns. He has yet to race against stakes horses, but there’s something to be said for a horse that likes to win and win easily. His four victories have come by a combined 17 lengths. His shortest victory margin has been 3-1/4 lengths. Earnings of $70,900.
8 – Mo Mosa, 8-1
Owner: Perry and Denise Martin
Trainer: Michael Maker
Jockey: Ramon Vazquez
This Kentucky-bred colt by Uncle Mo, out of the Eskendereya mare Roughing, competed in both the Grade 2, $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby and the Grade 1, $500,000 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Ark. He did not fare well in those two huge races, but gets into this race off a win by 4-1/4 lengths in first-level allowance-company Aug. 22 at Ellis Park in his last start. He was a Kentucky Derby nominee but was moved off the Derby trail after poor performances in those graded stakes. Broke his maiden by 5-3/4 lengths at Turfway Park in northern Kentucky at the one-mile distance and won comfortably last time out at one mile by 4-1/4 lengths on Aug. 22 at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky. Earnings of $78,020.
9 – Dean Martini, 7-2
Owner: Raise the BAR Racing and David Bernsen
Trainer: Thomas Amoss
Jockey: David Cabrera
This Kentucky-bred colt has two wins lifetime and nine in-the-money runs from 11 starts. Owned by Raise the BAR Racing and David Bernsen, who also owns a computer wagering business in Point Loma, California. This 3-year-old gelding by Cairo Prince, out of the Friends Lake mare Soundwave, won the Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown on June 27, beating Storm the Court (ran third), who was last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner. He followed that with a sixth-place run in the $200,000 Ellis Park Derby.
Remington Park racing continues this week with a special Wednesday-Sunday night schedule. Wednesday through Saturday first post is 7:07pm with nine races each night. On Sunday, Oklahoma Derby Day, there will be 11 races starting at 3pm.
Tracked by more than 164,000 fans on Facebook and 10,500 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $248 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 open daily for casino gaming and simulcast horse racing. The 2020 Thoroughbred Season continues through Dec. 20. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.
Photo: Courtesy of Godolphin