A Toss Up Takes Sooner State

Oklahoma-bred picks up third stakes win of Remington Park meet.

April 29, 2012

A Toss Up has now won three stakes events this season at Remington Park after scoring the $100,000 Sooner State Stakes (RG1) on Saturday night against Oklahoma-breds. The 3-year-old managed the victory against eight foes, all older, just two weeks after a derby win.

Owned by the Cedar Hills, Texas, partnership of James Sills and Abel Flores, A Toss Up is trained by Eddie Willis and was ridden in the Sooner State Stakes by Jimmy Brooks. It was the first stakes win on A Toss Up for Brooks this season and he enjoyed the ride, finishing a neck better than the game mare Candy Cartel.

“He left well but the number eight (Candy Cartel) left right with us,” Brooks noted. “It was the two of us all the way. The last 100 yards (A Toss Up) just started to pull away under a hand ride.”

The loss for Carl Pevehouse’s homebred Candy Cartel ended her personal six-race winning streak that dated back to June 2011 at Fair Meadows and also included three wins in Canada. Sent off as the 5-2 second choice, she finished a neck better than Mary Passmore’s Chi Ter in third. A Toss Up covered the 400 yards in :19.451 for a 99 speed index over a fast track.

The Sooner State Stakes triumph stamps A Toss Up as the early leader in the race for Remington Park Horse of the Meeting. He won the Eastex Handicap (G2) in open company against older runners on March 4 and then took the Remington Park Derby versus Oklahoma-breds on April 14.

The 7-5 wagering favorite, A Toss Up paid $4.80 to win, $3 to place and $2.80 to show. Candy Cartel paid $4.40 to place and $3.40 to show. Chi Ter returned $3.20 to show.

A Toss Up is by Sweet First Down from the Corona Cartel mare Shake Cartel and he was bred in Oklahoma by James Sills. The Sooner State Stakes first-place prize of $52,284 pushes the career earnings for A Toss Up to $272,572. In four starts this season he has accumulated $185,574.

The Sooner State Stakes with A Toss Up was the second at Remington Park for trainer Eddie Willis, who also won the race in 2003 with A Real Man. It was the first win in the Sooner State Stakes for the other connections.

Jockey Ricky Ramirez posted a riding triple Saturday night. He started his hat trick with Ocean Cruiser ($4.40 to win) in the fourth race, followed by Eye Tell ($8.40) in race six and then One Fun Okie ($8.20) in the finale, race 11. Ramirez now has 22 wins for the season.