Futurity Derby Season Starts at Remington

Swingin Debut headlines Oklahoma Futurity.

Q-Racing Journal
March 21, 2013

James Sills’ fastest-qualifier Swingin Debut heading the $345,000 Oklahoma Futurity (G2) and Wade Helton’s leading-qualifier Llano Cartel facing a deep field in the $136,000 Oklahoma Derby provide an attractive doubleheader on Saturday night at Remington Park.

Swingin Debut (Swingin Jess-Elegant Debut by Corona Cartel) did what his name implies in his Oklahoma Futurity trial when he raced to a three-quarter-length win in his first start. The Eddie D. Willis-trained gelding impressed with the fastest-qualifying time of :15.378 while runner-up Tuff Princess LBH (Stoli-Sixarun Bug by Sixarun) came up with the second-fastest qualifying time of :15.503 from 12 trials.

Laurel Brothers Horses LLC’s Tuff Princess LBH, trained by Christian Rubalcava, was making her first start.

Gaylin Childers’ Royal Rythm (Royal Blue Chew Chew-Supersonic Rhythm by Winning Rhythm) took his trial by a half length with a late charge. The Eddie Lee Willis-trained gelding raced to the third-fastest qualifying time of :15.531.

In the Oklahoma Derby, Llano Cartel (Teller Cartel-Eyesa Lil Cuervo by Lil Bit Cuervo) and Hiclass Vodka (Hiclass La Jolla-Newport Lily by Stoli) grabbed the top two qualifying spots after finishing just a head apart in the fifth of seven trials. Llano Cartel was timed in :17.224 for the 350 yards while Hiclass Vodka was clocked in :17.250.

Llano Cartel scored the mild upset at 6-1 odds when he raced to his second win from 10 starts for trainer Alfredo Gomez. The gelding finished in a dead heat for the win in his trial to the John Deere Ruidoso Juvenile Challenge (G3) and then was second by a head in the finals. He was also second in the Remington Park Juvenile Stakes (R).

Jesus Rodriguez-Najera’s Hiclass Vodka was making his first start since August and was supported as the 3-5 favorite in the trial. Last year, The Clinton Crawford-trained colt won the Speedhorse Futurity (G2), was third in the Fair Meadows Juvenile and qualified for the Oklahoma Futurity (G2). He won three of his six 2012 starts while earning $160,552 last year.

Irene Velasquez’s homebred Big Boi (Oak Tree Special-Bosanova Baby by Corona Cartel) has matured into a potent stakes competitor. After being winless in his first three starts, which did include qualifying for the $720,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-Bred Futurity (R), he broke through with a maiden win in his Texas Classic Futurity (G1) trial and then concluded his juvenile season by stepping up with a close second-place finish in the finals as part of a 17-1 entry.

Big Boi backed up those efforts when he made his 2013 debut in the Oklahoma Derby trials for trainer Verle Bohner. The gelding rolled to a 1 3/4-length win, with the third-fastest qualifying time of :17.256.