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Press ReleaseMarch 30, 2014
Speedy Llano Cartel had become quite the specialist in shorter distance races over the past couple of seasons. Saturday night he utilized his fast starting skills and found more endurance to handle the 400 yards of the Grade 1, $105,400 Leo Stakes at Remington Park, winning by three-quarters of length.
Owned by Wade Helton of Pampa, Texas, and trained by Alfredo Gomez, Llano Cartel was ridden sharply by regular pilot Omar Reyes.
“He broke really good, and that helped me out a lot,” Reyes said. “He was giving me everything so I knew they were going to struggle to catch me. I just kept on pushing him and he ran his race.”
Llano Cartel led every step of the prestigious Leo Stakes, crossing the finish in :19.487 over the fast track. The win was his first time finishing in the money in four attempts at 400 yards. Eastex Stakes (G2) winner Somethin Like This was second while BF Farm Boy was a head behind the runner-up for third.
Feature Hero, the 2013 champion 3-year-old and the winner of the $2.8 million All American Derby (G1), was the beaten 8-5 wagering favorite. The gelding had a rough beginning and was never a factor, finishing eighth in the field of nine. Millionaire Wicked Courage, the second favorite at 5-2, finished sixth in his first start of the year.
Llano Cartel was 8-1 in the wagering and returned $18.40 to win, $7.60 to place and $4.60 to show. Somethin Like This paid $6.60 to place and $4.40 to show. BF Farm Boy returned $7.20 to show.
The Leo triumph was the 10th from 27 career starts for Llano Cartel and his fifth win at Remington Park. An Oklahoma-bred 4-year-old gelding by Teller Cartel from the Lil Bit Cuervo mare Eyesa Lil Cuervo, Llano Cartel has already won three races in 2014. The first-place check of $65,184 moves Llano Cartel’s overall earnings to $255,736. The winner was bred by Wootan Racing.
The Leo Stakes is named in honor of one of Quarter Horse racing’s foundation sires. He stood the bulk of his long career in Perry, Oklahoma, where a life-size statue commemorates him to this day.
Grade 3 Decketta Stakes
First Prize Shaunda was a popular 8-5 winning favorite with her narrow score in the $57,200 Decketta Stakes (G3). The 4-year-old filly by PYC Paint Your Wagon from the Mr Jess Perry mare First Prize Leesa covered the 350 yards in a winning time of :17.328. She was bred in Oklahoma by Weetona Stanley & W.E Smith and also owned by Weetona Stanley of Madill, Oklahoma. Stacey Capps trains First Prize Shaunda.
AQHA Champion Jockey Cody Jensen was up for the thrilling ride.
“She ran a really good race,” he said. “She was just strumming along, doing her thing nice and easy. She got down here by the light (at the finish) and kind of propped and ducked in away from the light. I noticed she did it in her prep race for this too. I was kind of getting ready for it. I was afraid it cost us but we held on.”
First Prize Shaunda won the Decketta by a nose over Abra Cadabraa while Send Me A Candy Tree was another three-quarters of a length back in third. The wagering favorite paid $5.40 to win, $3.40 to place and $2.80 to show. Abra Cadabraa paid $5 to place and $4 to show. Send Me A Candy Tree returned $3 to show.
First Prize Shaunda earned $35,130 and now has a lifetime record of six wins from 10 attempts, with two wins at Remington Park. She has either won her races or finished off the board. Overall, First Prize Shaunda had made $125,095.
The Decketta Stakes is named after the 1964 All American Futurity winner who was bred, owned and trained by W.W. Wilson of Blanchard, Oklahoma. Decketta had a long and prestigious career as a broodmare after her racing days were complete.
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