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Priceless Feature Captures Sooner Stakes

Feature Mr Jess gelding sets stakes record time at Remington Park.

May 4, 2013

Top older Oklahoma-breds contested 400 yards in Remington Park’s $100,000 Sooner State Stakes (RG1) on Saturday night. Priceless Feature found the form that has made him very successful locally to pull away to win by three-quarters of a length.

Owned by Ed Melzer of Edmond, Oklahoma, and trained by Eddie Willis, Priceless Feature flew to a stakes-record time of :19.356 over the fast track. The gelding found more run than his rivals after battling with A Toss Up and Fast Prize Jordan for the first 250 yards. A Toss Up was the defending Sooner State champ while Fast Prize Jordan is already a two-time stakes winner this season.

“He left there and I just sat on him for about half the race,” jockey Jimmy Brooks said. “I hit him left-handed about four times and he just opened up. When he left I saw something on the inside (A Toss Up) and I saw G.R. (Carter, riding Fast Prize Jordan) on the outside, but we just cruised on.”

Priceless Feature put forth the type of race most expect from him, especially after his solid year in 2012 when he won the Heritage Place Derby (G2) and nearly defeated Ochoa in the Rainbow Derby (G1) at Ruidoso Downs. Ochoa, currently training at Remington Park for upcoming stakes events, became American Quarter Horse Racing’s all-time leading money-earner later in the year.

The 9-5 wagering favorite, Priceless Feature paid $5.80 to win, $2.60 to place and $2.20 to show. Fast Prize Jordan won the photo for second and paid $4.80 to place and $3 to show. A Toss Up finished third to pay $5.40 to show.

The Sooner State win is the ninth from 19 career starts for Priceless Feature, a 4-year-old gelding by Feature Mr Jess from the Corona Cartel mare Southern Price. The win was worth $52,284 to move his total bankroll to $433,921.

Bred in Oklahoma by Sam Green, Priceless Feature won his seventh Remington Park race in the Sooner State Stakes.

Melzer won the race for the first time while Willis enjoyed his third Sooner State Stakes, having won in 2003 (A Real Man) and in 2012 with A Toss Up. Brooks has now ridden the winner of the Sooner State Stakes in consecutive years.