Press ReleaseJune 1, 2014
The 2014 American Quarter Horse & mixed-breed season at Remington Park closed Sunday afternoon with the Grade 3, $56,390 Remington Park Distance Championship as the final stakes event. Emperor Valerian pulled off the upset after a thrilling stretch battle with Wahoo in the 870-yard race.
Owned by Salvador Pimienta of Marana, Arizzona, and trained by Brandon Muniz, Emperor Valerian was overlooked at 18-1 odds. Wahoo was the 8-5 wagering favorite based on his two consecutive stakes wins at 870 yards earlier in the season.
Jockey Ricky Ramirez had the mount on Emperor Valerian, placing his charge alongside Wahoo for the duel.
“He felt strong, he never quit me,” said the rider. “Emperor just never quit and got their first. Whenever he breaks good, he usually gets comfortable around the turn and I’m able to pace him and save him for the end and that’s what happened today.”
Emperor Valerian and Wahoo moved in tandem from the top of the stretch before the former gained the edge in the final yards, crossing the finish in :44.833 over a fast track, winning by a half-length. Wahoo ended the race 3 3/4 lengths ahead of the late-charging Droppin Timber, who came on for third.
Emperor Valerian paid $38.20 to win, $9.40 to place and $6.60 to show. Wahoo returned $3.20 to place and $2.80 to show. Droppin Timber paid $5.20 to show.
A 6-year-old gelding by Heza Fast Dash from the Dashin Val mare Sheeza Lil Val, Emperor Valerian was bred in Oklahoma by Kelly/Yearsley Equine LLC. The Distance Championship win is his seventh from 30 career starts and his third at Remington Park. The first-place check of $35,238 moves his lifetime bankroll to $180,349.
$50,000 Easy Jet Stakes (RG3)
Oklahoma-bred 2-year-olds were featured a final time in the Easy Jet Stakes at 350 yards. Vod Kanockers made up ground to get to the finish a neck better than L Diablo in :17.798.
Owned by Philip Brassfield of Muskogee, Oklahoma and trained by Tana Pace, Vod Kanockers was ridden by the season’s jockey champ G.R. Carter Jr.
Vod Kanockers was 9-2 in the wagering and paid $11 to win, $6.80 to place and $4.40 to show. L Diablo paid $8.80 to place and $6 to show. Coronas Miss Perry was on the lead midway through the race before settling for third, returning $9.20 to show.
A gelding by Stoli from the Streakin La Jolla mare Stranger To Shame, Vod Kanockers won for the second time in four attempts with both wins at Remington Park. Bred by Kimberly & Herman Hogue, Vod Kanockers picked up $29,784 for the effort to roll his earnings up to $45,933.
The Easy Jet is named in honor of the 1969 All American Futurity winner and world champion who was bred, owned and trained by Walter Merrick of Sayre, Oklahoma.
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