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Stakes Doubleheader at Remington

Eastex, Mighty Deck Three highlight opening weekend at Remington.

Q-Racing Journal
March 7, 2013

James Sills and Abel Flores’ A Toss Up carries high weight of 125 pounds when he returns from a winter’s rest in the $50,000 Eastex Handicap (G2) for older horses to highlight a stakes doubleheader on Sunday at Remington Park.

Supporting the Eastex Handicap is the $50,000 Mighty Deck Three Handicap for older Oklahoma-breds.

A Toss Up (Sweet First Down-Shake Cartel by Corona Cartel) was nominated to both races and his connections chose to take on open horses at 350 yards in the Eastex.

The 4-year-old gelding adores Remington Park with three wins and a pair of seconds from seven starts at the track. A year ago, trainer Eddie Willis sent him out to back-to-back stakes wins in the $246,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Derby (R) and the $100,000 Sooner State Stakes (RG1), defeating state-breds in each race.

After a fifth-place finish in the Remington Park Championship (G1), he was a close second to JD Baccarat in the Higheasterjet Stakes (G3) at Ruidoso Downs. He then won his trials and qualified to both the Grade 1 All American and Texas Classic derbies.

Denis and Julie Schoenhofer’s champion First Klas Fred (Fredricksburg-She Flies First Klas by Strawfly Special) concluded his 2012 season with a win in the Classic Chevrolet Stakes (R) and a second in the B.F. Phillips Handicap (RG3). Each of those races was at Lone Star Park for Texas-breds.

First Klas Fred won the 2009 Ruidoso Futurity (G1) on his way to being honored as champion 2-year-old gelding.

John Lawless’ very consistent Eufaula Me (Okey Dokey Dale-Yawls Spreadn Rumors by Serious Rumors) makes his first start since taking the $94,400 Polk County Derby (R) at Prairie Meadows in October. The close second-place finisher in last year’s $135,000 Oklahoma Derby also boasts stakes wins at Prairie Meadows in the Jim Bader Futurity (R) and the Iowa Double Gold Derby (R).

Cruzin The Wagon (PYC Paint Your Wagon-Penelope Cruzin by Okey Dokey Dale) and Finche (Tres Seis-Doctor Prospector by Bully Bullion) each come into the 250-yard Mighty Deck Three Handicap with impressive records at Remington Park.

Terry and Mary Louise Pursel’s Cruzin The Wagon has six wins and a second from seven starts over the strip while Larry Abney and Chris Sheehy’s Finche has five wins, three seconds and a third from 10 Remington Park starts.

Cruzin The Wagon won last year’s Oklahoma Derby and Jack Brooks Stakes (RG3) while finishing second to A Toss Up in the Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Derby. The Brent Clay-trained gelding then went to Prairie Meadows to win the AQHA Members Plus Stakes and grab a second in the Keokuk Stakes (G3).

Finche makes his 2013 debut after wrapping up 2012 with a win in the $50,000 Fort Erie Maturity. Two years ago at Remington Park, the Larry Abney-trained gelding won the $100,000 Sooner State Stakes (RG1) and the Mighty Deck Three Handicap. He returned last year to race to a third-place finish in the Mighty Deck Three.