Wrangler Racing Aces Blog
Megawatt talent in Remington's "Mega-Card".
By Martha Claussen and John Hernandez | May 31, 2016
Quarter Racing Journal
|JRC Callas First PHOTO: Coady Photography|
JRC Callas First Returns in the Remington Park Invitational
By Martha Claussen
There will be something for every Quarter Horse fan and handicapper on Saturday night at Remington Park. The Oklahoma City racetrack closes out their 2016 live racing season with 12 sensational events they aptly named the "Mega-Card".
One of the most anticipated stakes of the night will be the $250,000 Remington Park Invitational Championship (G1), featuring 12 of the most accomplished older runners in the country.
The 2014 world champion JRC Callas First ran fourth in the 2015 edition of this race, but trainer Brian Stroud feels that his charge is primed for a big effort in the 440-yard stakes. He exits an exhilarating performance in the $107,730 Bank of America Sam Houston Championship Challenge (G2) on April 16. With confident handling by first-time rider Jerry Lee Yoakum, the 6-year-old son of Winners Award broke like a rocket from the far inside post and sped to victory, clocking 440 yards in :21.453.
"That was a perfect break," said Stroud. "He's won a lot of races, but had never broke like that. Jerry Lee did a tremendous job, stepping on a horse he had never galloped in the morning, much less rode."
Yoakum will be back in the saddle on Saturday evening, and a top effort will be required to beat Zoomin Effortlessly, Moonin The Eagle, Houdini and Bodacious Eagle, to say nothing of defending champion Dashin Brown Streak.
Stroud would like to even the score with Zoomin Effortlessly, who defeated JRC Callas First in their last meeting, the $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (G1) in January.
“I like where we drew,” said Stroud of Saturday’s race. "I would rather be on the left side of Zoomin Effortlessly, who is a really quick-breaking horse. The entire field is awfully strong."
JRC Callas First has won 17 of his 27 starts and $601,887 in career earnings for Stroud and his wife, Dana.
Of course, win or lose, Stroud has his sights set on a trip to California, where JRC Callas First will represent Texas in the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos on Saturday, October 29.
"The chance to go to California is great and to run in the Championship,” added Stroud. “But what we are really hoping for is a chance to get that berth into the Champion of Champions. We’re really aiming for that opportunity.”
|Remington Park hosts a $2 Million Mega-Card on Saturday.|
First $1M Race of Year Tops $2M Mega Card
by John Hernandez
One million dollars will be on the table Saturday evening in the Heritage Place Futurity (G1) at Remington Park, the highlight of a season-ending “Mega Card” on the final racing day of the 2016 Quarter Horse season in Oklahoma City.
Ten 2-year-olds have qualified for “the money run” out of two nights of trials on May 13 and May 14, with the winner’s share of $455,036 awaiting the victorious connections on Saturday.
The Eddie Willis-trained gelding Kiss My Heineken (Carters Cartel-Fredaville by Mr Jess Perry) earned fastest qualifier distinction with a wind-aided time of :17.322 for 350 yards in his narrow trial victory over first-time starter Accountably (American Runaway-Check the Account by Separatist) on May 13.
The filly Coronas First Diva, the 2-1 favorite on the morning line, will try to become the first runner to win both the Oklahoma Futurity (G3) and the Heritage Place Futurity for the sister-brother partnership of owner Sara Morgan and trainer Duke Shults.
Coronas First Diva, the exquisitely-bred daughter of champions Corona Cartel and Spit Curl Diva, won her trial on May 13 by some 2 ½ lengths under regular rider James Flores in a time of :17.447.
One runner that could slip under the radar is Sweet Annie GL (One Sweet Jess-Grande Annee by Devon Lane (TB)), who also won his trial on May 13, but faced a 10 mph headwind as he recorded a time of :17.594 under Agustin Silva.
The Rick Robinson-trained gelding will renew his rivalry with Coronas First Diva, who beat him to the wire by three-quarters of a length in her Oklahoma Futurity score.
On paper, it looks like the five horses who qualified out of the May 13 trials have a slight edge over the other runners, so stamp them as “the ones to beat!”
Wrangler Racing Ace John Hernandez's Top Four Selections:
#2 Sweet Annie GL
#7 Kiss My Heineken
#3 Coronas First Diva
John's suggested wagers: 2-8-7-3, 10₵ Super Box, 50₵ Tri Box, WPS on #8 Accountably
Wrangler Racing Aces in June
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