Q-Racing Blog: Early Danger

Watch for Clint Crawford's entries in the Oklahoma Futurity.

Watch for Clint Crawford's entries in the Oklahoma Futurity.

Trainer Clint Crawford is a danger in any race.

At Remington Park, he won the 2015 and 2016 Jack Brooks Award as the season’s leading trainer of winners. (In 2015, he shared the award with Jeff Dean) Last year, Crawford was second to Trey Wood in number of wins, however Crawford took the money title with his stable taking in more than $1 million.

It looks like Crawford is ready to earn some more of that money available at the Oklahoma City track with two of the top-four qualifiers to the $371,200 Oklahoma Futurity (G3) to be run on March 24. This will be the 77th running of the historic futurity.

The first winner of the Oklahoma Futurity was Leota W in 1947. She was followed by the iconic mare Garretts Miss Pawhuska. The race was run at 220 yards during the early runnings. The more recent winners include Mona Leta, Mr Bar None, Savannah Jr, Top Ladybug, Jet Deck Junior, Byou Bird, Azure Teen, Real Easy Jet and See Me Do It. Those horses are an American Quarter Horse racing history lesson.

These days – with increased emphasis of futurities later on the racing calendar – owners and trainers are placing their more precocious prospects in the early futurities and waiting with their other 2-year-olds.

Such is the case with Crawford and his two qualifiers Reggies Bailbond and CR Smoke. They are in good shape and ready to go in the Oklahoma Futurity. After the race, Crawford will evaluate the horses and then think about future plans. It’s a smart one race at a time strategy that works because the trainer’s mindset is doing what is best for the horse. Crawford proved that when he trained 2015 champion 2-year-old Jess Good Candy. The undefeated colt won the $3-million All American Futurity (G1) and then came back the following year to win the Mr Master Bug Handicap (R) at Remington and then the $1-million Ruidoso Derby (G1) at Ruidoso. Crawford knows how to take care of a horse.

Bret Pevehouse’s homebred Reggies Bail Bond broke out from the second post position at the start while Tempting Illusion in the fifth post position broke in sharply at the start. Both horses recovered. Reggies Bail Bond lost traction from his hind end for a stride and then went on to defeat Tempting Illusion by a neck. Reggies Bailbond raced the 300 yards in :15.506 for the second-fastest qualifying time while Samuel and Elizabeth Mendoza’s Tempting Illusion checked in with the seventh-quickest time of :15.542.

Bret Pevehouse is the nephew of Jess Good Candy’s breeder and owner Carl Pevehouse.

“Reggie’s Bail Bond has been doing pretty good all along,” said Crawford. “We paid him into the Oklahoma Futurity when he was doing well

“He came out of the race well. He’s solid and sound.”

While Reggies Bail Bond dealt with a congested start, CR Smoke had clear running in the last of 12 trials. The filly scampered away from the starting gate and extended her stride to win by three quarters of a length with the fourth-fastest time of :15.527.

“She came back well,” said Crawford. “It was a perfect run, just a couple of small bobbles.”

CR Smoke is an in-house project. She was bred by Crawford and is owned by his girlfriend Renee Wilson. Crawford also owns the filly’s sire PYC First Fancy Lee.

The Crawford-owned PYC First Fancy Lee is sired by PYC Paint Your Wagon and his second dam is a full sister to First Down Dash. On the track he proved to be a useful campaigner with nine on-the-board runs from 18 starts.

“He has one of the best minds I’ve ever seen on a horse,” said Crawford of PYC First Fancy Lee. “We pony on him, he runs barrels, about anything.”

CR Smoke represents exactly half of PYC First Fancy Lee’s first foal crop of two 2-year-olds.

Reggies Bail Bond and CR Smoke are not paid up in any futurities, but don’t be surprised if you see either of them as a supplemental nominee to a futurity.

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