Hold Air Hostage Takes $297,100 Heritage Place Derby

The Apollitical Jess gelding gets his first stakes win.

Q-Racing Journal

Darling Farms' Hold Air Hostage was all alone at the wire in Saturday's Heritage Place Derby at Remington Park. PHOTO: Dustin Orona Photography

A sharp break from his rail post helped third-fastest qualifier Hold Air Hostage score a wire-to-wire, 1 3/4-length victory in the $297,100 Heritage Place Derby (G2) at Remington Park on Saturday.

Hold Air Hostage went 400 yards in :19.385 and earned a 101 speed index and his first career stakes win. Ricky Ramirez rode the sorrel son of Apollitical Jess for owner Darling Farms of Lamont, Oklahoma, and trainer Judd Kearl.

"It seems like he likes that post 1," said Ramirez. "He settles in really good. The longer we're in (the gates), the better he stands.

"He broke really hard," the rider added. "The ground kind of broke from under him because he broke so hard, but he broke beautifully and performed super."

Hold Air Hostage was coming off of a second-place finish in his Heritage Place Derby trial on May 14, but Kearl -- the sport's reigning champion trainer -- was not surprised by the gelding's performance in the final.

"The horse was training super," Kearl said. "The way he got away (tonight), we knew he liked running down the racetrack."

Hold Air Hostage was bred in Oklahoma by Luis Miguel Albores Gleason. A winner of four of seven starts and earner of $154,836, the gelding was acquired by Darling Farms for $12,700 at the 2015 Heritage Place Mixed Sale in Oklahoma City.

Hold Air Hostage's dam, the Fols Gold mare Fols Zookie Cookie, was a multiple stakes winner in Illinois, Texas, and Oklahoma from 1994-95.

Apollitical Scout, the 3-2 favorite in the field of 10, finished second and was followed by fastest qualifier Kiss My Heineken, Duponte, Capshaw Capo, Rock About It, In Class, Eyema Texas Cowboy, Aberdonian, and Spit Prize Corona.

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