Emperor Valerian Leads SLM Big Daddy

Distance runners prepare to line up in a Saturday stakes at Remington Park.

Q-Racing Journal

Salvador Pimienta’s Emperor Valerian, who placed in a pair of 870-yard stakes last year at Remington Park, shortens up to 550 yards when he takes on a full field in the $35,000 SLM Big Daddy Stakes on Saturday night at the Oklahoma City track.

Emperor Valerian (Heza Fast Dash-Sheeza Lil Val by Dashing Val) fared well in his two 2013 Remington Park starts with a second by a nose in the $45,250 Red Cell Remington Park Distance Challenge (G3) and a third in the $53,500 Remington Park Distance Handicap (G3). He went on last fall at Will Rogers Downs to win the $33,120 Red Cell Will Rogers Distance Challenge by 2 lengths as the 8-5 favorite and then made his most recent start in the $100,000 Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos, finishing fifth on November 9.

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In his latest start at 550 yards, the 2012 $20,000 Brigand Silk Stakes at Ruidoso Downs, Emperor Valerian drew out at the 5-2 favorite to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

Emperor Valerian must deal with a proven winner in JK Running Horses LLC’s Mixed Fantasy (Okey Dokey Fantasy-Mixin Sixin by Streakin Six), the winner of his latest two starts. He is coming off a four-month layoff and highlighting his winning streak was a 2 1/4-length win in the $26,950 Covered Bridges Stakes (G3) at Prairie Meadows. The Kenny Laymon-trained gelding also won a $12,000 optional-claiming race by a nose.

Arthur Devereaux’s Arbeka Raincloud (Voghts Gold-Arbeka Bee Quick by Royal Quick Dash) arrives at Remington Park after a successful run for trainer Charlton Hunt at Hialeah Park. In her two latest starts, she won a $19,500 allowance race over 550 yards and then was third in the $32,000 Miami-Dade County Stakes at 440 yards.

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