Going Ballistic One to Beat in Oklahoma Derby

Going Ballistic One to Beat in Oklahoma Derby
Photo: Reed Palmer
Louisiana Super Derby (gr. 2) winner Going Ballistic tries to duplicate his victory in Saturday's Oklahoma Derby.
Fresh off his victory in the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II), Kindred Thoroughbreds’ Going Ballistic leads a field of 11 in the $300,000 Centennial Oklahoma Derby Oct. 21 at Remington Park.

A test for 3-year-olds on the main track, the Oklahoma Derby will be contested at 1 1/8-miles and is one of four stakes on the card.

By Lite the Fuse, out of Holy Bull mare Holy Lightning, Going Ballistic has had a terrific campaign for trainer Donnie Von Hemel, winning a pair of stakes while placing in six of nine starts. The Sept. 22 Super Derby score at Louisiana Downs came after being well off the pace, with jockey Clifton Berry moving the gray colt past heavy favorite Grasshopper in the stretch at odds of 9-1.

Berry will ride Going Ballistic for the 14th consecutive time and leave from post seven. Bred in Florida by Adena Springs, Going Ballistic has five wins and has earned $671,242 from 16 starts. He is trying to become the first horse to take Remington Park’s top 2- and 3-year-old races. Last year, Going Ballistic captured the Remington-MEC Mile for juveniles.

The Kindred Thoroughbreds-Hemel combination will also saddle Gone Missing, who won an allowance earlier this month at Remington for his only victory of 2007. Hemel’s third horse in the Oklahoma Derby is Strong City, who was fifth in the Super Derby.

The Steve Asmussen-trained Beta Capo was sixth in the Super Derby, but did defeat Going Ballistic back in April in the Grand Prairie Turf Challenge Stakes at Lone Star Park, winning by 1 1/4 lengths. That was on the turf. Since then, the son of Langfuhr  has lost four straight races. Justin Shepherd will ride for Cathy and Bob Zollars, who will also enter Reporting for Duty, winless in six starts this year.

Another local horse with a chance is Bill and Denise Morrison’s Forty Acres, who had won a pair of races entering last month’s Super Derby. One of the victories was the Prelude Stakes, in which the son of West Acre went gate-to-wire. Trained by Jorge Lara, Forty Acres has won three races this year, all in Louisiana. He was seventh in the Super Derby.

Trainer/owner Kamal Sheena will send out Gold Wonder, a winner of three races in 2007. The Golden Missile colt's most recent effort was a 1 3/4-length score in the Chick Lang Jr. Memorial Stakes at Retama Park Sept. 15.

Sumac, Slapout, Skim the Till, and Joepiano complete the field.

$300,000 Centennial Oklahoma Derby (Race 10, 5:42 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8-Miles
PP, weight, rider
1. Sumac (KY), 122, Nena Matz
2. Slapout (KY), 122, Perry Compton
3. Reporting for Duty (KY), 122, Luis S. Quinonez
4. Skim the Till (KY), 122, Richard E. Eramia
5. Gone Missing (KY), 122, Donald R. Pettinger
6. Joepiano (FL), 122, Glen Murphy
7. Going Ballistic (FL), 122, M. Clifton Berry
8. Beta Capo (KY), 122, Justin Shepherd
9. Forty Acres (AR), 122, Carlos Gonzalez
10. Gold Wonder (FL), 122, Eguard Tejera
11. Strong City (KY), 122, Quincy Hamilton

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