Perfect in four starts this year, Zayat Stables’ Prayer for Relief will try to pick off another lucrative stakes purse Oct. 16 when he leads a field of 12 in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park.
The 3-year-old son of Jump Start has logged plenty of miles this year and it has paid off handsomely. After an allowance win at Hollywood Park to begin his season in May, trainer Bob Baffert has sent Prayer for Relief to Prairie Meadows to win the $250,000 Iowa Derby (gr. III), to Mountaineer to take the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II), and most recently to Louisiana Downs to score in the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) Sept. 10.
The dark bay/brown colt, who was bought by Zayat for $80,000 at the Keeneland September 2009 yearling sale, has already earned $965,000 in his career. He went back to California after the Super Derby where he has worked three times. Baffert will fly in regular rider Rafael Bejarano for the mount.
Prayer for Relief, bred in Kentucky by G. R. Aschinger and out of the Mr. Sparkles mare Sparkin Lil, will take on the second-, third-, and fourth-place finishers of the Super Derby once again, as well as a few other local standouts. He will break from post 4 in the 1 1/8-mile race.
Mike McCarty’s Awesome Bet came from off the pace to finish second in the Super Derby by 2 1/2 lengths. Based at Remington for Steve Asmussen, he has worked locally four times since that last race. The son of Awesome Again won the Barbaro Stakes in July at Delaware Park for his lone stakes victory. Justin Shepherd will ride.
Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Populist Politics was also beaten 2 1/2 lengths in the Super Derby after coming from even further off the pace. The Don't Get Mad colt will seek his second win of the season in his ninth try. He won the state-restricted Louisiana Showcase Mile back in July at Evangeline Downs.
Pin Oak Stable’s homebred Alternation lost by four lengths in the Super Derby and was never a serious factor. The Peter Pan (gr. II) winner is also based at Remington for trainer Donnie Von Hemel and he broke his maiden over the track last December. Von Hemel has won the Oklahoma Derby three times.
Another local with a recent win over the track is C. R. Trout’s homebred Dreaminofthewin. The son of Successful Appeal tallied a narrow allowance win at Remington on Sept. 21 and also has his other two career wins there. Dreaminofthewin was third in the Iowa Derby.
Also in the mix is West Virginia Derby fourth-place finisher Infrattini and Meistersinger, who was eighth in the Super Derby but romped by 10 lengths in an optional claimer at Delaware in his previous start.
Also part of the Oct. 16 card are the $250,000 Remington Park Oaks and $125,000 Green Stakes on turf.
$400,000 Oklahoma Derby (Race 10, 5:49 p.m.), 3YO, 1 1/8 Miles (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Malibu Glow (KY), E Castro, 124, G Weaver
2. Infrattini (KY), C J Lanerie, 124, P J McGee
3. Meistersinger (KY), S Russell, 124, H G Motion
4. Prayer for Relief (KY), R Bejarano, 124, B Baffert
5. Alternation (KY), L S Quinonez, 124, D K Von Hemel
6. Populist Politics (LA), G Melancon, 124, T M Amoss
7. Redeemed (VA), E S Prado, 124, A W Dutrow
8. Dreaminofthewin (KY), M C Berry, 124, C R Trout
9. Socialsaul (NY), J A Grabowski, 124, G C Contessa
10. Behold de Buy (KY), G Murphy, 124, J Salisbury
11. Awesome Bet (KY), J Shepherd, 124, S M Asmussen
12. Wally Van (CO), M G Ziegler, 124, T Gleason