The first two stakes for the 2009 Remington Park season drew outstanding nomination lists with plenty of star power and quality expected in the six-digit events.
The $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup and the $100,000 Remington Park Filly & Mare Sprint will both be run Saturday, Aug. 22, at six furlongs on the main track. Sing Baby Sing, sixth in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Santa Anita, will make his 2009 debut in the Sprint Cup.
Formerly run on the Oklahoma Derby undercard as the Remington Park Sprint Championship, the Sprint Cup has been elevated in purse structure from $75,000 last year to the $200,000 mark now. Sing Baby Sing won the Phoenix Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland last October before moving on to the Breeders’ Cup.
Owned by Tom Durant of Grapevine, Texas, and trained by Jack Bruner, Sing Baby Sing worked a half-mile Aug. 14 at Remington Park in :49.72, breezing over the fast surface. Bruner has indicated that the Sprint Cup could be the first step in getting the 6-year-old Sing Baby Sing back to this year’s Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.
Also nominated on the Sprint Cup list of 29 is EZ Dreamer, winner of $125,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap in June at Prairie Meadows. Owned by the Triple AAA Ranch of Arizona, EZ Dreamer is trained by Kory Owens who will return to Remington Park on a regular basis for the first time since the late 1990s. Owens saddled Top Hit to victory for Triple AAA Ranch in the 2001 Oklahoma Derby. He trained the top sprinter Peaked in the early years at Remington Park.
Euroears, who started his career with a perfect run by winning six consecutive races, will vie for his first win since March 2008. Owned by James and Marilyn Helzer of Arlington, Texas, Euroears is trained by Bret Calhoun. The 5-year-old is coming off a disappointing first race of 2009 where he finished eighth in the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Handicap on the turf at Penn National.
Greeley’s Conquest will return from a layoff in the Sprint Cup, bouncing back from a runner-up spot in the $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park in April. Owned by the Millard Seldin Revocable Trust and trained by Gary Thomas, Greeley’s Conquest ran second in the Forego (gr. I) at Saratoga last year.
Steve Asmussen, the defending training champion at Remington Park, is expected to saddle Sok Sok for the Sprint Cup. The 4-year-old colt was second to EZ Dreamer in the Iowa Sprint Handicap earlier this summer. He’ll be making his first attempt at Remington Park.
A notable nominated to the Sprint Cup is Jonesboro, winner of the Sprint Championship here last year. However, he is expected to make his first Remington Park start of the season in the $150,000 Governor’s Cup on Labor Day.
Filly & Mare Sprint
The females have their biggest sprint of the season in the Filly & Mare Sprint. Of the 24 listed for the six-furlong race, Annie Savoy stands out as a definite at a track she absolutely loves.
Owned by Hal Browning of Dallas and trained by Kari Craddock, Annie Savoy has won three times with a second and two thirds in her nine Oklahoma City races. Her last stakes win came in the $50,000 JEH Stallion Station Stakes at Lone Star Park in April.
Larry Richardson’s Nadeshiko is another definite in the Filly & Mare Sprint. She is trained by Greg Foley and will make her first start at Remington Park after a second-place effort in the West Virginia Secretary Stakes at Mountaineer Park on the undercard of the West Virginia Derby.
The richest Thoroughbred season in Remington Park history begins Friday evening, Aug. 21, and continues through Sunday afternoon, Aug. 23. The first race on Friday and Saturday night is 6:30 p.m., with the Sunday post time at 1:30 p.m.