Louisborg Favored in Oklahoma Derby Field

(from Remington Park
Louisborg heads a field of 12 entered for the $250,000 Oklahoma Derby, presented by The Oklahoman Friday night at Remington Park in Oklahoma City.

Third-place finisher in the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) on Sept. 23, Louisborg drew post seven and was made the 3-1 morning-line favorite. There are 11 wagering interests for the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds.

Owned by Oak Leaf T.C. and trained by Tony Richey, Lonnie Meche was named to ride Louisborg who normally uses a deep closing style. A colt by 1998 Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop, Louisborg won the $100,000 Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs before his show effort in the Super Derby at the Bossier City track.

The morning-line second choice is a likely scratch from Friday's Oklahoma Derby. Master of Disaster figured to provide the pace in the race. However, his starting in the race was contingent on a post draw that had him closer to the rail. Owned by Puglisi Stables and Steve Klesaris, Master of Disaster drew post 11. Klesaris informed Remington Park officials shortly after the post position draw that the Florida-bred runner would not ship to Oklahoma City from his mid-Atlantic home base at Fairhill Training Center in Maryland.

Wait in Line and Belligerence, are coupled as a same-owner entry. They are both owned by Frontier Stables of Las Cruces, N.M., and trained by Chris Hartman.

The top earner entered in Remington Park's richest Thoroughbred race is More Than Regal, winner of the Iowa Derby and the Prairie Meadows Derby, both at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. Owned by Vinery Stables and trained by Scott Blasi, More Than Regal has made $393,931 from 13 starts, including four wins, two seconds and a pair of thirds. More Than Regal finished third in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Racetrack in early August.

Another derby winner in Friday's race is Sensational Score, triumphant last month in the $100,000 Pomona Derby at Fairplex Park in Southern California. A winner of two races from seven career starts, Sensational Score is a colt by Wild Rush, winner of the Oklahoma Derby in 1997.

The Oklahoma Derby is one of six big stakes events on Friday night as Remington Park presents the top racing program of the season. The other stakes on the card are:
-- $100,000 Remington-MEC Mile, the top 2-year-old race of the season, drew a field of 10;
-- $100,000 Remington Park Breeders' Cup Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at a mile over turf, drew a field of seven;
-- $100,000 Remington Green Stakes at 1-1/8 miles over the turf for 3-year-olds and older, drew a field of 10;
-- $75,000 Remington Park Sprint Championship at seven furlongs for 3-year-olds and older, drew a field of 11;
-- $50,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 6-1/2 furlongs, drew a field of 12.

The Oklahoma Derby night card consists of 11 races and carries total purse money of $741,300, making it the richest night of the Remington Thoroughbred season.

Won last year by Military Major, owned by George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stables, the Oklahoma Derby is the nation's final main-track derby of the year.

$250,000 Oklahoma Derby (Race 9, 10:09 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, ML Odds
1. Casino Evil (KY), Justin Shepherd, 10/1
2. Private Fight (TX), Glen Murphy, 20/1
3. Like an Eagle (KY), Carlos H. Marquez, Jr., 20/1
4. a-Wait in Line (FL), Roman Chapa, 20/1
5. Sensational Score (FL), Michael C. Baze, 6/1
6. More Than Regal (KY), Timothy T. Doocy, 8/1
7. Louisborg (ON), Lonnie Meche, 3/1
8. Almost Certain (KY), Gerard Melancon
9. Mr. Pursuit (KY), M. Clifton Berry, 12/1
10. R's Star (WI), Carlos Montalvom, 20/1
11. Master of Disaster (FL), Mario G. Pino, 7/2
12. a-Belligerence (FL), Richard E. Eramia, 20/1
a- Frontier Stables-owned entry.
Each assigned 122 pounds.