Zee Oh Six lived up to his heavy 1-5 favorite status to win Saturday's $100,000 Oklahoma Thoroughbred Association Classic at Remington Park. By taking the top race on the 14th Oklahoma Classics night, Zee Oh Six equals Mr. Ross, becoming just the second horse to win the Classic three times. There were seven divisional stakes races conducted Saturday to comprise the Oklahoma Classics, with purses totaling $400,000.
Jockey Cliff Berry took Zee Oh Six to the front from the rail in the 1-1/16 miles race. When Motion Approved came to him to try to pass at the top of the stretch, Remington's leading jockey finally asked last year's Horse of the Meeting for more and he got it. Owned by Barbara & John Smicklas of Norman, Okla., Zee Oh Six was able to fend off the charge of Motion Approved to win by a length in 1:44.07 over a fast main track."They (Motion Approved and jockey Curtis Kimes) pressured me a little bit," Berry noted. "I could see they wanted to but Zee Oh Six is so fast he stayed clear. He just cruised."
Trained by Joe Lucas, Zee Oh Six won his second race of the season by taking another Classic in gate-to-wire fashion."We ran our race," Lucas said. "Our strategy is no secret to anybody that has watched this horse run. They know what we are going to try and do. Sometimes we get it done, sometimes we don't. Tonight we did."Zee Oh Six returned $2.60 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. He also finished first in the Classic last year and in the 2002 version. He tied the mark set by Mr. Ross, who won the Classic three consecutive years from 1999 thru 2001.
Motion Approved held second to pay $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show. Rubiano's Twin was third and returned $2.10 to show.
A 7-year-old gelded son of Alphabet Soup produced from the Little Current mare Belle of Killarney, Zee Oh Six added $57,150 to his lifetime earnings, moving him up to $415,925. His Remington Park record now boasts 10 wins from 18 starts. He has won 12 of his 40 overall attempts.