Oklahoma Derby a Laugher for Comic Truth

(from Remington Park report)
Comic Truth made a laugher out of Sunday's $160,700 Oklahoma Derby (gr. III) at Remington Park with a 10-length triumph over favored Excessivepleasure.

Owned by Drs. K.K. & Vilasini Jayaraman and trained by Patrick Daly, Comic Truth sat close to the pace set by Excessivepleasure until the second turn of the 1 1/8-mile event. Under Remington Park's current leading jockey Cliff Berry, Comic Truth shot to the lead around the final turn before drawing off to win impressively in 1:49.59.

"Mr. Daly told me to watch the favorite (Excessivepleasure) and put pressure on him if the others didn't put pressure on him," Berry said. "I made the lead sooner than I wanted and it had me worried a little. My horse left the gate and was on the bit. I could have been on the lead earlier if I wanted to. Everything went great."

Comic Truth was not ignored in the wagering for the Oklahoma Derby, going off at 5-2. Excessivepleasure left the gate as the people's choice at 4-5 odds.

Comic Truth paid $7, $2.80, and $2.10. Excessivepleasure paid $2.20 and $2.10. Morning Merry was along for third and returned $2.10.

The victory was the fifth from 15 career starts for Comic Truth, a 3-year-old chestnut colt by Proudest Romeo from the Lyphard's Ridge mare Comic Wish. Comic Truth was bred in Florida by his owners.

The winner's share of the Oklahoma Derby, $95,400, boosted the career earnings of Comic Truth to $364,348.

The win was the first in the Oklahoma Derby by Berry in his seventh attempt. He was not originally named to ride Comic Truth. Jockey Rafael Bejarano was scheduled to fly into Oklahoma City from Kentucky for the mount. However, his plane was fogged in, in Memphis, Tenn., forcing him to miss.

"I'm disappointed for R.B. (Bejarano)," Daly said. "He's been on this horse for all of his works since I've had him. It's a shame he wasn't able to enjoy the payoff of his hard work.

"When I got word early this morning that R.B. might not make it, I started looking for a local replacement. I looked at the Remington Park jockey standings and started at the top with Cliff Berry. He gave the horse a tremendous ride and knowing this track didn't hurt."

(Chart, Equibase)