Shotgun Kowboy, the only Oklahoma-bred to win the Oklahoma Derby (G3) and an Oklahoma Classics Cup, looked like he did in his breakthrough 3-year-old year Oct. 20 with another score in the $175,000 Oklahoma Classics Cup at Remington Park.
Under jockey Richard Eramia, Shotgun Kowboy handled pressure on the lead, fended off rivals, and then pulled clear as he pleased to win by 5 1/4 lengths. Tuff Kid fired a big late rally to gain second. Royal Lion was third, another length back. Shotgun Kowboy handled the 1 1/16-mile test for Oklahoma-breds in 1:43.20 over a fast track.
Away from the gate sharply, Shotgun Kowboy had plenty of competition for the early lead, with six-time Cup participant Z Rockstar, Makin The Dough, and Cash King all vying for a piece of the front. That prolonged battle continued until the field reached the final turn. The group worked through quarter-mile fractions of :23.98, :47.83, and 1:11.75, but the company up front did not concern Eramia, who rode Shotgun Kowboy for the first time.
"I wasn't worried," the rider said. "Everything was good. He was training really good. He's the best Okie-bred. I didn't' worry about it. He was ready for this race."
Eramia's confidence came through in Shotgun Kowboy's performance, as he opened up by as many as seven lengths in mid-stretch. Owned, trained, and bred by C.R. Trout, his stable star returned to the form he showed earlier this year, when he won a pair of allowance events at Oaklawn Park. He finished third in the Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) in May before he was sent to the sideline.
"He had come up with some really sore feet, so we had to back off of him, because he just couldn't train," Trout said. "So we went to work on his feet and he was nursed back to health."
The time off served Shotgun Kowboy well, as he shined brightly on the big night for Oklahoma-breds at Remington Park, an evening the Trout operation has enjoyed with much success for many years.
The win is the ninth of 21 attempts for Shotgun Kowboy, a gelding by Kodiak Kowboy. He has won seven of his nine starts at Remington Park and his lifetime bankroll is now at $985,927.
The Classics Cup win is the fourth for Trout, who also won with Imahit (2013-14) to go along with Shotgun Kowboy's 2015 score. Trout has now won 11 Oklahoma Classics stakes races in his career. Donnie Von Hemel leads with 26 total Classics wins.
Other winners on the Oklahoma Classics card were Diamondandstripes (Juvenile), Gianna's Dream (Distaff Turf), Bustin a Move (Lassie), Inagoodway (Distaff), Eurobond (Sprint), Hailstorm Slew (Distaff Sprint), and Pacific Typhoon (Turf Classic).