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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Pleasant Prince Rolls in Oklahoma Derby

Remington Park's most lucrative stakes on Sunday provided a case study in the proverbial cream rising to the top. Ken and Sarah Ramsey's PLEASANT PRINCE (Indy King) rolled to a four-length decision as the 2-1 favorite in the $400,000 Okalhoma Derby, and Brereton C. Jones' homebred NO SUCH WORD (Canadian Frontier) romped by 6 1/2 lengths as the 4-5 choice in the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks. While No Such Word was expected to get a 45-day vacation after her triumph, Pleasant Prince could have just raced into Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) consideration.


Ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario, Pleasant Prince was kept in the clear on the outside while racing several lengths off the pace. Timely Pursuit (Purge), by far the longest shot on the board at 81-1, seized an inviting opening along the rail into the first turn. Moving through to take charge, Timely Pursuit set fast fractions of :23, :46 4/5 and 1:10 4/5.


Pleasant Prince improved his position on the far turn, and joined the battling pair of Timely Pursuit and Monsignor (Forest Danger) swinging into the stretch. It was no contest from there, as Pleasant Prince asserted his class and drew off. The chestnut stopped the teletimer in a brisk 1:48 4/5 for 1 1/8 miles on the fast track, not far off the track record of 1:48 set by Classic Cat in the 1998 Oklahoma Derby.


The Wesley Ward-trained winner returned $6.40, $3.60 and $2.60. Timely Pursuit proved surprisingly resilient and finished a clear second by 2 1/4 lengths, paying $32 and $9.80 and capping the $329.80 exacta. The 30-1 Stachys (Candy Ride [Arg]) closed for third, a half-length up on the 3-1 No Hesitation (Siberian Summer), and provided $7.20 to show. The trifecta was worth $3,258.60, and the 8-6-9-10 superfecta ballooned to $11,280.20. Monsignor tired to fifth in the nine-horse field.

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