Mucho Gusto leads early Oklahoma Derby probables

By Dale Day/Remington Park
September 15, 2019 08:59am
Mucho Gusto leads early Oklahoma Derby probables
Photo: Benoit

The Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby will likely include many horses that hit the spotlight on the national level this year, as top trainers from across the country are expected to send competitors for the race set for Sunday, Sept. 29.

Nominations closed Friday with 41 named as possibilities for the race. Here is a look at some of the horses likely to go to the gate for the 31st
 Oklahoma Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds.

CARLOS L

This one is 50-50 about either coming to the Oklahoma Derby or going to the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby, according to Remington Park stakes coordinator Don Thompson. If he does come to Oklahoma City, he will add a little international flavor to the race as Carlos L has only raced in Panama his first two years, and the horse would get in off a 13-3/4 lengths win in the Grade 1, Cl Pres de la Republica Stakes. The colt by Hold Me Back has been in training this summer at Monmouth Park in New Jersey for trainer Jorge Navarro.

CHESS CHIEF

Also coming out of the Travers Stakes, Chess Chief finished farther back than Owendale, running eighth, 8 1/2 lengths behind the winner Code of Honor. A second-place run in the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby in early August earned Chess Chief an opportunity in the mid-Summer Derby at Saratoga.
 

Trained by Dallas Stewart, Chess Chief is still searching for his first victory in a graded event, hopeful that the Oklahoma Derby will fill the bill. 


EXTRA HOPE

National Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella is hoping this son of Shanghai Bobby can get some revenge against Long Range Toddy, who beat him in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn in March. This colt has not run since that race that saw him finish fourth, 3-1/2 lengths behind Long Range Toddy for Mandella and jockey Mike Smith. Extra Hope shows four works in California to prep for this, two of them bullet workouts at Del Mar near San Diego. He has yet to win a stakes race.


LONG RANGE TODDY

Owned and bred by Willis Horton Racing of Marshall, Ark., he worked handily in 1:00 4/5ths for five furlongs on Sept. 8, the third-fastest of eight that day. A son of Take Charge Indy from the Unbridled’s Song mare Pleasant Song, Long Range Toddy won Remington Park’s top 2-year-old race last year and also scored the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes here.

 

This spring at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., Long Range Toddy was second in the $150,000 Smarty Jones; third in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes; and won a division of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes before finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.

Long Range Toddy was awarded a 16
th place finish in the Kentucky Derby. He was then third in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby at Thistledown followed by a fifth-place run in the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.

MUCHO GUSTO

Five-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert has led this son of Mucho Macho Man to multiple stakes wins and has been Grade 1 stakes-placed in his last two, running second, 1 1/4 lengths behind Maximum Security in the Haskell Invitational and third, beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Code of Honor in the Travers Stakes.


OWENDALE

Already a multiple graded stakes winner this season, Owendale could use the Oklahoma Derby as a rebounding experience after running fifth in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga in upstate New York on Aug. 24.
 

 

Trained by Brad Cox for owner Rupp Racing, Owendale closed well to finish third in the Preakness Stakes, 1 1/4 lengths behind victorious War of Will. The Preakness effort was sandwiched between a pair of victories for this colt by Into Mischief. He won the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 13 and then followed his Preakness showing by winning the Grade 3 Ohio Derby at Thistledown outside of Cleveland on June 22. 

TAX

This son of Arch is also a multiple stakes winner this year, taking the Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct and then visiting the winner’s circle more recently in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 27. He has won $786,300 with three wins from nine tries for trainer Danny Gargan.

The Grade 3, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks is the top event of the Oklahoma Derby undercard with 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles. In all, there will be eight stakes events on Oklahoma Derby with total purses exceeding $1.1 million.

 

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