Lucky Seven Stable’s Rattle N Roll continued his renaissance in Sunday night’s $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3), while the $210,000 Remington Park Oaks (G3) had a hometown flavor thanks to Oklahoma-bred winner Hits Pricey Legacy.
Oklahoma Derby (G3)
Rattle N Roll made it two stakes wins in a row, and three of his past four, with a dynamic last-to-first move. Under Brian Hernandez Jr., the Ken McPeek pupil was unhurried early behind fractions of :23.59 and :47.66. When pacesetter Red Knobs gave way, and Big Chopper inherited the lead by the six-furlong mark in 1:12.11, Rattle N Roll was already doing just that. The 7-5 second choice circled the field on the far turn and swung for home in front.
King Ottoman couldn’t match the winner on the turn, but gained momentum in the stretch. The well-bred son of Curlin offered a stern challenge to Rattle N Roll, a son of Connect and therefore a grandson of Curlin. Rattle N Roll repelled him to prevail in the Curlin sire line tussle and drew 1 1/2 lengths clear.
Best Actor, the even-money favorite, tracked in the second flight but failed to fire in a distant third, another 9 1/4 lengths back. Great Escape rounded out the superfecta, followed by Steal Sunshine, Big Chopper, Flash of Genius, and the tailed-off Red Knobs.
By negotiating 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.50, Rattle N Roll improved his record to 13-5-1-2, and the chestnut is knocking on millionaires’ row with $998,105 in his account. His signature win came in last fall’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1), but he lost the plot this spring. Unplaced in the Fountain of Youth (G2), Louisiana Derby (G2), and Blue Grass (G1), he was third in the Matt Winn (G3). Rattle N Roll finally got back to the winner’s circle in the American Derby, only to get wiped out next time at the start of the Indiana Derby (G3). That didn’t interrupt his recovery of form, for he went on to take the St. Louis Derby on the way to Remington Park.
Rattle N Roll was bred by St. Simon Place in Kentucky and initially sold for $55,000 as a Keeneland November weanling. McPeek acquired the colt for $210,000 as a September yearling at the same venue. Out of the Johannesburg mare Jazz Tune, Rattle N Roll descends from noted matron Goofed.
Remington Park Oaks (G3)
Owner/trainer C.R. Trout’s homebred Hits Pricey Legacy stepped up to surprise a couple of high-profile rivals in the Remington Park Oaks. The 11-1 shot mowed down Free Like a Girl and 3-10 favorite Juju’s Map in her graded debut.
Hits Pricey Legacy had won a pair of state-bred stakes, including the Sept. 9 Oklahoma Stallion Fillies’ S. in her belated sophomore bow. The daughter of Den’s Legacy had placed in both prior open-company attempts as a juvenile, notably when third in the Dec. 17 Trapeze S.
That local form appeared shaky compared to Grade 1 veteran Juju’s Map and to Free Like a Girl, who was coming off a second to next-out Cotillion (G1) romper Society. Yet neither could contain Hits Pricey Legacy on her home track.
Juju’s Map, who didn’t get away cleanly, sped up to take the lead through an opening quarter in :24.46. Free Like a Girl sat in second through the half in :49.13 before overtaking the favorite in 1:14.15.
No sooner had she asserted than Hits Pricey Legacy rallied to tackle her turning for home. With regular rider Jose Alvarez aboard, the chestnut held sway by two lengths while clocking 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.39.
Free Like a Girl crossed the wire one length up on Juju’s Map, who picked up again down the lane. Hannah’s Heaven, Cleopatras Charge, Bionica, Rollin Chrome, and My Friend Amy concluded the order of finish.
Hits Pricey Legacy sports a mark of 7-4-2-1, $269,355. Her dam, the Concord Point mare High Price Hit, is a half-sister to Imahit and Hallelujah Hit, both multiple Oklahoma-bred stakes winners for Trout. This is also the immediate family of Trout-bred Hollywood Hit, Canada’s champion male sprinter of 2010.