December 5, 2021

Warrant takes inside path in Oklahoma Derby; Lady Mystify rebounds in Remington Park Oaks

Warrant became trainer Brad Cox's third straight Oklahoma Derby winner (Photo by Dustin Orona/Remington Park)

Trainer Brad Cox and jockey Joel Rosario combined to win three stakes at Remington Park Sunday, anchored by the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3) with Warrant.

Oklahoma Derby (G3)

Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ homebred Warrant parlayed a rail-skimming trip to his biggest career victory. In the process, the 3.20-1 chance gave Cox an unprecedented third straight Oklahoma Derby trophy, after Owendale (2019) and Shared Sense (2020). As announced on the Remington Park simulcast, the only other trainer to win three editions overall is Donnie Von Hemel.

Warrant was reserved in midpack as Flash of Mischief won the brief pace scrum through an opening quarter in :23.56. Flash of Mischief continued to race several paths off the rail, and Rosario was not going to neglect that invitation down the backstretch. Warrant advanced into third by the half-mile mark in :47.95, and engaged Flash of Mischief passing six furlongs in 1:12.25.

Although Flash of Mischief briefly re-asserted turning into the stretch, Rosario had yet to get serious aboard Warrant. And when he did ask, the Constitution colt found plenty. Warrant outstayed Flash of Mischief inside the final furlong of the 1 1/8-mile test, kicked 1 3/4 lengths clear, and crossed the wire in 1:50.76.

Super Stock, the 2-1 favorite who lunged out of the gate, churned into third, a half-length off Flash of Mischief. After a 6 1/4-length gap came Team Merchants in fourth, followed by a non-threatening Mr. Wireless, Defeater, Dial in for Lute, and tailed-off longshot Parrot Head.

Warrant had traded decisions with Mr. Wireless, prevailing two back in the May 31 Texas Derby but settling for the runner-up spot in the Aug. 7 West Virginia Derby (G3). The chestnut moved forward to dominate the rubber match here, boosting his earnings to $634,700 from a 7-3-3-1 line. The Fair Grounds maiden winner was runner-up to stablemate Fulsome in his stakes debut in the May 1 Oaklawn S.

The Kentucky-bred is a half-brother to Grade 2-winning sprinter Ms Locust Point. Out of the First Samurai mare Whisper Number, Warrant descends from the same female line as New York-bred millionaire Mr. Buff and Grade 1 victress Friendly Michelle.

Remington Park Oaks (G3)

Lady Mystify showed a new tactical dimension in the Remington Park Oaks (Photo by Dustin Orona/Remington Park)

California shipper Lady Mystify sprang a mild upset of the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks (G3), leaving the 8-5 Pauline’s Pearl and 11-10 favorite Amendment Nineteen to fight out the minors in her wake.

The Peter Eurton trainee was let go at 6-1 after disappointing in her Torrey Pines (G3) stakes debut. But she’d bled without Lasix when fading to fifth in that Del Mar feature, and the raceday medication helped her rebound at Remington.

Lady Mystify was also reuniting with Flavien Prat, who’d guided her to wins in her two prior starts. The Bernardini filly routed a Feb. 5 maiden at Santa Anita by 18 lengths and resumed with a July 29 entry-level allowance tally at Del Mar. Both of those came in front-running fashion, and she likewise went forward in the Aug. 21 Torrey Pines before retreating.

A more relaxed Lady Mystify showed a new tactical dimension here. Engineering a stalk-and-pounce trip from the outside post 7, the bay watched longshot My Girl Red post splits of :23.60 and :47.29. Pauline’s Pearl, nestled just off the pace, worked her way to the outside and appeared to have dead aim on the far turn. But it was Lady Mystify who took command at the six-furlong mark in 1:11.80 and drew away to a three-length decision.

Pauline’s Pearl saved second by a head from the belatedly closing Amendment Nineteen. Next came Bobbin Tail, Lovely Ride, My Girl Red, and the tailed-off Hailey’s Melody.

By covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.13, Lady Mystify improved her record to 6-3-1-1, $217,520 for Exline-Border Racing, SAF Racing, and Richard Hausman. She was bred in Kentucky by Scott Dilworth and Evan Dilworth. Initially sold for $120,000 as an OBS October yearling, Lady Mystify went to her current connections for $325,000 as an OBS Spring juvenile. Her dam, the Unbridled’s Song mare J. Quirk, hails from the family of Hall of Famer Tiznow, Paynter, and Oxbow.

Undercard stakes

The streaking Greeley and Ben made it nine in a row in a hot renewal of the $150,450 David M. Vance S., where he went off as the 3-2 favorite despite the class hike. On an upward curve ever since his $10,000 claim by trainer Karl Broberg’s End Zone Athletics, the veteran raced within striking range of the blistering pace and galloped home by 2 1/2 lengths. Mr Money Bags and Long Range Toddy got up for the placings, overhauling an exhausted Empire of Gold. Joe Talamo steered Greeley and Ben through six furlongs in 1:09.79.

Leading freshman sire Gun Runner racked up another stakes winner when Concept broke his maiden for Steve Asmussen in the $75,000 Kip Deville S. Setting a contested pace on the inside, the 19-10 chance repelled even-money favorite Tejano Twist and edged 1 1/2 lengths clear. Concept negotiated six furlongs in 1:10.12 with Ricardo Santana.

Asmussen indicated that the Tony Holmes and Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred is on course for the rest of Remington’s juvenile series, the Oct. 29 Clever Trevor S. and Dec. 17 Springboard Mile. Third in his Lone Star premiere and fifth in the Prairie Gold Juvenile, Concept needed racing to put it all together.

Cox and Rosario’s undercard stakes victories came with two-year-old filly Sea Level and sprint vixen Cinnabunny.

In the $51,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial for juvenile fillies, the 9-5 Sea Level swamped the 17-10 favorite Hits Pricey Legacy by 3 3/4 lengths. The Barry and Joni Butzow homebred finished 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.41 to remain perfect from two starts. A daughter of Exaggerator, Sea Level opened her account at Indiana Downs.

The 3-2 Cinnabunny got the jump on deep-closing 7-10 favorite Casual in the $50,000 Flashy Lady S. Holding sway by 3 3/4 lengths in her first stakes coup, the Madaket Stables and partners’ runner clocked six furlongs in 1:10.69. Cinnabunny had placed third in a pair of stakes, the Sugar Swirl (G3) and Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial for Pennsylvania-breds at Parx last out.

George A. Sharp’s Golden Curl made her first start for trainer Shawn Davis a winning one in the $75,000 Ricks Memorial S. The Curlin mare inherited 2.20-1 favoritism after the scratch of another of his progeny, morning-line choice Curlin’s Journey. Under David Cabrera, Golden Curl attended the pace, forged ahead, parried the late thrusts of Valentines Day and Island Hideaway, and polished off 1 1/16 grassy miles in 1:42.51. She had been plying her trade at the allowance level and the occasional claimer before taking a swing at stakes on her new circuit.

Classy turfiste Spooky Channel justified 2.60-1 favoritism in the nightcap, the $100,000 Remington Green S. Trained by Jason Barkley and delivered at the precise time by James Graham, the NBS Stable runner toppled defending champion Sunlit Song. Last year’s runner-up, Tut’s Revenge, wound up third. Spooky Channel sped 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.01, not far off the course mark of 1:46.22. The English Channel gelding’s previous highlights came in the 2020 W.L. McKnight (G3) and Jan. 31 John B. Connally Turf Cup (G3) for Terry Hamilton and Brian Lynch. Claimed for $80,000 at Churchill Downs Apr. 30, he was most recently second in the Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup at Ellis Park.