April 23, 2024

How Did He Do That pays $91.20 for prevailing in Oklahoma Derby thriller

How Did He Do That (left) nips Red Route One (center) and Tumbarumba (rail) in the Oklahoma Derby (Photo by Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park)

Sunday night’s $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3) nearly produced a triple dead-heat, as the 44-1 How Did He Do That just lasted from his Steve Asmussen stablemate Red Route One and Tumbarumba in a finish determined by inches.

The top five were separated by barely more than a length, and adding to the wild finish, How Did He Do That and fifth-placer Cagliostro had to survive an objection from eighth-placer Groveland before the order was declared official at Remington Park.

By comparison, the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks (G3) was a straightforward stalk-and-pounce job by Honor D Lady.

Oklahoma Derby (G3)

J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s How Did He Do That was an overlay considering his recent third in the Super Derby to Big Data, who just came back to place a bang-up second in Saturday night’s Bourbon Trail S. at Churchill Downs. And in the July 8 Iowa Derby, How Did He Do That dead-heated for the win with One in Vermillion, then inherited the victory outright when his rival was disqualified. That result took on added significance after One in Vermillion captured the tragic H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1) at Saratoga.

On the other hand, How Did He Do That is notoriously inconsistent, and his string of stakes flops includes last fall’s Clever Trevor S. in his only prior start over this track. The Good Magic colt chose a good time to be in the zone in the Oklahoma Derby.

How Did He Do That signaled his intent early with Stewart Elliott aboard. Pursuing front-running Ghost Hero through fractions of :23.57, :48.05, and 1:12.21, How Did He Do That picked up the baton turning into the stretch. But the grinder was surrounded on all sides, from Tumbarumba cutting the corner into contention to Cagliostro unwinding wider out.

As Cagliostro and How Did He Do That engaged, the stalking Groveland was squeezed back between them. How Did He Do That kept finding, but Cagliostro ultimately stalled. Instead, the bigger dangers were the staying-on Tumbarumba and deep-closing Red Route One, who was kicking into gear between Tumbarumba and How Did He Do That.

The trio crossed the wire in line abreast formation. Only the camera could discern that How Did He Do That kept his nose in front of Red Route One, with Tumbarumba another nose away in a near-miss third, in 1:50.34 for 1 1/8 miles.

Raise Cain churned on another length back in fourth, heading Cagliostro. Hit Show, the 9-10 favorite, could never get involved after a wide trip throughout from post 12. Still, Hit Show was beaten a grand total of 2 1/2 lengths in a better-than-appears sixth. Next came Heroic Move, Groveland, Gunflash, Ghost Hero, and the tailed-off no-hopers Pearl’s Earl and Mor Lana Spirit. West Coast Cowboy was scratched after finishing ninth in Saturday’s Pennsylvania Derby (G1).

Groveland’s rider, Jesus Castanon, claimed foul against both Elliott on the winner and Cristian Torres on Cagliostro. The stewards also posted the inquiry sign to review the stretch incident before ruling that there should be no change.

The Steve Asmussen duo of How Did He Do That (no. 9) and Red Route One after finishing one-two in the Oklahoma Derby (Photo by Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park)

Elliott was completing a stakes hat trick. Earlier on the card, he guided Sunlit Song in the Remington Green S. and Medalla Match in the Ricks Memorial. Sire Good Magic recorded a stakes double, following Good Like Magic’s score in the Kip Deville S., and his juvenile daughter Curlin’s Magic was second in the E.L. Gaylord Memorial to Chi Chi.

How Did He Do That furnished a $91.20 windfall for backers who kept faith in him. Also the winner of the Zia Park Juvenile and runner-up to One in Vermillion in the Jan. 29 Riley Allison Derby, the chestnut has bankrolled $562,553 from his 14-4-1-1 line.

Bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings in Kentucky, How Did He Do That went to the Robisons for $190,000 as a yearling at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October. His dam, Stormin Maggy, is a Storm Cat half-sister to 2005 Preakness (G1) and Belmont (G1) champion Afleet Alex. Stormin Maggy, herself trained by Asmussen, earned her stakes placing in the E.L. Gaylord Memorial on Oklahoma Derby weekend in 2009.

Remington Park Oaks (G3)

Honor D Lady took the Remington Park Oaks to become a winner on three surfaces (Photo by Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park)

Final Furlong Farm and Madaket Stables’ Honor D Lady became the latest Saratoga Oaks (G3) also-ran to prosper by reverting to dirt. On Saturday night at Churchill, Xigera rebounded spectacularly in the Seneca Overnight S. Honor D Lady was more workmanlike at Remington, but similarly proved herself on dirt after racing mostly on other surfaces.

Trained by Saffie Joseph and piloted by Tyler Conner, the 7.70-1 chance stalked in third as the favorites went forward. The 2.70-1 Ancient Peace showed her expected speed to cross over and establish splits of :23.49 and :47.49. Merlazza, the even-money choice, attended for the first half-mile until dropping back rapidly and being eased out of the race altogether by Flavien Prat.

Honor D Lady found herself in second before they reached six furlongs in 1:11.46, and she advanced to challenge the longtime leader in the stretch. Although Ancient Peace dug in, Honor D Lady outstayed her in the final furlong. The daughter of Honor Code drove 2 1/2 lengths clear while covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.00 (hand-timed).

Magic Bubbles checked in a further 4 1/4 lengths adrift in third, and Nomadic Pride rounded out the superfecta. Appropriated Funds, Love Tank, and Perfect Wish concluded the order under the wire. Merlazza did not finish, but walked off, according to the chart.

Honor D Lady’s resume reads 8-3-2-2, $244,567, now reflecting wins on all three surfaces. Her previous stakes victory came on turf, in the May 6 Honey Ryder S. at Gulfstream Park. The dark bay, who broke her maiden in a romp on Gulfstream’s Tapeta, has placed in a trio of stakes on that variety of all-weather – Woodbine’s Mazarine (G3) and Selene (G3) as well as the Martha Washington S. back at Gulfstream. She failed to cope with the soft ground when trailing in the Saratoga Oaks, but she’s in good company.

Honor D Lady was bred by William Harrigan and Mike Pietrangelo in Kentucky. After RNA’ing for $70,000 as a Keeneland November weanling, she sold for $40,000 as a September yearling.

Out of the Blame mare Complicated, Honor D Lady is a half-sister to stakes scorer Churchtown and to recent Natalma (G1) runner-up Simply in Front. They descend from multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Educated Risk, herself a half to Hall of Famer Inside Information, from a decorated Phipps family.

Here are stretch replays of several other stakes on the banner card at Remington. In addition to the aforementioned wins by Good Like Magic, Chi Chi, Sunlit Song, and Medalla Match, Albizu rallied last-to-first in the David M. Vance S.