11/08/2017 3:16PM

Battle of Midway notches milestone for Remington

Barbara D. Livingston
Battle of Midway wins the 2017 BC Dirt Mile at Del Mar last week.

Battle of Midway gave Remington Park a notable claim Nov. 3 when he parlayed a runner-up finish in the Oklahoma Derby into a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar. He became the first horse to win a Breeders’ Cup race one start after running at Remington.

The Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby and its supporting stakes were repositioned from October to late September in 2012 to serve as potential preps for the BC. This year the Oklahoma Derby card was Sept. 24, and five weeks later came Battle of Midway in the Dirt Mile.

“What a campaign he has had, coming up through the ranks and reaching his best on the right day,” said Scott Wells, president of Remington. “We were thrilled about it, of course, and I think it just shows all those 10 stakes races we run that day are timed perfectly for the various divisions of the Breeders’ Cup.”

This year five horses who ran on Oklahoma Derby Day advanced to BC races, with four having their final prep at Remington. The champion Champagne Room won the $200,000 Remington Oaks before finishing sixth in the Distaff; Iron Fist won the $175,000 Governor’s Cup and was fifth in the Dirt Mile; and Gato Del Oro was third in the Oklahoma Derby and seventh in the Dirt Mile. B Squared, eighth in the Oklahoma Derby, came back in his next start and won the California Flag Handicap at Santa Anita before finishing ninth in the Sprint.

Wells said Remington’s surface is one reason those horses prepped there for the BC.

“It’s a testimony to the excellent condition of our track, and the work that our track crew does,” he said. “People are naturally very picky where to run their horses before the Breeders’ Cup.”

Remington’s next major stakes is the $400,000 Springboard Mile on Dec. 17, which for the first time will carry eligibility points for the Kentucky Derby.