08/19/2009 12:00AM

Cordova begins comeback at Remington


Some horseplayers will stop cold on Costa de Oro when looking over Friday night's eighth race at Remington Park - and not just because the undefeated 3-year-old is a top contender in the first-level allowance. Costa de Oro will be jockey Dale Cordova's first mount since 1998.

Back in the late 1990s, Cordova was the regular rider of millionaire Silver Goblin. He retired the same year as his most noted mount, when just 34, in order to get off the road and be more involved with the upbringing of his children. Cordova's children are now grown up, and with the support of his wife, Lisa, he thought the timing might be right for a comeback. It didn't hurt matters that purses are projected to be a record $250,000 a day at the couple's hometown track of Remington.

"I went on a healthy diet earlier this year just to feel better, and the weight started to melt off," said Cordova, 45. "I weighed almost 150 pounds, and all of the sudden it starting coming off so easy. It got to where I was joking with myself, 15 more pounds, and I could go to riding."

Cordova put himself on a serious fitness regiment that included riding an Equisizer, an exercise machine that simulates the movements of a horse. He began getting back on horses in July and said he will be tacking 116 to 117 pounds. He has been working Costa de Oro for trainer Randy Morse, whose brother, Ronnie, will be Cordova's agent.

"I had such an intense exercise program, what amazed me was that the first five horses I got on, I never got sore or out of air," Cordova said. "Right now, I'm the absolute fittest I've ever been in my life."

Cordova was a perennial top five rider at Remington. He is not focusing on riding past the Remington meet.

"It's just opening day," he said. "If things are just crazy and go great, who knows? Right now, though, I'm just going to put the feelers out and hope for the best."

Yearling sale Monday

The third annual Oklahoma City summer yearling sale will be held Monday night at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds. It will begin at 6 p.m. There are 113 horses cataloged to the auction, up from 78 in 2008. Last year, the sales topper was a $50,000 colt by Slew City Slew.

Among the stallions represented in this year's auction are Alphabet Soup, Bandini, Cuvee, Evansville Slew, Jump Start, Lucky Lionel, Officer, Toccet, and Touch Gold. The auction is produced by Carter Sales Company.

Millionaires honored at Remington

Kip Deville, who was named the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Association's horse of the year during a banquet last Saturday night at Remington, is one of 32 horses being honored with new eight-foot-tall display panels situated throughout the track. The panels give a summary of each horse's career, said Scott Wells, president of Remington.

"We've identified 32 horses so far that have raced at Remington and have earned $1 million plus, all the way up to Kip Deville with $3.3 million," he said.

Kip Deville made one start at Remington. He finished fifth in the Centennial Stakes in his career debut on Oct. 28, 2005.