03/26/2017 7:34AM

Ima China Rush gives Payne another Oklahoma Futurity triumph


Ima China Rush broke on top and went on to a half-length win over Pyc Fun N Fancy in the Grade 3, $525,050 Oklahoma Futurity on Saturday night at Remington Park. The race was the first of the meet’s three major stakes for 2-year-olds, a series that continues with the Grade 2 Remington Park Futurity on April 22 and the Grade 1, $1 million Heritage Place Futurity on June 3.

Ima China Rush ($5.40) was the fastest qualifier during 17 trials for the Oklahoma Futurity, which had its 76th running Saturday as the oldest American Quarter Horse futurity, according to officials with Remington. She led at every point of call in the 300-yard race and covered the distance on a fast track in 15.28 seconds.

"She left there really hard, toward the front of the race," winning rider Larry Payne said. "There were a couple of horses on the outside that were heads apart with her. That last 100 yards she put them away pretty good."

Payne rode Ima China Rush for trainer Guillermo Valdivia. She races for her breeder, Sherry Gilmore

Payne has now won the Oklahoma Futurity four times since the race was moved to Remington Park in 2006

Ima China Rush is a daughter of Rushago. For her win, the second in her two-race career, she earned $210,020.

The Oklahoma Futurity topped a 12-race card that was worth $1 million. The program included the Grade 3, $251,000 Oklahoma Derby for Quarter Horses, which was won by Myst Fit ($7.60). He was one of four qualifiers for the race for trainer Trey Wood. Myst Fit was a neck winner over Famousist, while covering 350 yards in 17.38 seconds. Ricky Ramirez was aboard for Newman Cattle Company and Bobby Simmons.