10/04/2010 4:35PM

Monsignor ships in to make stakes debut in Oklahoma Derby

Barbara D. Livingston
Pleasant Prince, winner of the Ohio Derby, is among the prime contenders for Sunday's Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park.

Monsignor will be part of a diverse field on Sunday when he makes his stakes debut in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. He flew into Oklahoma City from New York on Monday for the 1 1/8-mile race that is also expected to draw Grade 3 Ohio Derby winner Pleasant Prince; Grade 3 Canadian Derby winner No Hesitation, and Grade 2 Super Derby runner-up Distorted Economy.

The Oklahoma Derby is one of five stakes worth a cumulative $825,000 on the most significant card of the Remington meet. The program includes the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks and the $150,000 Remington Green.

Monsignor popped a career-high Beyer Figure of 100 last out, when he won a first-level allowance at Monmouth Park on Sept. 6. He was prominent throughout the 1 1/16-mile race,and won by more than two lengths.

“It was his first two-turn race and it looked like he really found his niche,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains Monsignor for Padua Stables.

Pletcher said David Cohen has the return call Sunday.

Pleasant Prince breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.32 in company with Grade 3-winning stablemate Aegean on Monday morning at Remington. Wesley Ward, who trains Pleasant Prince, said Joel Rosario will have the mount in the Oklahoma Derby. Rosario is also scheduled to be aboard Aegean when she runs in the $50,000 Flashy Lady on the undercard, and Class of Fifty Two, who is in town for Ward for the $50,000 E.L. Gaylord.

Grade 3 Sapling winner Madman Diaries, whom Ward had considered for Friday night’s $50,000 Kip Deville, instead will train up to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, the trainer said Monday.

No Hesitation will be seeking his sixth straight win after taking the Canadian Derby at Northland Park on Aug. 21. Professor Pollard, his stakes-winning stablemate, is also expected for the Oklahoma Derby, according to Fred Hutton, the racing secretary at Remington.

Pleasant Storm, who won the local allowance prep for the Oklahoma Derby, will pass the race and point for the $175,000 Oklahoma Classics Night Classic, said his trainer, Joe Petalino.

◗ No Such Word arrived in Oklahoma City on Sunday night for a start in the Remington Park Oaks, said her trainer, Cindy Jones. The filly, who won the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks on Aug. 14, came in from Delaware Park. She had an overnight stop in Lexington, Ky., which will be the new home of her travelmate, Just Jenda.

“We took Just Jenda to Airdrie to begin her retirement,” Jones said of the stop in Kentucky.

Just Jenda, winner of the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth in her last start Aug. 29, is to be bred to Proud Citizen. She retires a multiple stakes winner of $750,680. Just Jenda raced for Cindy Jones and her husband, retired trainer Larry Jones.

Larry Jones traveled to Remington with No Such Word.

American Story, an undefeated allowance winner at Del Mar, was scheduled to fly to Oklahoma City on Tuesday, according to Hutton. Bob Baffert trains American Story, who is 2 for 2.

Hutton also expects Joy’s Paradise for the Oaks. Speedacious, a sprint stakes winner last year at Fair Grounds, is under consideration for the Oaks, said her trainer, Bret Calhoun. He said the other option for her is the Flashy Lady at six furlongs Sunday.

Entries for the races will be drawn Thursday.