09/24/2012 3:23PM

Oklahoma Derby: Willy Beamin ships in with six-race win streak

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Tom Keyser
Willy Beamin wins the King’s Bishop at Saratoga, his sixth win in a row.

Willy Beamin, who has won his last six starts including the Grade 1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga, was one of four horses who flew into Oklahoma City just after noon Monday to be part of the field for the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby. The 1 1/8-mile race will be run Sunday at Remington Park.

Willy Beamin was joined on the flight by Speightscity, the pacesetter in last month’s Grade 1 Travers for trainer Gary Contessa; Daddy Nose Best, the Grade 3 Sunland Derby winner who has been working at Saratoga for trainer Steve Asmussen; and Politicallycorrect, who was runner-up in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby in July. Wesley Ward trains Politicallycorrect for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the same team that combined to win the 2010 Oklahoma Derby with Pleasant Prince. Monday’s flight into Oklahoma City originated in New York and stopped in Kentucky.

A flight from Southern California was due to arrive Tuesday, bringing Called to Serve, said Don Thompson, the stakes coordinator for Remington. The horse, who is trained by Peter Eurton, was third in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby in his most recent start Aug. 4. Called to Serve on Sunday worked a bullet five furlongs in 59.80 seconds at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Thompson on Monday had a total of nine probables for the Oklahoma Derby. The others were Prospective, winner of the Ohio Derby for John Oxley and trainer Mark Casse; Diamond Joe, who has won his last nine starts and will be ridden by Cliff Berry; Hero of Order, winner of the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby; and Master Rick, the third-place finisher in the Grade 2 Super Derby. Thompson said there is a chance the field size could grow for the Oklahoma Derby.

“There could possibly be 11,” he said. “There might be a local horse or two.”

Second City, the undefeated winner of the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby who had been pointed to the Oklahoma Derby, has been sold to Paul Reddam, said Craig MacPherson, who trained Second City for Peter Redekop. MacPherson said Second City was scheduled to ship Tuesday to trainer Ben Cecil.

Entries for the Oklahoma Derby are to be taken Thursday. Willy Beamin should start as the favorite off his half-length win in the King’s Bishop at seven furlongs Aug. 25. He earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 97 for the score, which came three days after he won the $150,000 Albany for New York-breds at 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga.

Willy Beamin won those races under the care of Richard Dutrow Jr., but was nominated to the Oklahoma Derby with William Cesare listed as the trainer of record. The horse continues to race for Jim Riccio. Dutrow, meanwhile, has been legally challenging a 10-year suspension handed down by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

Dutrow, who last spring was denied a license in Kentucky, has not applied for one in Oklahoma, said Tino Rieger, executive director of the Oklahoma Racing Commission. Rieger said he could not comment on Dutrow’s eligibility because the trainer has not applied for a license in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Derby will be one of five stakes on a special Sunday afternoon card at Remington. Together, the stakes are worth more than $1 million. The $250,000 Remington Park Oaks will be run over 1 1/16 miles, and it is expected to draw Jemima’s Pearl, Thompson said. Jemima’s Pearl was third in the Grade 3 Monmouth Park Oaks last out for trainer Bret Calhoun, who has a division of horses at Remington.

The other races that will be making up the Oklahoma Derby Day card are the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs; the $125,000 Remington Green Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on turf; and the $50,000 Ladies on the Lawn, a 7 1/2-furlong turf race for fillies and mares bred in Oklahoma.

Special post for the card will be 1:30 p.m. Central.