10/10/2010 9:00PM

Pleasant Prince may move on to BC Classic after Oklahoma Derby win

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Dustin Orona Photography
Trainer Wesley Ward is considering taking Pleasant Prince to the Breeders' Cup Classic after his four-length victory in the Oklahoma Derby.

OKLAHOMA CITY - Pleasant Prince might have punched his ticket to next month’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Sunday, when he swept to a four-length win in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby.

“That’s probably where we’re headed,” said Wesley Ward, who trains Pleasant Prince for Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

The Oklahoma Derby is the richest race of the Remington Park meet, and it anchored a program of five stakes worth a cumulative $825,000. Other highlights on the card included No Such Word’s 6 ½length romp in the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks.

Pleasant Prince was moving back to 1 1/8 miles, a distance that Ward believed would suit him well, and after stalking the pace in the Oklahoma Derby the horse opened up on the field in the stretch. He covered the distance in 1:48.81, winning under a hand ride from Joel Rosario.

“I just showed him the whip a couple of times and he just took off,” said Rosario. “He was much the best horse.”

Pleasant Prince ($6.40), who came into the Oklahoma Derby off a third-place finish in the $300,000 Smarty Jones at a mile and 70 yards at Parx Racing in September, settled in fifth early then moved to the leaders four-wide at the quarter pole. He proceeded to overtake 81-1 pacesetter Timely Pursuit, who held second. It was another 2 ¼ lengths back in third to Stachys.

The remaining order of finish was No Hesitation in fourth, followed by Monsignor, Distorted Economy, Holiday Buzz, Paris Vegas and Professor Pollard. Raven Hawk was scratched.

 

Ward sent Pleasant Prince to Remington from his Keeneland base two weeks before the Oklahoma Derby.

“He had a couple of wonderful works over the track,” he said.

Pleasant Prince was the favorite in the Oklahoma Derby off the strength of his win in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby in July. He also was second in the Grade 1 Florida Derby in March and third in the Grade 3 Derby Trial in April. The horse, who is a son of Indy King, earned $240,000 on Sunday. Overall, he has won 3 of 12 starts and $557,398.

Ward said Pleasant Prince is to ship back to his Keeneland base on Monday. The $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic will be run at neighboring Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.

Remington handled $1,646,788 on its 10-race card from all sources Sunday, which was up 22 percent from last year’s Oklahoma Derby Day.