11/17/2004 1:00AM

Quintons Gold Rush due in Friday for derby


Quintons Gold Rush, who won the Grade 2 Lexington in April, will arrive at Remington Park on Friday for the Grade 3, $150,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sunday. He will van in from Churchill Downs and will be ridden by Cliff Berry, said Steve Asmussen, who trains the colt for Padua Stables and Jay Manoogian.

Quintons Gold Rush is one of seven probables for the 1 1/8-mile Oklahoma Derby, which picked up a new shooter on Wednesday in Gamblin, winner of the $75,000 Prairie Meadows Derby. The other probables are Cryptograph, Britt's Jules, Mr. Jester, Golden Glen, and Roarofvictory. A possible eighth starter is Wally's Choice, winner of the Woodlands Derby.

Quintons Gold Rush should vie for favoritism with Cryptograph. In his last start, Quintons Gold Rush bounced back from a troubled ninth-place finish in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby with a dominant 2 3/4-length win in a Churchill allowance Nov. 2. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 97 in that one-mile race.

"We had looked at this race, and his last start put him in position for it," said Asmussen.

Berry, who leads the rider standings at Remington, will be shooting for his second straight win in the Oklahoma Derby. He captured the race last year with Comic Truth, and comes into this year's race red-hot. Berry became the all-time victory leader at Remington last Friday night when he won his 1,318th race at the track aboard Tamara's Babe ($2.80). Berry surpassed Don Pettinger atop the all-time leader board, a spot Pettinger had held since 1995.

Quintons Gold Rush is not the only derby horse arriving at Remington on Friday. Mr. Jester will van in from his base at Louisiana Downs. Gerard Melancon has the mount on the colt, said Steve Wren, who trains Mr. Jester for Kaaren Biggs. Mr. Jester won the $1 million Delta Jackpot last year at Delta Downs and will be the richest starter in the field Sunday, with earnings of $785,400.