09/28/2011 3:22PM

Remington: Chief of Affairs will be winging from rail


When Chief of Affairs draws the rail, the results tend to be golden. Friday night, his connections will be hoping for more of the same when the horse breaks from the fence in the $100,000 David A. Vance Stakes at Remington Park in Oklahoma City.

The Vance, for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs, is a new race this season. Named for the former Remington executive, it drew a diverse cast that includes Tend and Native Ruler, the one-two finishers in a Mountaineer stakes in August, and Humble Destin, the runner-up in the $50,000 Temperence Hill earlier this month at Louisiana Downs.

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Chief of Affairs, a multiple stakes winner of more than $300,000 for the partnership of Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch, has run the best races of his career when breaking from rail posts. From his last five post-1 starts he has won an allowance and two stakes, with each win garnering him a Beyer Figure of 106. Even in defeat Chief of Affairs has run well from the rail. In June he finished second to Canada’s champion sprinter, Hollywood Hit, in a stakes at Presque Isle. For the Vance, the inside draw makes for a simple strategy for Chief of Affairs.

“He’s a fast horse,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “He drew the one-hole and that’s going to be our game . . . we’re going to take it to them and see if they can run us down.”

Cliff Berry will ride Chief of Affairs, who appears to be the dominant speed based on the fractions he has either set or attended in his races. The horse will come into the Vance off a third-place finish in the $200,000 Remington Sprint Cup on Aug. 20. Chief of Affairs was close to the pace before finishing four lengths behind winner Ravalo, a millionaire. Captain Cherokee, a half-brother to two-time Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Midnight Lute, was second in the Remington Sprint.

“I thought he ran a good race,” Calhoun said Chief of Affairs. “It wasn’t his best race, but I think he got outrun by a couple of quality horses.”

Native Ruler, a multiple stakes winner of $700,000, last raced on Sept. 11. He was second in the $100,000 Premiere Cup Handicap at Zia Park in New Mexico, finishing four lengths behind Imco Spirit, who set a track record for six furlongs when he won the race in a blazing 1:07.