05/30/2013 2:55PM

Remington: Gilbreath loaded for bear on rich Quarter Horse program


Trainer Sleepy Gilbreath will attack Remington Park’s richest program in history on Saturday night with such prominent runners as Ochoa, the all-time leading earner among Quarter Horses, and Cold Cash 123, the World Champion of 2011. The horses lead a cast of six starters Gilbreath will have in five Quarter Horse stakes on the card that are worth a combined $1.7 million. The program includes the Grade 1, $1,075,260 Heritage Place Futurity, while top older horses have a chance at a berth into the Champion of Champions in the Grade 1, $250,000 Remington Park Invitational.

Ochoa, Cold Cash 123, and Grade 1 winner The Long Knife will represent Gilbreath in the Invitational, a 440-yard race that goes as the 11th on a 12 race program that begins at 6 p.m. Central.

“All three of those horses I’m running, they’re really doing good,” he said.

Cold Cash 123 could go favored off a win in the Grade 2, $101,340 Remington Park Challenge Championship on May 12. He overcame a slow break for a neck win in what was his first start since February.

“He ran a good race,” Gilbreath said. “He didn’t step away from the gate like I’d like to see, but he ran really nice.”

Cold Cash 123 broke from post 3 last out, but drew more favorably for Saturday, in gate 7.

“He’s run his better races further out,” said Gilbreath.

Ochoa, who boasts earnings of $2,619,741, will be making his first start since November. He exits a fifth-place finish to The Long Knife in the Grade 1 Texas Classic Derby. Following that race he was found to have a bone chip in an ankle that has since been removed, according to Gilbreath.

“He’s training really big, probably as good as he has in his life,” said Gilbreath.

Ochoa will remove blinkers Saturday.

“We’re just trying something a little different,” Gilbreath said. “He seems a little more relaxed without them.”

The Long Knife was fourth by a half-length in the Remington Challenge Championship.

“He has a little trouble with the ground [breaking out from under him],” Gilbreath said. “If he doesn’t leave there scrambling and falling, that horse could be hard to outrun.”

In the 350-yard Heritage Place Futurity, Gilbreath will send out Sheza Lady James. She is part of a field that includes fastest-qualifier Hes Relentless, a 4 1/4-length winner of his trial May 10, and Wagon Tales, a stakes winner that Sheza Lady James finished third to during the second round of trials May 11.

“I think she’ll move up from where she qualified. The only thing is there’s some bears in there,” Gilbreath said.

Gilbreath’s other starters Saturday include Buster 123, a half-brother to Cold Cash 123 who runs in the Grade 2, $285,780 Heritage Place Derby.