09/28/2012 4:08PM

Remington: Oaks may be won or lost at gate by Jemima's Pearl

Barbara D. Livingston
Jemima's Pearl (right), shown working out last spring at Churchill Downs, has gotten extensive schooling from the gate to avoid bad habits.

Jemima’s Pearl will be one of the strongest favorites on the Oklahoma Derby Day card on Sunday, when she seeks the first stakes win of her career in the $250,000 Remington Park Oaks. She is part of an eight-horse field for the 1 1/16-mile race that serves as one of four stakes supporting the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby. The five stakes are worth a cumulative $1 million, and they make for the biggest card of the meet at Remington.

Jemima’s Pearl is a Kentucky Oaks alum who has had some close calls in graded stakes this year. She was third by two lengths in the Grade 2 Fantasy at Oaklawn on April 11, and after a troubled 10th in the Kentucky Oaks she returned to action for the Grade 3 Monmouth Park Oaks. She rallied from last for third, beaten 2 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/16-mile race run Aug. 11.

“I thought she ran a good race,” said Bret Calhoun, who trains Jemima’s Pearl for Gillian Campbell, R Group Management, and Greenwood Lodge Farm. “She missed the break and I thought it probably cost her the race. She also broke bad in the Kentucky Oaks and got squeezed out. She’s not been a very good gate horse and it’s cost her.”

Jemima’s Pearl has continued her gate schooling up to the Remington Park Oaks, and in one of her recent drills she breezed five furlongs from the gate in 1:02.80 at Churchill Downs on Sept. 14. She also has had a chance to breeze at Remington.

“We’ve schooled gates in the morning, and she’s always been very good,” said Calhoun. “We’ve worked her from there, and she’s done very, very good. I don’t know if it’s the commotion of race day, and more assistant starters in the gates, but we’ve also had more assistant starters around her in the mornings.

“She does have issues getting away sharp in the afternoon.”

Calhoun will be hoping for a solid break Sunday, when Jemima’s Pearl could get a strong pace to stalk behind such rivals as Yankee Union, who stretches out to two turns off a six-furlong allowance score at Ellis Park for trainer Thomas Drury Jr., and Sticks Wondergirl, a front-running winner of her last two starts who breaks from the rail for trainer Greg Burchell. Jemima’s Pearl drew post 7, and is to be ridden by Jamie Theriot.

“We thought she drew favorably,” said Calhoun. “If she breaks on time, she should be okay. We think she’s coming into it very good. She’s trained well over the track at Remington. We’re pretty optimistic.”

Others set to start include Lady Jensen, the winner of the $50,000 Te Ata at Remington and a half-sister to $1.5 million earner Solider’s Dancer, and Yvete Sangalo, winner of last year’s $50,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial at Remington.

Delaunay leads Sprint Cup

Delaunay, who in his last start upset Breeders’ Cup Sprint candidate Gantry, invades from Kentucky for the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup. The six-furlong race also drew local standout Alsvid and the Steve Asmussen-trained trio of Joe Hollywood, who is to be ridden by Corey Nakatani, Light Up the Score, a half-brother to multiple Grade 3 winner Four Gifts, and Que Posse, a $50,000 claim last out at Saratoga to be ridden by Edgar Prado.

Delaunay was a two-length winner over Gantry in last month’s $50,000 Temperence Hill at Louisiana Downs, a race in which Delaunay took the initiative from the bell. He covered six furlongs in 1:10 and for the effort earned a career-high Beyer Figure of 100, which is also the best last-race number in the Sprint Cup. Delaunay has been effective from off the pace in some of his races, and on Sunday he could get a tracking trip behind such quick rivals as Apprehender, a front-running son of multiple Grade 1-winning mare Missy’s Mirage, and China, who invades from Arlington Park for trainer John Good.

Delaunay, who has won two stakes since being claimed by Maggi Moss and trainer Tom Amoss for $40,000 last May at Churchill Downs, will break from post 6 under Shaun Bridgmohan.

Alsvid won the local prep for this race, the $103,000 David M. Vance, on Aug. 11. He rallied from just off the pace to cover six furlongs in a blazing 1:08.60. It was the third local win in four Remington starts for Alsvid, a 3-year-old son of Officer who races for Black Hawk Stable and is trained by Chris Hartman. The horse will break from post 2, under regular rider Chris Landeros.

◗ Global Power will be seeking his fourth straight win when he starts in the $125,000 Remington Green, a 1 1/16-mile turf race that drew a strong cast of older horses, including Golden Yank, Stachys, and Skip a Smile. Global Power has won his last three starts on the front end, and could again dictate the pace from his rail post. The chief pace threat is Soultown, who enters off a win in a one-turn mile allowance at Arlington.

◗ Miss Natalie will return to the statebred ranks for the $50,000 Ladies On the Lawn for fillies and mares bred in Oklahoma.