09/27/2013 3:24PM

Remington Oaks softer spot for fresh Marathon Lady

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Barbara D. Livingston
Marathon Lady (right), second to Fiftyshadesofhay in the Black-Eyed Susan, will make her first start since May in Sunday's Remington Park Oaks.

Marathon Lady has hooked Princess of Sylmar, Close Hatches, and Fiftyshadesofhay in her last three starts. Her life gets easier on Sunday. Marathon Lady will be dropping from Grade 1 company for the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, one of five undercard stakes supporting the Oklahoma Derby.

The package of six stakes worth $975,000 makes for the most prestigious card of the meet. As part of the program, Remington will have a $25,000 guaranteed pick four pool on races 7-10. The sequence opens with the $75,000 Kip Deville for 2-year-olds, and includes the $100,000 Remington Green as well as the Oklahoma Derby.

Marathon Lady is seeking her first stakes win after placing in five graded races. Her most prominent efforts include a runner-up finish to Fiftyshadesofhay in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan, a third to Close Hatches in the Grade 1 Mother Goose, and a third to Kentucky Oaks heroine Princess of Sylmar in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks in her last start July 20.

“We kind of matched her up pretty tough, three races in a row,” said trainer Steve Hobby. “We kind of backed up, freshened her up.

“She’s trying so hard every time, you don’t want to just keep doing that to one. We got her Grade 1-placed, took our chance. Now we’ll just ease up a little bit to try to get a stakes win.”

Marathon Lady is part a seven-horse field for the Remington Park Oaks, which will be run at 1 1/16 miles. Her competition includes Montana Native, who also drops in from a Grade 1, having finished fifth in the Alabama won by Princess of Sylmar.

Marathon Lady will break from post 2, under Robby Albarado.

“I think she’s best just off the pace, with something to kind of chase,” Hobby said. “She’s got a big, long stride. She’s real steady. She’s not a closer, not a speed horse.”

Marathon Lady races for Alex and JoAnn Lieblong.

Sister Ginger has won three of her last four starts, including the $127,000 Indiana Grand at a mile on the grass at Indiana Downs on July  20.

“Her last several races have been on turf, but she’s a stakes winner on dirt, as well,” said trainer Steve Asmussen.

Sister Ginger won the $75,000 Martha Washington at Oaklawn in February, over Grade 3 winner Rose to Gold. Ricardo Santana Jr. was aboard, and he has the mount Sunday.

Daddy Nose Best heads Remington Green

Daddy Nose Best has shown versatility as a Grade 3 winner on both dirt and synthetic surfaces. But he accomplished something all together new last month, when he took the $75,000 DeBartolo Memorial at his base of Remington Park.

“That was his first turf stakes win, and hopefully, he has a nice future there,” said Asmussen, who trains Daddy Nose Best for Cathy and Bob Zollars.

Daddy Nose Best will be out to build his case Sunday in the $100,000 Remington Green. He is one of eight horses in the 1 1/16-mile turf race and should go favored off his DeBartolo performance. Daddy Nose Best finished with a flourish, for a one-length win, his second straight score behind an allowance in July.

“The allowance race at Indiana put his head where it needed to be,” Asmussen said. “He obviously has talent, and back class. This is a very good spot.”

Last year, Daddy Nose Best won both the El Camino Real Derby and Sunland Park Derby. Santana has the mount from post 8.

Cherokee Lord, who won the Remington Green two years ago, will be stretching back out after finishing eighth in the $137,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Dash.

Alsvid defends title in Sprint Cup

Alsvid will be defending his title in the $150,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup, a six-furlong race that he won by a nose last year at 3. He appears to be an even better horse at 4, judging from the sharp form he brings into the race Sunday.

Alsvid earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 109 two starts ago, for a 16-length win in an optional $35,000 claimer at Prairie Meadows on July 18. He backed up the performance last out, when he captured the $100,000 Premiere Cup Handicap at Zia. In that race he covered six furlongs in a blazing 1:07.80, for a Beyer of 99. Ken Tohill has the mount for Black Hawk Stable and trainer Chris Hartman.

◗ The undefeated Smack Smack will be seeking the third stakes win of his career in the $75,000 Kip Deville for 2-year-olds at six furlongs. His rivals include Aarons Orient, a maiden special weight winner last out at Saratoga, and Rivers Run Deep, who won at the same level last month at Del Mar. The Kip Deville should produce starters for the $250,000 Springboard Mile.

◗ Sooner Superstar returns to racing with fillies and mares in the $50,000 Ladies On the Lawn for Oklahoma-breds, one start after defeating males in the $50,000 Red Earth.

◗ Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg will be signing copies of his new biography Sunday.