Updated on 09/29/2013 9:44PM

Remington Park: Broadway Empire upsets Departing in Oklahoma Derby

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Dustin Orona Photography
Jockey Rico Walcott pumps his fist after crossing the wire first aboard Broadway Empire in Sunday's Oklahoma Derby.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Broadway Empire gave trainer Robertino Diodoro and jockey Rico Walcott the richest wins of their careers Sunday at Remington Park, where he upset 1-5 favorite Departing in the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby.

Departing finished fourth while seeking to win his fifth stakes of the year and his third straight derby following scores in the Grade 2 Super Derby and the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby.

Broadway Empire ($8.80) seized the lead from the start and took the field through fractions of 23.29 seconds for the opening quarter, 46.71 for the half-mile, and 1:11.15 for six furlongs. He went on to win by four lengths over Cameo Appearance, covering the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:49.44.

“He just dragged me up to the lead,” said Walcott, a 24-year-old native of Barbados. “I got him eased up down the backside and was just cruising and sitting as long as I could. Coming into the homestretch, I asked him, and he picked it up and ran down the lane pretty good for me and finished up, and felt like he could go a little more, because the last race, he ran a mile and three-eighths.”

Broadway Empire had won the Grade 3 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park in his most recent start. Before that race, he won the Ky Alta, also at Northlands. He had blinkers removed for both of those races and again ran without the equipment Sunday.

“It’s definitely helped him to relax a little bit,” said Diodoro, a 39-year-old with divisions of his stable at Turf Paradise and Santa Anita.

Diodoro said Broadway Empire likely would ship Tuesday to Turf Paradise before making his way to Santa Anita. Diodoro said next-race plans are to be determined for the horse.

Broadway Empire races for a partnership of four men from Alberta, Canada: Randy Howg, Bob Butz, Fouad El Kardy, and Rick Running Rabbit.

Cameo Appearance finished second in the Oklahoma Derby, followed by Carve, Departing, Braveman, Holiday Mischief, Texas Bling, and He Has Bling.

Departing raced in sixth early and could not make up ground on the leader. He was beaten 5 1/4 lengths. Al Stall Jr., who trains Departing, said following the race that the horse appeared to have emerged from the start in good order.

Departing’s fourth-place finish triggered a record show payoff on Carve, who returned $76.40, eclipsing the track’s old mark of $47.40. Broadway Empire paid $30 to show, and Cameo Appearance paid $43.60. The show pool for the Oklahoma Derby was $289,595, with $273,377 of that amount bet on Departing.

Remington handled $1,506,202 on its 10-race card from all sources Sunday.

The Oklahoma Derby was run for the 25th time Sunday. It was reinstated as a Grade 3 race this year after being run as an ungraded event since 2005.