09/24/2013 4:27PM

Remington Park: Oklahoma Derby has seven likely to challenge Departing

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Tom Keyser
Texas Bling, a probable starter for the Oklahoma Derby on Sunday, has run well at Remington in the past, winning last year's Springboard Mile.

Departing’s list of challengers for the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on Sunday is starting to swell. Cameo Appearance is probable for the 1 1/8-mile race, trainer Wayne Catalano said Tuesday, while Carve and Texas Bling also have been confirmed by their connections to be part of a projected field of eight. Entries will be taken Thursday.

The Oklahoma Derby, which has been reinstated as a graded race after last being run as one in 2004, is the richest race of the meet at Remington. It anchors a special Sunday afternoon program of six stakes worth a cumulative $975,000. Other races on the program include the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, for which Marathon Lady is being pointed, according to her trainer, Steve Hobby.

Departing will be a strong favorite in the Oklahoma Derby, just as he was when he won the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby at 1-5 in his most recent start Sept. 7. For his effort, he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 104. Since the start, Departing has breezed a half-mile, going in 48.40 seconds at Louisiana Downs on Sunday.

“The track got a lot of rain and was tightened down,” trainer Al Stall, Jr. said. “He came home in 35 [seconds] and change, his standard deal.

“He’s right on schedule.”

Robby Albarado has the mount.

Cameo Appearance, who was third in the Super Derby, is scheduled to travel to town from his Churchill Downs base Thursday, Catalano said. The horse was prominent in the Super Derby before finishing seven lengths behind Departing. For his graded stakes debut, Cameo Appearance earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 93, one of the best last-race numbers in the Oklahoma Derby.

“I know [Departing] is going in there,” Catalano said Tuesday. “We’re going to point that way and see what happens.”

Catalano said Luis Quinonez is scheduled to be aboard Cameo Appearance.

Texas Bling, who won last year’s $300,000 Springboard Mile at Remington, returned to the track Tuesday after a powerful five-furlong work Saturday. He went a bullet five furlongs in 58.60 seconds at Remington.

“He’s bounced right back, returned to the track in very good fashion,” trainer Danele Durham said.

Texas Bling will be making his first start since an eighth-place finish in the Arkansas Derby on April 13. Earlier in the year, he was second by a neck in the $150,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn, a race won by Will Take Charge, whom Texas Bling had defeated in the Springboard Mile.

Jockey Fabio Arguello worked Texas Bling and has the mount in the Oklahoma Derby, Durham said.

Durham said He Has Bling, winner of a division of the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star Park, also will likely start in the Oklahoma Derby.

Carve, who finished third in the Arkansas Derby and in more recent times was fifth in the $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs, is targeting the Oklahoma Derby, according to trainer Steve Asmussen. He said the horse has worked well at Remington, among his drills five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.20 on Sept. 16.

Holiday Mischief is another Remington-based runner who will start in the Oklahoma Derby. He breezed a half-mile in 48.80 on Monday. Cliff Berry has the mount, trainer Joe Offolter said. Holiday Mischief won the Prelude and was seventh in the Super Derby.

Braveman, the runner-up in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby, was scheduled to ship Tuesday night from his Tennessee base to Remington for the Oklahoma Derby, trainer Roger Anderson said. Terry Thompson has the mount on the horse, who is based at a training center located four miles from Kentucky Downs, Anderson said.

Broadway Empire, winner of the Grade 3 Canadian Derby at Northlands in his last start Aug. 17, has arrived in Oklahoma City, according to Don Thompson, stakes coordinator at Remington.