03/05/2014 3:06PM

Remington Park: Oklahoma Futurity trials highlight opening weekend


Remington Park in Oklahoma City opens one of the nation’s premier Quarter Horse meets Friday night, with a stakes schedule worth more than $4.3 million and jockey G.R. Carter on the countdown to becoming the sport’s all-time winningest jockey. The track’s 50-date season will run through June 1.

Carter, who has won 16 riding titles at Remington, as of last week was 56 victories from becoming the all-time win leader among Quarter Horse jockeys. He is already the sport’s leading earner, with mount earnings of more than $63 million. Carter won 54 races at Remington’s meet a year ago to secure his 10th straight title in Oklahoma City.

Remington’s stakes schedule is again led by the Grade 1, $1 million Heritage Place Futurity, a 350-yard fixture for 2-year-olds that anchors a card of six stakes May 31. Trials for the Heritage Place will be run May 9-10. The finale will share a card with such other major races as the Grade 1, $250,000 Remington Park Invitational Championship for 3-year-olds and up at 440 yards and the Grade 2 Heritage Place Derby.

Remington has long been a launching pad for some of Quarter Horse racing’s top 2-year-olds. Aside from the Heritage Place Futurity, other stakes catering to young runners this meet include the Grade 2, $700,000 estimated Remington Park Futurity on April 19 and the 73rd annual Oklahoma Futurity – the oldest futurity run for Quarter Horses – on March 22.

Remington will run 15 trials for the Oklahoma Futurity on Saturday night, leading the track to set a special early post of 5 p.m. Central. Remington, which will race on a Thursday through Sunday schedule, will have a 6 p.m. Central post most dates except Sundays, when first post is 1:30 p.m. There also will be daytime posts on May 3, 17, and 26.

Eddie Willis, who has won the last eight training titles at Remington, is back for the new meet. Last year, he had 50 wins during the season at Remington.

Remington in January began installing a high-definition control room, and the updated technology, designed to televise the track’s races in the highest quality possible, will debut Friday.