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Remington Park: Oxley, Casse likely to invade again
Owner John Oxley and trainer Mark Casse have made one successful Remington Park invasion this meet, winning a stakes in September. They hope to have another local starter Sunday. Casse said Exploring will likely run in the $300,000 Springboard Mile, a race for 2-year-olds that closes out the meet in Oklahoma City.
Exploring exits a Churchill Downs allowance route on Oct. 28 in which he finished third to Dewey Square, who returned in his next start to run third in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Exploring had previously won a maiden special weight at seven furlongs at Woodbine. The score came Sept. 30, the same day Oxley and Casse took the $125,000 Remington Park Green with Lockout.
“Currently, the plan is to bring Exploring for the Springboard,” Casse said Monday.
Casse said Exploring has remained at Churchill since the close of that meet last month in order to be in good geographical position to ship in for the Springboard. The horse worked at the Louisville, Ky., track Saturday, breezing five furlongs in 59.80 seconds. The move was the fastest of eight at the distance.
Casse said a rider has not yet been determined for Exploring, but plans are to use a jockey who is based at Remington.
The field for the Springboard Mile was just starting to come together Monday. Don Thompson, the stakes coordinator for Remington, said he is expecting at least one starter from trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has nominated a handful of runners, including Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Spring winner Hightail and Channel Isle and Oxbow, who each won maiden special weight races last month at Churchill.
Thompson also looks for King Henny, winner of the local prep, the $100,000 Clever Trevor, to run in the Springboard.
The Springboard will be held on a special afternoon card that begins at 1:30 p.m. Central. Entries for the race are Thursday. The Springboard will be supported by three other stakes, including a $50,000 overnight stakes for 2-year-old fillies and a pair of sprints for 3-year-olds bred in Oklahoma.
Remington races Wednesday night, the start of an extended five-day raceweek.
Slight calendar shift
There will be a slight shift to the Thoroughbred racing schedules in Oklahoma in 2013. Remington Park in Oklahoma City will open and end a week later than this year’s meet after the Oklahoma Racing Commission granted the track’s request to run 67 dates from Aug. 16 through Dec. 15.
Will Rogers near Claremore was granted a 32-date meet from March 4-May 18, with the change being the weekly structure. Will Rogers will race Monday through Wednesday in March and April, then revert to its typical Saturday, Monday, Tuesday schedule in May. The change is being made because offtrack patrons have responded well to racing early in the week at Will Rogers, said Kelly Cathey, the track’s operations manager. He said Saturdays are being picked up for May because of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Fair Meadows in Tulsa will not conduct a live meet in 2013.
Dermorphin appeal in January
Trainer Roberto Sanchez-Munoz and his brother and assistant trainer, Alejandro Sanchez-Munoz, have appealed rulings citing them for 10 different horses in their care testing positive for dermorphin, a Class 1 drug used as a painkiller, during the Quarter Horse meet at Remington Park. The case is scheduled to come before the Oklahoma Racing Commission at its next meeting Jan. 24.
A stewards hearing was held Oct. 3, and in the rulings that stemmed from it, the stewards recommended the commission assesses penalties greater than the maximum they could impose, which is a one-year suspension and a $2,500 fine for each positive, and, if applicable, loss of purse. The cases were referred to the commission for assessment of penalties.
◗ An amendment that would lower the threshold for the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory phenylbutazone, commonly called bute, in listed stakes in Louisiana has been proposed for adoption by the state’s racing commission. The amendment would put listed stakes at the same phenylbutazone threshold level used for graded stakes – 2.0 micrograms per milliliter of blood – in order to meet Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association requirements for maintaining listed stakes status. The current threshold for all non-graded races in Louisiana is 5.0 micrograms per milliliter of blood. The amendment would change the standard for the 13 listed races in Louisiana, said Larry Munster, assistant executive director of the state’s racing commission. There is a comment period on the proposed amendment, and it could become effective in four to five months.
◗ Linda Gaston was unanimously elected president of the Arkansas Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association during a board of directors meeting Saturday, according to Loretta Brennan, the organization’s executive director. Gaston replaces longtime president Bill Walmsley, who on Nov. 21 was appointed to the Arkansas Court of Appeals by Gov. Mike Beebe. Gaston is an owner and a longtime board member of the Arkansas horsemen’s association. Her term begins Jan. 1. Walmsley’s judicial appointment, which precludes him from serving as the president of the state horsemen’s group, begins Jan. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2014.
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