11/16/2011 2:19PM

Remington Park: Pleasantly Blessed sharp for Holiday Spirit

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Dustin Orona Photography
Pleasantly Blessed wins the Ricks Memorial in her most recent start Sept. 3 at Remington.

Pleasantly Blessed and Skedee have combined to win 10 of 22 starts over the Remington Park turf course. They will meet on Friday in the $50,000 Holiday Spirit.

The Holiday Spirit, an overnight stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf, is one of two stakes at Remington on Friday. The $50,000 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes will be run as a nonwagering event, a half-hour before post for the first race. It is being run as an exhibition after just four 2-year-olds were entered in the six-furlong race led by a horse who would have been a prohibitive favorite, Ted’s Folly.

“At the time of closing entries, we only had three and we needed to run the race because the owners had paid into it,” said Dan Fick, director of racing at Remington. “In a decision made in concert with the horsemen’s representative, we are running it as a nonwagering race. Before we closed [entries], we ended up with a fourth horse and did consider wagering. We’ve been going with nine [races] and decided to leave it as a nonwagering race.”

The Holiday Spirit will go as the eighth, and the horse to beat is Pleasantly Blessed for her 4-for-5 record over the local turf course. She has won her last two races, starting with a turf allowance over Skedee in August. Pleasantly Blessed then captured the $50,000 Ricks Memorial for the second time since 2009 in her most recent out Sept. 3. Luis Quinonez has the mount for owner and trainer Steve Asmussen.

Skedee is 6 for 17 on the turf course at Remington, where she has won two runnings of the Oklahoma Classics Day Distaff Turf. She has finished second in three turf allowances this meet, including the August race in which she ended up 1 1/2 lengths behind Pleasantly Blessed. Chris Landeros has the mount for trainer Mary Lowder.

◗ Fick was to seek Oklahoma Racing Commission approval for a new stakes, the $50,000 Useeit on Dec. 10, during the panel’s meeting Thursday at Remington. The seven-furlong race would be for 3-year-old fillies bred in Oklahoma. Fick said it is designed to complement the $50,000 Jim Thorpe for 3-year-old statebreds at seven furlongs on the same card. He said the Useeit is named for the dam of famed Oklahoma-bred Black Gold.