09/27/2012 3:37PM

Remington Park: Prospective wants dry track for Oklahoma Derby

JJ Zamaiko Photography
Prospective will seek his fifth stakes win of the year in the Oklahoma Derby.

Trainer Mark Casse is hoping for a fast track for Prospective when the Kentucky Derby alum seeks his fifth stakes win of the year Sunday in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby. It was a wet morning at Remington Park on Thursday, when Prospective was part of a 10-horse field drawn for the track’s marquee race.

“Hopefully, it will stop,” Casse said of the wet weather, which is expected to lift in advance of Sunday.

The Oklahoma Derby is the richest race of the meet at Remington, and this year it is being run two weeks earlier in part to make it more appealing to horses seeking a prep for the Breeders’ Cup. Willy Beamin, winner of the Grade 1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga in his last start Aug. 25, heads the field, with Edgar Prado to ride from post 10. Other leading contenders are Daddy Nose Best, winner of the Grade 3 Sunland Park Derby who will break from post 7 under Corey Nakatani, and Diamond Joe, who will be seeking his 10th consecutive win when he breaks from the rail under Cliff Berry.

Prospective began his year in Florida, and after winning the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby in March advanced to the Kentucky Derby, where he finished 18th after clipping heels in the race. The horse recaptured his best form one start later, when he won the $153,000 Victoria Park at Woodbine in June and then accounted for the Grade 3 Ohio Derby in July.

Prospective drew post 4 for 1 1/8-mile Oklahoma Derby, which will be his first start since July 28, when he finished eighth in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy run over a sloppy track at Saratoga. Prospective was subsequently entered and then scratched from the $350,000 Smarty Jones at Parx Racing on Sept. 3.

“We took him to run in the Smarty Jones, but it rained really, really badly,” Casse said.

Casse noted that the two races in which Prospective “just never showed up at all” came over wet tracks. The Jim Dandy in his last start and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November. Casse characterized the track surface for the Juvenile as wet-fast and heavy. Prospective had come into the Juvenile off a win in the Grade 3 Grey at Woodbine.

Prospective is a son of Malibu Moon who races for John Oxley, who has strong ties to Oklahoma. Jermaine Bridgmohan has the mount on the horse, who he guided to a 2 1/2-length victory in the Ohio Derby.

The complete field for the Oklahoma Derby from the rail with riders is Diamond Joe, Berry; Called to Serve, Daniel Centeno; Politicallycorrect, Kent Desormeaux; Prospective, Bridgmohan; Ted’s Folly, Jose Medina; Master Rick, Gerard Melancon; Daddy Nose Best, Nakatani; Suns Out Guns Out, Corey Lanerie; Speightscity, Irad Ortiz Jr.; and Willy Beamin, Prado.

The Oklahoma Derby is being run on a special afternoon card that has a first post of 1:30 p.m. Central. The race will be supported by four stakes, including the $250,000 Remington Park Oaks that goes with a field of eight including Jemima’s Pearl, the third-place finisher in the Grade 3 Monmouth Park Oaks. The $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Championship drew nine horses, including Delaunay who upset Breeders’ Cup Sprint candidate Gantry last out in the $50,000 Temperence Hill at Louisiana Downs. Together, the five stakes on the card will be worth more than $1 million. Forecasters are calling for clear skies and a high of 80 degrees Sunday in Oklahoma City.

◗ Saturday night at Remington, She’s All In, winner of the Grade 3 Sixty Sails earlier this year at Hawthorne, returns to dirt in the seventh race. She will start as a strong favorite in a one-mile allowance restricted to fillies and mares bred in Oklahoma. Luis Quinonez has the mount for Robert Zoellner and trainer Donnie Von Hemel. Also on the card, Grade 3 winner Rocket Twentyone goes in the third race for trainer Tom Howard.