10/16/2011 9:58PM

Remington Park: Tourmaline stuns favorites in Remington Park Oaks

Dustin Orona Photography
Tourmaline springs a giant upset in the Remington Park Oaks under jockey Dean Butler.

OKLAHOMA CITY - Tourmaline ran the race of her life on Sunday, when she overtook Grade 3 winners Savvy Supreme and May Day Rose on the wire to win the $250,000 Remington Park Oaks. She paid $52, one start after finishing a troubled ninth in the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks.

The Remington Park Oaks was one of three stakes on what was the most significant card of the meet. It shared a program with the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby won by Redeemed ($12.80) and the $125,000 Remington Green won by Cherokee Lord ($4.40).

Tourmaline settled in fourth in the Remington Park Oaks as May Day Rose, with Savvy Supreme stalking, took the field through six furlongs in 1:10.02. Tourmaline advanced on the final turn and closed well through the stretch to get up for a half-length win. She covered the mile and a sixteenth on a fast track in 1:42.76.

“I had a perfect trip,” said Dean Butler, who was aboard the winner for trainer Bernell Rhone. “She broke good and she put me into position. The other morning we let her work a little bit, a little faster than what we usually do, and she skipped along pretty good. So, I think that might have helped put some speed [in her]. I was able to place her real well, and then I just kind of sat patiently, saved as much ground as I could, and saved the running for last.”

Rhone had been wanting to give Tourmaline, a two-time stakes winner for owners Mike Walker and Wayne Ukens, a chance at a bigger prizes, and the first step was the Charles Town Oaks on Sept. 17.


“I like the horse,” he said. “She has been beating minor horses. It was time to try the better horses, and we went out to West Virginia and had a disastrous trip. A horse bolted in the race and knocked us out of it.”

Tourmaline proved out her trainer Sunday by beating a strong field in the Remington Park Oaks. Rhone said there are no immediate next-race plans for Tourmaline.

“We’re going to give her a little time,” he said. “We’re going to Tampa for the winter, hopefully, the owners will send her down there and look at their series down there.”

Cherokee Lord in Green

Cherokee Lord got back on turf and back in the winner’s circle in the $125,000 Remington Green. One start after finishing an uncharacteristic 10th in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup, he picked up the first stakes win of his career in the Green.

Cherokee Lord raced in second early behind Smokethruakeyhole, who was up by six lengths through an opening quarter in 23.33 seconds. The eventual winner overtook the pacesetter in the stretch and went on to a 2 1/4-length win over Skip a Smile.

Rafael Bejarano rode Cherokee Lord, who covered the mile and a sixteenth on firm turf in 1:42.73. Millard Seldin Revocable Trust and the Estate of Hoss Inman own the horse, who is trained by Charles Livesay.

Livesay said the 4-year-old would be freshened before next-race plans are determined.