08/15/2001 12:00AM

Von Hemel extends record


OKLAHOMA CITY - Trainer Donnie Von Hemel won his 100th Remington Park stakes race last Sunday when Voladora captured the $35,000 Azalea Handicap. No other trainer comes remotely close to that accomplishment in the track's 14-year history; Steve Hobby ranks a distant second in stakes wins with 30.

Von Hemel's dominance of the local stakes program started early, as he captured the first running of the track's signature race, the Remington Park Derby, in 1989. "When you look back on it, it makes you think about how long you've been doing this and how fortunate you are to have good horses like Voladora," said Von Hemel.

Voladora, a 6-year-old mare who is to be retired after this season, can add to Von Hemel's number of stakes wins later this meet. She is being pointed to a handful of local stakes, with her career expected to come to a close in the $50,000 Ada Handicap on Nov. 18.

Mr Ross should also give Von Hemel another stakes win at Remington. Mr Ross, who finished second in this spring's Grade 1 Oaklawn Handicap, has been freshened for a fall campaign and has two major objectives this meet: to defend his title in the $100,000 Oklahoma Day Classics on Oct. 21, and to win the $100,000 Governor's Cup on Nov. 24.

Von Hemel's list of stakes winners at Remington include Clever Trevor, winner of the 1989 Remington Park Derby; Queen's Gray Bee, an eight-time stakes winner at Remington who captured the 1991 Remington Derby; Evansville Slew, winner of the 1994 Remington Park Futurity; and Burbank, Toll Booth Willie, Sportin Okie, Slew O Mink, and Leave a Legacy.

Von Hemel eyes Norman Stakes

Best of K C, who won last year's Norman Stakes at Remington for Von Hemel, starts as the highweight over six others in the $20,000 Wiley Post Handicap, a mile and 70-yard race that goes as the feature Friday.

Best of K C had a productive summer racing on turf at Lone Star Park, and gets back to the main track for the Wiley Post. "Before we put him on the turf, he was fairly accomplished on the dirt, so I think he'll go either way," said Von Hemel.

The chief threat to Best of K C could be Clooney, who set a track record for seven furlongs during the recent meet at Lone Star.

Big crowd at Retama

Retama Park drew a crowd of 12,963 last Friday night as a result of its Fifty-Cent Friday promotion, which offers reduced prices on food and drink items. The promotion is one of the track's biggest attendance drivers, and for the first time this meet will be offered on some Saturday nights, said Retama chief executive officer Bryan Brown.