05/19/2008 12:00AM

Von Hemel, Pettinger combine to sweep stakes


Trainer Donnie Von Hemel and jockey Don Pettinger swept the two Oklahoma-bred stakes run at Will Rogers Downs on Saturday, when Marq French captured the $35,000 Oklahoma Thoroughbred Association Classic and Midsummer Magic won the $35,000 Cherokee Casino Classic.

Both races were at six furlongs.

Marq French ($4.40) sat in fourth early in the OTA, as T.D. Jaguar Jones and Margo's Boy dueled through fractions of 21.32 seconds for the opening quarter and 43.46 for the half-mile. Marq French advanced on the turn, moved to the lead into the stretch, and went on to a 1 1/2-length win over favorite Evening Reward. It was another 4 1/4 lengths back to Explosive Okie.

Marq French covered the distance in 1:08.15. Owned by Van and Margie French, he has now won 10 of 28 starts and $271,106.

Midsummer Magic ($9.80) tracked Charlie Sioux through an opening quarter in 21.61 and a half-mile 44.27 in the Cherokee Casino before driving to a half-length win over favorite Reel Chrome. It was another neck back in third to Reel Sweet Talker.

Midsummer Magic was timed in 1:09.14. Midsummer Magic has now won 4 of 14 starts and $143,513.