11/21/2004 12:00AM

Wally's Choice in a 33-1 shocker in Oklahoma Derby

Remington Park
Wally's Choice ($69.80) drives clear of Golden Glen to take a one-length decision in Sunday's Grade 3, $167,250 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park.

Wally's Choice took advantage of a hot pace and rallied from last to win the Grade 3, $167,250 at 33-1 at Remington Park on Sunday. Golden Glen finished a length back in second, while it was another length and a half back to third-place finisher and favorite Cryptograph.

The Oklahoma Derby was one of four stakes on the card, and together the races made for the richest program of the meet at Remington.

Wally's Choice ($69.80) raced more than 15 lengths behind Gamblin, who led the field through fractions of 22.43 seconds for the opening quarter and 45.87 seconds for the half-mile mark while being pushed along by Quintons Gold Rush and Britt's Jules. Britt's Jules took over through six furlongs in 1:10.90, while Wally's Choice continued to advance. In the stretch the eventual winner rallied past Crytograph and Golden Glen and covered the mile and an eighth over a muddy track in 1:50.26.

"This little horse knows how to win," said Luis Quinonez, who rode Wally's Choice. "He was going after those horses and didn't quit until he got by them."

"The race was unbelievable," said Mike Biehler, who trains Wally's Choice. "Luis did an excellent job. He got him to relax and make one big run."

Wally's Choice earned $100,350 for the win, which was his third in a derby. He had won the Woodlands and Minnesota derbies earlier this year, but the Oklahoma Derby is his most lucrative win to date. Overall, Wally's Choice has won 7 of 13 starts and $228,090. He is a son of Quick Cut, who is by Storm Cat, and he races for Curtis Sampson and Wally and Joyce McNeil.

Another stakes win for Asmussen

Steve Asmussen, who tied then set a new record for trainer wins in a year on Saturday night when he won the respective $50,000 Groovy Stakes at Sam Houston and the $40,000 Delta Belle at Delta Downs, picked up another stakes win in the region on Sunday when Smooth Bid was up for a half-length win in the $84,000 MEC Mile on the Oklahoma Derby undercard. Silver Haze finished second in the one-mile race for 2-year-olds, a head in front of third-place finisher and favorite City Code.

Smooth Bid ($7.80) settled off the pace in the early stages, advanced down the backstretch, and made his bid through the stretch, covering the distance over a track rated muddy in 1:39.69. Brian Hernandez Jr. rode the winner, who earned $50,400. Smooth Bid has now won 2 of 5 starts and $77,410 for owners Dakota Stables and Cash Asmussen. He is a son of Rubiano.

* Road To Mandalay ($44.40) was left alone on the lead and won the $40,000 Remington Park Oaks by two and three-quarter lengths over Platinum Ballet. It was a head back in third to High Pioneer. The race was scheduled for turf but was held over a muddy main track. Road To Mandalay was allowed to coast through the opening six furlongs in 1:14.02, and went on to cover the one-mile in 1:39.19. Quinonez rode the winner for Diamond G Ranch and trainer Rick Engel.

* Zee Oh Six ($14.80) wired the field in the $50,000 Remington Green, which was moved from turf to the muddy main track. He was in control of the race at the start, and won by four and three-quarter lengths over George Taylor. It was another length back in third to No More Chads. James Lopez rode the winner for John and Barbara Smicklas and trainer Joe Lucas. Zee Oh Six covered the mile and a sixteenth in 1:43.95.

* A special pick 4 linking the four stakes paid $46.40. The winning numbers were 7-2-7-6.

* Attendance was 2,044 and handle on the 10-race card was $684,854.