CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS WINNER APOLLITICAL PENCE HEADS STRONG FIELD FOR MIGHTY DECK THREE STAKES; SLM BIG DADDY WIDE OPEN
OKLAHOMA CITY – March 7, 2021 – The beginning of the stakes season at Remington Park for 2021 starts with a bang as the Restricted Grade 2 $68,000 Mighty Deck Three Stakes has drawn last year’s Champion of Champions winner at Los Alamitos, Apollitical Pence.
The $600,000 Champion of Champions has been traditionally the most prestigious race of the year for older Quarter Horses.
Apollitical Pence, a 5-year-old gelded millionaire son of Apollitical Jess, out of the Tres Seis mare Send City, was made the 9-5 favorite in the Mighty Deck Three by morning line-maker Jerry Shottenkirk. The gelding will have his work cut out for him with the likes of Eagles Fly Higher and Charlies Fury in the field. Apollitical Pence, owned by Dunn Ranch of Wynnewood, Okla., and trained by Monty Arrossa, is the defending champion in this race. He won last year’s division despite the lack of focus on the part of the horse.
“We were a full length in front halfway and then he got to looking at the lights,” said winning jockey Ricky Ramirez. Multiple graded stakes-winning jockey Francisco Calderon gets the call for this year’s race. Raul Valenzuela rode him in the Champion of Champions.
Apollitical Pence finished the 250-yard Mighty Deck Three last year in 13.056 seconds for a speed index of 98 that night as the 4-5 favorite. He finished a neck in front. This gelding, who surpassed a million dollars in winnings with the Champion of Champions victory in California, has raced 23 times in his career, winning nine, running second four times and third five times for a total bankroll of $1,017,391. Apollitical Pence was Champion 3-year-old at Remington Park in 2019 and has won four-of-seven races in Oklahoma City.
Eagles Fly Higher, owned by Darling Farms and Valeriano Racing Stables, trained by Casey Black of Augustus, Ks., has been made the 2-1 second favorite and will be ridden by Mario Delgado. Eagles Fly Higher is a 5-year-old son of One Famous Eagle, out of the First Down Dash mare Lone Bet. He has won three of his last seven stakes races, including two at Remington Park. This top-notch gelding won both the Eastex Stakes and the Sooner State Stakes in Oklahoma City last spring and was made the 7-2 favorite by the public in the Remington Park Invitational, the toughest race for older horses every season here. He could do no better than seventh that night. He upset All American Futurity winner Apocalyptical Jess in the Sooner State Stakes. He won his two stakes at Remington last year by open daylight. His lifetime running record is 22 starts, seven wins, four seconds and five thirds for $515,919 earned.
Charlies Fury, always a fan favorite, ran third to Apollitical Pence in the 2019 Grade 2 $368,000 Heritage Place Derby, after Charlie was the fastest qualifier in the Derby trials. This big red sorrel gelded son of Furyofthewind, out of the Take Off Jess mare Jess Charlena, put up the fastest time of 19.319 seconds for the Heritage Place Derby trials in 2019, just an eyelash better than Apollitical Pence’s 19.402. Charlies Fury got a 101 speed index for those trials. He is owned by Tom and Kathleen McNally of Guthrie, Okla., and trainer Michelle Hurdle will give a leg up to the gelding’s regular rider Agustin Silva. Charlies Fury sits at 6-1 on the morning line. Charlie has won four of nine starts in Oklahoma City.
Here is the field for the Mighty Deck Three Stakes by post position with jockeys, trainers and odds:
1) Industrious, Jose Ruiz, Amulfo Cardenas, 12-1
2) Charlies Fury, Agustin Silva, Michelle Hurdle, 6-1
3) Fly N Tell, Benito Baca, Robert Esqueda, 30-1
4) Catchin Train B, Justine Klaiber, Salimm Hernandez, 20-1
5) Apollitical Pence, Francisco Calderon, Monty Arrossa, 9-5
6) Jk Pistol Petey, Cody Smith, Pedro Martinez, 20-1
7) Corona Cobra, Cody Wainscott, Juliana Mancillas, 30-1
8) Mr Dillard, Jorge Torres, Clint Crawford, 10-1
9) Jk Wildcat Red, Cristian Esqueda, Kenny Laymon, 8-1
10) Eagles Fly Higher, Mario Delgado, Casey Black, 2-1
Midday News, a 5-year-old gelded son of Fdd Dynasty, out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Summer Love Song, has been made the 5-2 favorite for the Grade 3 $50,000 SLM Big Daddy Stakes in a very competitive field. He has yet to win a stakes race in his career, but did win an All American Derby trial by a full length in 2019 and ran a troubled seventh in the $1 million final at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico. He was placed sixth after a disqualification. He is owned by Linda Joiner of Santa Teresa, New Mexico, and trained by Michael Joiner. Raul Ramirez Jr. gets the nod to ride. He was aboard in the All American Derby trial win.
The field for the SLM Big Daddy Stakes at 550 yards by post position with jockeys, trainers and odds:
1) Rock About It, Jose Ruiz, Tammy Johnson, 6-1
2) Viva Le Don, Francisco Calderon, Tammy Johnson, 4-1
3) Viva Le Rock, Cristian Esqueda, Gregg Sanders, 20-1
4) Shockinglyfamous, Jimmy Brooks, Kasey Willis, 9-2
5) Bigg Jack, Justine Klaiber, Gregg Sanders, 20-1
6) Midday News, Raul Ramirez, Jr., Michael Joiner, 5-2
7) Singin in the Choir, Cody Smith, Gregg Sanders, 20-1
8) Candyman Dash, Benito Baca, Robert Esqueda, 20-1
9) Regards Miracle, Noe Garcia, Jr., Richard Sedillo, 15-1
10) Why Buy the Cow, Daniel Amaya, Clint Crawford, 12-1
11) Higher Flyin Eagle, Josh Romero, Clint Crawford, 10-1
12) Moxxy, Brett Birzer, Robert Esqueda, 30-1
Racing is scheduled to continue after Tuesday’s races with a Thursday-Sunday schedule for the rest of the week.
Tracked by more than 164,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $258 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park is open daily for casino gaming and simulcast horse racing. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.