EAGLES FLY HIGHER UPSETS ALL AMERICAN FUTURITY WINNER APOCALYPTICAL JESS IN SOONER STATE STAKES
OKLAHOMA CITY – April 19, 2020 – The horses in the restricted Grade 1, $84,000 Sooner State Stakes had their work cut out for them Saturday night with an All American Futurity winner in the field, but Eagles Fly Higher pulled off the upset.
The 2018 All American winner, Apocalyptical Jess, was unbeaten in two tries at Remington Park, including a win in the Remington Park Derby last year, but he was slow getting into stride during the Sooner State Stakes and Eagles Fly Higher took advantage, winning his second stakes in a row here. He also won the $50,000 Eastex Stakes on March 21 at Remington Park.
The Sooner State Stakes win was his fifth win in eight races at this Oklahoma City track. Jockey Mario Delgado was up for both stakes wins this year.
“He did it impressively,” Delgado said. “Didn’t he? It felt good, coming back, knowing you had just beaten an All American Futurity winner. That’s horse racing.”
Delgado won for trainer Casey Black and owner Darling Farms of Lamont, Okla., Eagles Fly Higher was bred in Oklahoma by V.H. Harman Jr. and Robert Moudy III.
“Casey is a great dude,” said Delgado. “I’ve been riding for him for about two years now. I think this is the nicest one I’ve been on. He had another I rode named Tommy the Train that was really good.”
Apocalyptical Jess was backed to the hilt by the betting public at 7-5 odds, but could only beat one horse, finishing eighth in a nine-horse field. Eagles Fly Higher was sent off at 4-1 odds despite his spectacular record at Remington Park and returned $10.40, $5.60 and $3.60 across the board.
“I know,” Delgado said. “I couldn’t believe they didn’t like my horse (at 4-1 odds).”
This 4-year-old horse by One Famous Eagle, out of the First Down Dash mare Lone Bet, earned $50,184 from the purse of the Sooner State Stakes and now has a running line of 17 starts, six wins, two seconds and four thirds for earnings of $390,660.
Eagles Fly Higher stopped the timer at 400 yards in :19.46 over a fast track for a speed index of 96. It was the first win of this race for jockey and trainer, but the second for Darling Farms. They also had the winner of the 2018 version with Hold Air Hostage.
Racing is scheduled to continue, with no public spectators, with Sunday’s 10-race card on tap with a new post time of 6 p.m. (Central) for the first race.
Tracked by more than 163,000 fans on Facebook and more than 10,200 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $242 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 presents the 2020 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season through May 30. Visit remingtonpark.com for free racing selections for every program.