Ajs High Edges Favored Bodacious Eagle To Pull Upset In Eastex

AJS High wins Eastex Futurity © Dusitn Orona Photography

Photo © Dusitn Orona Photography

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—MARCH 13, 2016—Remington Park’s Opening Weekend of the 2016 American Quarter Horse Season concluded Sunday afternoon with Ajs High upsetting the Grade 2 $54,400 Eastex Handicap.

AJs High, who at times can be a temperamental gelding, had no issues in his first start of the year. Owned and bred in Oklahoma by Michael Teel of Columbia, Mo., AJs High is trained by Charley Hunt who thinks his charge may be maturing. “He was good today. When he gets away like he did, he can be very good.”

The properly behaved AJs High left smartly in the 350-yard Eastex, under jockey Stormy Smith. He contended throughout but from his number-three post, was well inside of the 6-5 betting favorite Bodacious Eagle who was in post-position seven. Smith was hopeful AJs High picked up the win but didn’t really know. “I got him at the very end, it was close. I wasn’t sure if he had won,” Smith noted. “He had an excellent trip, he left good today and ran his butt off.”

AJs High edged Bodacious Eagle by a nose in :17.196 seconds at the finish. Open Me A Corona, making his first start outside of his home state of Louisiana, was third, a half-length behind the runner-up. The Eastex victory was the ninth from 14 attempts for AJs High, a son of leading sire Apollitical Jess from the Rare Form mare Regally Rare. He picked up $32,534 for the score to run his earnings to $362,619 while winning his third career race at Remington Park.

Coming off back-to-back stakes wins in the Grade 1 Texas Classic Derby and Grade 3 Dash For Cash Derby, Bodacious Eagle races for owner/breeder Johnny Trotter. Trey Wood conditions the 4-year-old son of leading sire One Famous Eagle out of Bodacious Dream, by Corona Cartel.

Bodacious Eagle has compiled a (16) 7-4-1 record and earned $636,468.

Reigning AQHA Racing Champion Aged Stallion Open Me A Corona finished a half-length back in third. Trainer Bobby Martinez conditions the son of Coronas Leaving You for owners Charles Forbes, Jr. and Tommy Hays. The multiple graded winner of 12 of 15 career starts has earned $752,758. Natalie Montgomery, DVM bred the sorrel stallion in Louisiana from the Mr Eye Opener mare In The Open. Damian Martinez was up.

Overlooked at 11-1 in the wagering, AJs High paid $24.40 to win, $6.40 to place and $3.60 to show. Bodacious Eagle returned $3.60 to place and $2.40 to show. Open Me A Corona paid $3 to show.

Completing the Eastex field were Mr Jo Eagle, Roc You, Rockin Disco, Bp Southern Dynasty, Im Beau Brown and Last Man Standin.

The Eastex is named after the winner of the 1984 All American Futurity who at one time was the sport’s all-time leading money earner. He held the record for most money earned by a 2-year-old until 2008.

The Remington Park season now moves into a normal Thursday thru Sunday schedule, March 17-20. The feature race next week is the $50,000 SLM Big Daddy Stakes at 550 yards on Saturday, March 19. The first race nightly is at 6pm, except for Sunday afternoon racing at 1:30pm. All Times are Central.

Open daily for casino gaming and simulcast racing, Remington Park features the Bricktown Brewery on the casino floor. Admission, general parking and valet parking are always free at Remington Park, home of the historic $414,000 Oklahoma Futurity. The 75th running of the oldest futurity in Quarter Horse racing takes place on Saturday, March 26, 2016.

Tracked by over 94,000 fans on Facebook and 7,000 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided over $146 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Oklahoma City’s only Racetrack & Casino and is located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.