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by Richard Linihan

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – May 31, 2024 – Relentless Diamond will be going for her second stakes win in a row this meet, and her fourth win in a row, when she goes to post in the Grade 1, $100,000 Junos Request Stakes on Saturday at Remington Park.

The Junos Request is one of nine stakes events on the Champions Night program at Remington Park that concludes the spring season.

The 4-year-old mare by Hes Relentless, out of the PYC Paint Your Wagon mare PYC Diamond, has been made the 5-2 morning-line favorite by oddsmaker Jerry Shottenkirk. The mare, trained by Guillermo Valdivia and ridden by jockey James Flores, was a winner in stakes company for the first time in her last race at Remington Park on April 29, taking the Grade 2,$75,000 Easy Date Stakes for owner Double G Ranch of Tulsa, Okla. Prior to that, she had won two races in allowance events. Her victory in the Easy Date was by a half-length at 350 yards. She will try to repeat that effort at 400 yards in the Junos Request.

The Junos Request Stakes is for fillies and mares, 3 and older. The race is named for multiple Remington Park seasonal champion Junos Request who won the 1992 Remington Park Championship in a year where she was eventually voted the American Quarter Horse Association’sChampion Aged Mare.

It won’t be the easiest of paths for Relentless Diamond to gain her second stakes win. Seven of her foes in the Junos Request are stakes winners and three of those have won graded stakes. Of those three, one – Im a Fancee Chik – is a multiple graded stakes winner. In fact, if you look at lifetime bankrolls, Relentless Diamond is only sixth in this field of 10 with $164,232 earned. Her lifetime running lines are 17 starts, six wins and two thirds.

The top money winner in the field is Im a Fancee Chik at $286,847. Like Relentless Diamond, this 5-year-old gray mare by Im a Fancy PYC, out of the Smoke Glacken (TB) mare Dixie Marrone (TB), has won four times at Remington Park. She was the runner-up in the Easy Date to Relentless Diamond by a half-length. Im a Fancee Chik is the only multiple graded stakes winner in the field, but she hasn’t won one of those races since 2022. The mare won the Grade 3 Jack Brooks Stakes on May 21, 2022; the Grade 3 FL Lady Bug Stakes on May 22, 2021, and the Grade 3 Laico Bird Stakes on April 17, 2021. All those wins came at Remington Park. She hasn’t won a race since Nov. 3, 2023 at Zia Park in New Mexico.

Im a Fancee Chik has been made the 4-1 second morning-line favorite in the Junos Request. She is trained by Luz Chavira and keeps her regular rider Cordarelton Benn. She is owned by Danny Salisbury of Woodward, Okla., and has a record of 28-8-4-4.

The third favorite in the morning-line is Flying Sophia at 9-2 odds on the rail. She has run first or second in six of seven starts in her career. This 3-year-old filly by Flying Cowboy 123, out of the Big Daddy Cartel mare Sister Sophia, got her graded stakes win in the Grade 3, $296,000 La Fiesta Futurity last year at the Downs at Albuquerque on Oct. 22 in New Mexico. She has had two starts at Remington Park and was second in each, only one of those this year when she was the runner-up in her Heritage Place Derby trial on May 12. Michael Joiner trains this filly for owner Calder and Candy Ezzell of Roswell, N.M. She will be ridden by regular rider Francisco Calderon. Her career runningmarks are 7-4-2-1 with a bankroll of $187,486.

Here’s a look at the Junos Request field with post position, jockey, trainer and odds:

  1. Flying Sophia, Francisco Calderon, Michael Joiner, 9-2
  2. Im a Fancee Chik, Cordarelton Benn, Luz Chavira, 4-1
  3. Relentless Diamond, James Flores, Guillermo Valdivia, 5-2
  4. Fox News, Ramiro Garcia, Jason Olmstead, 15-1
  5. One Famous Lil Lady, Ali Rivera, John Stinebaugh, 20-1
  6. I Got Thiss, Cristian Esqueda, Juvenal Licona-Vazquez, 6-1
  7. Three Separate Sixes, Gonzalo Gutierrez, Durk Peery, 12-1
  8. Corona Relentless, Roman Cruz, Marla Vargas, 8-1
  9. BP Moonlight, Bryan Candanosa, James “JJ” Gonzalez III, 15-1
  10. Curls Joyful Wagon, Raul Valenzuela, John Stinebaugh, 8-1

The Junos Request Stakes is the eighth of 12 races on Champions Night to conclude the 2024 spring season. Total purses on the evening are $2,442,555 with the final nine events all stakes races. The other Grade 1 races on the program include:

Race 4: $35,000 Speedhorse Graham Paint/Appaloosa Stakes, 3-year-olds, 350 yards
Race 5: $230,475 Speedhorse Graham Paint/Appaloosa Futurity, 2-year-olds, 350 yards

Race 7: $50,000 Remington Park Distance Championship, 3 and older, 870 yards

Race 9: $250,000 Debbie Schauf Remington Park Championship, 3 and older, 440 yards

Race 12: $1,081,820 Heritage Place Futurity, 2-year-olds, 350 yards

The final two nights of the Remington Park season are Friday, May 31 at 6pm, with the Champions Night on Saturday, June 1 underway at 5pm. All times are Central.

Remington Park has provided more than $349 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 simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. The Remington Park 2024 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season continues through June 1 with the biggest racing program of the season. The Champions Night boasts total purses in excess of $2,000,000, led by the $1,000,000 Heritage Place Futurity. Parking and admission are always free. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing or enter the casino gaming floor. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.