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admin February 28, 2024 0 Comments


by Richard Linihan

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – February 28, 2024 – Trainer Guillermo “Bill” Valdivia came away from Wednesday’s nine training races at Remington Park with two winners, including the fastest one of the day – Heavens Uncle.

That 2-year-old American Quarter Horse colt’s posting the top number of the day at :13.539 seconds for 250 yards, good for a speed index of 82. The effort was extra special for Valdivia.

“We ran his mama (Heavens Assured) and he is a home-bred from her,” said Valdivia. “He likes to run. We raised him in Sallisaw (Okla.)”

Heavens Uncle is owned and bred by Sherry Gilmore of Sallisaw and was ridden by Jesus Salazar.

Heavens Uncle’s time in the sixth race on Wednesday was four speed index points faster than the second-fastest winner of the afternoon, Red Iron, who won her training race in the seventh training race for last year’s leading Remington Park trainer Dee Keener.

Heavens Uncle won his heat by a head over Julia Belle, who actually would have been the second-fastest winner had she won a training race. She ran second for trainer Clint Crawford in :13.557. Her time was fast enough to win any other training race on the day.

It’s no wonder Heavens Uncle likes to run. His sire Uncle D ran second in the Grade 1 $1 million Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park 2019, losing by three-quarters of a length to Uptowne Babe. Uncle D was the 9-5 wagering favorite. Heavens’ Uncle’s mama could fire off a big race as well. While Uncle D won 4-of-his-10 starts for $689,165 in earnings, Heavens Assured, sired by Streak and Dash, won three-of-six starts, including her maiden win at Remington and a Kansas Jackpot Futurity win at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla., in 2014.

Uncle D went on to win the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico and ran second in his All American Futurity trial before winning the All American Juvenile Stakes there. He never won as a 3-year-old before being retired, but ran a second and two thirds in the trials for the Ruidoso Derby, the Rainbow Derby and the All American Derby.

Heavens Uncle raced over a fast track in the schooling races with the temperature at a brisk 40 degrees and the tailwind at his back at 9 mph.

Valdivia’s second win of the day came with Iteas Jessy in the eighth race, a 2-year-old filly by Flying Cowboy 123, out of the Corona Cartel mare Itea. He was one of four trainers that finished the day with two wins apiece Wednesday. Keener, Heath Taylor and Clint Crawford also won a pair of training races on the day. Jeffrey Tyer won the lone training race the others did not win.

Here’s the rest of the training race winners Wednesday (Quarter Horses and all 2-year-olds unless otherwise noted), their times (in order from fastest to slowest winners), speed index, trainers and race number were:

  • Red Iron, :13.630, 78, Dee Keener, race seven
  • Fine Wine Kisses, :13.690, 76, Heath Taylor, race four
  • Make Me Candy, :13.771, 73, Heath Taylor, race nine
  • John Wayne B, :13.848, 70, Clint Crawford, race five
  • Iteas Jessy, :13.864, 69, Guillermo Valdivia, race eight
  • Seven Cmon Eleven, :13.876, 68, Clint Crawford, race three
  • To the Wire (Paint), :13.920, 67, Dee Keener, race two
  • JT Lady Apportunity (Appaloosa), :14.074, 61, Jeffrey Tyer, race one

The Remington Park training, or schooling races, provide trainers the opportunity to gain experience for their 2-year-olds prior to making their first real pari-mutuel racing attempt.

The Remington Park racing office will compile the races for the upcoming season’s Opening Night when entries are taken on Friday morning. The season will begin March 7 and continue through June 1.

Remington Park has provided more than $344 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 2024 racing schedule begins Thursday, March 7, as the American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season starts its 50-date season. 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.