Michael Lund Petersen’s Mucho Gusto (Mucho Macho Man) may have passed on the Triple Crown races, but he proved this summer he can hang with the top 3-year-olds. Sunday night, he’ll be the class of the field and a substantial favorite in the GIII Oklahoma Derby at Remington.

Capturing the GIII Bob Hope S. and GIII Robert B. Lewis S. sandwiched around a runner-up try in the GI Los Alamitos Futurity, the chestnut was navigated off the Triple Crown trail after running a well-beaten third in the GIII Sunland Derby Mar. 24.  Two convincing scores in the May 18 GIII Laz Barrera S. and GIII Affirmed S. June 16 later, the ‘TDN Rising Star’ was back in with the big boys, and ran a brave second to Maximum Security (New Year’s Day) in the GI Haskell Invitational while finishing eight lengths clear of third. He was similarly game when holding on for third after dueling on a fast pace in the GI Runhappy Travers S. last out Aug. 24 at Saratoga.

Mucho Gusto’s two principal challengers come out of the Travers in fifth-running Owendale (Into Mischief) and seventh finisher Tax (Arch). The former, who annexed the Apr. 13 GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. and was third in the GI Preakness S., took the June 22 GIII Ohio Derby over last week’s GI Pennsylvania Derby hero Math Wizard (Algorithms) before his even Travers effort. Tax, who sports trophies for the GIII Withers S. and GII Jim Dandy S., was also fourth in the GI Belmont S.

Mucho Gusto Favored in Competitive Oklahoma Derby

Mucho Gusto wins the Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita Park
Mucho Gusto wins the Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Benoit Photo

Eight stakes will highlight Remington Park‘s Sunday card, including the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks (G3) for 3-year-old fillies three races before the featured Oklahoma Derby.

Trainer Bob Baffert brings in West Coast invader Mucho Gusto, the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the 1 1/8-mile Derby.

Third last time out in the Aug. 24 Travers, the Mucho Macho Man  colt has not finished off the board in nine starts. After a win in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park in his season debut, he returned March 24 to finish third in the Sunland Park Derby (G3).

Not having enough points to get into the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), Mucho Gusto stayed in California and scored back-to-back wins in the May 18 Lazaro Barrera Stakes (G3) and June 16 Affirmed Stakes (G3).

Traveling east for the first time, he then finished second to the disqualified Kentucky Derby winner, Maximum Security, in the Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1) one start before the Travers.

The Michael Lund Peterson-owned colt will be ridden by Joe Talamo from post 10 in the 11-horse field.

Tax, who competed in both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1), enters the Oklahoma Derby off a seventh-place finish in the Travers. One start prior, the son of Arch won the July 27 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) over TacitusGlobal Campaign, and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner War of Will.

Trained by Danny Gargan, the gelding has a string of quick breezes, with his latest Sept. 21 when he completed four furlongs in :47 3/5 on Belmont Park‘s dirt training track to be the fourth-fastest of 64 that day.

Tax, who arrived in Oklahoma City Wednesday, will be ridden by Kendrick Carmouche from post 5.

Owendale, a closing third in the Preakness, beaten only 1 1/4 lengths by War of Will, is the 3-1 morning-line second choice. The Into Mischief  colt went on to win the June 22 Ohio Derby (G3) over recent Pennsylvania Derby (G1) winner Math Wizard and fellow Oklahoma Derby entrant Long Range Toddy.

Fifth in the Travers, Owendale also worked Sept. 21, posting a bullet five furlongs for trainer Brad Cox in :58 4/5 to be the fastest of 42 at Churchill Downs that day. Florent Geroux will be aboard from the outside post.

Trainer Steve Asmussen enters Long Range Toddy, who was last seen finishing fifth in the July 13 Indiana Derby (G3). The Take Charge Indy colt finished third in the Southwest Stakes (G3) and won a division of the Rebel Stakes (G2) to earn a start in the Kentucky Derby.


Mucho Gusto 8-5 Favorite In 11-Horse Oklahoma Derby Field

Courtesy of the Paulick Report

Michael L. Petersen’s Mucho Gusto and jockey Joseph Talamo, right, pull away from the field and go on to win the Grade III, $100,000 Affirmed Stakes, Sunday, June 16, 2019 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.© BENOIT PHOTO



A stakes-laden 13-race program has been put together for Sunday, Sept. 29 at Remington Park, led by the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby. The derby will be the 12th race on the card that starts at 3pm-Central.

Mucho Gusto, expected to arrive via Tex Sutton Equine Charter on Thursday morning at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, has been made the 8-5 morning-line favorite by odds-maker Rick Lee. Mucho Gusto comes into the Oklahoma Derby off a third-place finish, 3-1/2 lengths behind victorious Code Of Honor, in the Grade 1, $1,250,000 Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 24. 

Trained by National Racing Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Mucho Gusto won both the Grade 3, $100,000 Laz Barrera Stakes and the Grade 3, $100,000 Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita in California this spring. He then ran second to Maximum Security in the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell at Monmouth Park in New Jersey prior to his Travers effort. Owned by Michael Petersen, Mucho Gusto will be ridden by Joe Talamo.

Owendale, a closing third in the Grade 1, $1,500,000 Preakness Stakes in May at Pimlico, beaten only 1-1/4 lengths by War Of Will, is at 3-1 odds and is the second-choice in the morning line. Tax arrived in Oklahoma City earlier today via a Sutton charter. Owendale drew the outside post in the field of 11 and will be ridden by Florent Geroux for the fifth consecutive race. Trained by Brad Cox, Owendale won the Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby in June at Thistledown outside of Cleveland.
Tax, a multiple stakes winner this year after taking the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers at Aqueduct in February and then visiting the winner’s circle in the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 27, is the third-choice in the morning line at 4-1 odds. Trained by Danny Gargan, Tax arrived in Oklahoma City earlier today via a Sutton charter. Tax has won $786,300 with three wins from nine attempts. Kendrick Carmouche will have the mount.

Remington Park’s current leading trainer, Steve Asmussen, will have a pair of horses entered as he attempts to win his second Oklahoma Derby. Long Range Toddy, winner of the 2018 Springboard Mile at Remington Park and the runner-up in that race, Bankit, will represent the barn of the National Hall of Fame conditioner. Asmussen saddled the 2017 Oklahoma Derby winner, Untrapped.

Owned and bred by Willis Horton Racing of Marshall, Ark., Long Range Toddy is at 15-1 odds in the morning-line. He won Remington Park’s top 2-year-old races last year in the Springboard Mile and also the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes. This spring at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., Long Range Toddy was second in the $150,000 Smarty Jones; third in the Grade 3, $500,000 Southwest Stakes; and won a division of the Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel Stakes before finishing sixth in the Grade 1, $1,000,000 Arkansas Derby.

Long Range Toddy was awarded a 16th place finish in the Kentucky Derby. He was then third in the Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown followed by a fifth-place run in the Indiana Derby. 

Jockey Jon Court, who has ridden Long Range Toddy in his last five attempts, keeps the mount. Long Range Toddy is just the second horse to have started his career at Remington Park, to compete in the Kentucky Derby, joining Suddenbreakingnews in that small club.

Bankit, at 8-1 odds in the morning line, closed from the back of the pack in the 11-horse Springboard Mile here in December. The New York-bred colt by Central Banker launched a furious rally coming off the final turn under Ricardo Santana, Jr. Bankit nearly caught Long Range Toddy in the Springboard, finishing second beaten only a head. Santana has the call on Bankit, owned in partnership by Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton. 

The complete field for the Oklahoma Derby, by post position and program order, with trainer, jockey and morning-line odds:

1.    Drifting West: Joe Offolter, Luis Quinonez, 50-1

2.    View Magic: Bret Calhoun, Iram Diego, 30-1

3.    Bankit: Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana, 8-1

4.    Sleepy Eyes Todd: Miguel Silva, David Cabrera, 20-1

5.    Tax: Danny Gargan, Kendrick Carmouche, 4-1

6.    Funny Guy: John Terranova, Rajiv Maragh, 10-1

7.    Chess Chief: Dallas Stewart, Miguel Mena, 15-1

8.    Cairo Cat: Kenneth McPeek, Richard Eramia, 20-1

9.    Long Range Toddy: Steve Asmussen, Jon Court, 15-1

10. Mucho Gusto: Bob Baffert, Joe Talamo, 8-5 (morning-line favorite)

11. Owendale: Brad Cox, Florent Geroux, 3-1 

There are seven other stakes races on Sunday at Remington Park, including:
Race 3 – $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes, 2-year-olds, 6 furlongs

Race 6 – $150,000 David Vance Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, 6 furlongs

Race 7 – $75,000 Ran Ricks Memorial, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 1-1/16 miles (Turf)

Race 9 – Grade 3, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1-1/16 miles

Race 10 – $50,000 Flashy Lady Stakes, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 6 furlongs

Race 11 – $100,000 Remington Green Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, 1-1/8 miles (Turf)

Race 13 – $50,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial, fillies, 2-year-olds, 6-1/2 furlongs 

The Remington Park Thoroughbred Season continues Wednesday through Sunday, Sept. 25-29. The first race nightly is at 7 pm. The Oklahoma Derby program on Sunday begins at 3pm. All times are Central.

Coal Front Back In Winning Groove in Parx Dirt Mile

Courtesy of the BloodHorse

Coal Front wins the Parx Dirt Mile at Parx Racing
Coal Front wins the Parx Dirt Mile at Parx RacingBill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Coal Front Back In Winning Groove in Parx Dirt Mile

Rebounding from a third-place finish in the Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3), Coal Front turned back a second-turn bid from Diamond King and inched clear from that rival for a three-quarter-length victory in the $153,500 Parx Dirt Mile Stakes Sept. 21 on the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) undercard.

Under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Coal Front sped to the early lead, setting relatively easy opening splits of :23.90 and :47.34. Then as the six-horse field advanced down the backstretch, Diamond King, who was perched on the outside, dialed up the pressure. He cut into Coal Front’s lead before poking a neck in front with a six-furlong split in 1:11.63.

Smith had something saved aboard his mount, and under urging down the lane, Coal Front asserted his superiority over the final furlong. He hit the wire with his ears pricked, finishing in 1:37.53 for a mile on a fast track at Parx Racing.

Diamond King, winner of last year’s Federico Tesio Stakes and the 2017 Heft Stakes at Laurel Park, finished second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Forewarned, who rallied belatedly to grab the show.

The Parx Dirt Mile was the third stakes victory of Coal Front’s 5-year-old campaign. He won the Godolphin Mile Sponsored by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City-District One (G2) at Meydan in Dubai Mar. 30 and the Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park Feb. 18. A year before, he won the Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, and in 2017 he won both the Gallant Bob Stakes (G3) at Parx and the Amsterdam Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course.

Owned by Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners, Coal Front raced in the Parx Dirt Mile in part as a test of his aptitude for a race such the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park Nov. 2, trainer Todd Pletcher said before the race.

Bred in Kentucky by Michael Edward Connelly, Coal Front, by Stay Thirsty , is the first graded stakes winner out of the Mineshaft  dam Miner’s Secret. A half brother to stakes winner Conquest Titan, he was a $575,000 purchase by LaPenta from the 2016 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training.

The heavy favorite, Coal Front paid $3.40 to win and elevated his bankroll to over $1.81 million. He has an 8-0-1 record from 12 starts

Regimental Gets The Money in South Africa for part owner Kirkwood Stables

Courtesy of the SPORTING POST
Capetown, South Africa

The R1,7 million Captain Al colt Regimental, owned by an illustrious group of owners, caught the eye on debut at Durbanville on Saturday when he went all the way at odds-on to seal a coup for his backers.

Ridden by the SMG Cape Town-sponsored Corne Orffer, Regimental proved too strong for the persistent and more experienced Gold Medal in the second race, a 1250m Maiden Plate, and went on to win by 0,40 lengths in a time of 76,23 secs.

Corne Orffer guides Regimental to an eye-catching debut win over Gold Medal (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

He was purchased for R1,7 million at the 2017 Cape Premier Yearling Sale and is out of US six-time winner Crazy About Me (Lawyer Ron).

He is owned by former Mayfair Speculators Racing Manager Derek Brugman in partnership with an international mix of owners, including Mr and Mrs Antony Beck, Anna Doyle, Kip Elser of US-based Kirkwood Stables,  Dr Jill Warner of Carry On Alice fame and Henry Bozo of French-based Ecurie des Monceaux.

The Brett Crawford stable comments, published by courtesy of Phumelela Publishing, caught some punters wrong-footed as they had indicated that the obviously  smart colt ‘should need the run’. He behaved like a professional and won easily.

The Klawervlei Stud-bred galloper was snapped up from 7-2 and backed into the red before easing to an official starting price of 11-10.

On the Brett Crawford Racing website, it is stated that Regimental is ‘a nice colt, and may be green on debut. Each way chance’.

Assistant Barry Donnely was quoted on Saturday suggesting that Regimental ‘was going places and should have a money chance.’

MR. ALEC graduates at Belmont in his second start

Courtesy of the TDN
MR. ALEC (g, 3, Mr. Sidney–Silva {Fr} {MSW-Fr, $104,151}, by Anabaa) had only one start under his belt, an 8 1/2-furlong Monmouth maiden on the lawn Aug. 17 where he rallied late to just miss by a neck. Going another 1 1/2 furlongs here as the 2-1 choice, he went straight to the front, but was quickly challenged and passed by Asdaaf (Medaglia d’Oro). Mr. Alec was content to take back to third along the hedge and bided his time until the final turn, when he was roused and tipped out. He dueled briefly with Asdaaf before sailing right by for a 1 3/4-length triumph. He swished his tail a few times down the lane, but the rallying  Compliant (Kitten’s Joy) couldn’t catch him and had to settle for second. Mr. Alec=s dam has 2-year-old filly Sylvanella (The Factor); a yearling filly by Munnings; and a colt born this year by Flintshire (GB). His third dam is multiple French Group 1 winner Silvermine (Fr) (Bellypha {Ire}).
Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $58,500
O-Ghislaine Head
B-Brookdale Thoroughbreds Inc (KY)
T-Christophe Clement.