Texas Chrome the one to beat in Oklahoma Derby
Texas Chrome brings positive momentum into the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3) at Remington Park, registering his first graded stakes tally in the September 10 Super Derby (G3) at Louisiana Downs, and the Texas-bred will try to stretch his win streak to three when he lines up against 10 sophomore rivals on Sunday. He’s been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite in the 1 1/8-mile race.
A stakes victor at Arapahoe and Zia Park as a juvenile, Texas Chrome opened 2016 with a third in the 6-furlong Bachelor at Oaklawn. He tried two turns next time out, easily capturing a restricted stakes at Lone Star, and has really come on since stretching out in trip for trainer J.R. Caldwell.
The son of Grasshopper recorded a third in the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs and a second in the Iowa Derby (G2) at Prairie Meadows this summer, and prepped for the Super Derby with a victory in the Prelude at Louisiana Downs. Texas Chrome defeated a nice field last time, equaling a career-best with a 101 BRIS Speed rating for the half-length decision, and the bay colt will retain the services of C.J. McMahon.
Fish Trappe Road is a close second choice at 2-1. Winner of the one-mile Dwyer (G3) at Belmont two back, the Bret Calhoun trainee will stretch back out to a route following a sixth in the 7-furlong King’s Bishop (G1) at Saratoga. The gray son of Trappe Shot could appreciate the class relief and Rafael Bejarano picks up the assignment.
Todd Pletcher invades with Ready Dancer, the 5-1 early third choice. A convincing allowance scorer two back, the More Than Ready colt will attempt to improve upon a fourth in the July 29 Curlin at Saratoga. John Velazquez will be in for the mount.
Other contestants include Way Striking, a close fourth most recently in the grassy Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury; Sticksstatelydude, who exits a fourth as the favorite in the Smarty Jones (G3) at Parx; and Indiana Derby (G2) fifth-placer Seeking Blame; and Canadian Derby (G3) victor Ready Intaglio, who ships in from Northlands Park with a three-race win streak.
Ten stakes are carded on the 12-race program and a fine field of nine 3-year-old fillies is set for the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks.
Indiana Oaks (G2) and Iowa Oaks (G3) winner Family Tree figures to appreciate the class relief following a third to Songbird in the Alabama (G1) at Saratoga. Listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite, the Wayne Catalano-trained daughter of Smart Strike will be ridden by Bejarano.
Monmouth Oaks (G3) heroine Unbridled Mo brings a three-race win streak for Pletcher and comes next on the morning line at 3-1. Iowa Oaks runner-up Ready to Confess and Indiana Oaks runner-up Emmzy, who is cross-entered to Saturday’s Dogwood at Churchill Downs, add more depth to the line-up.
Ivan Fallunovalot will make a title defense in the $150,000 David M. Vance Sprint. An overwhelming 4-5 morning line favorite among five runners, the 6-year-old gelding used the 6-furlong race as a springboard to a Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) berth, finishing ninth at Keeneland. The W.T. Howard charge is 4-for-5 at Remington and will make his second start back from a lengthy layoff, easily capturing a local allowance on September 1. Lindey Wade has the return call aboard the son of Valid Expectations.
TwinSpires is offering players a 20x Points “Swing and Miss” Bonus on Sunday’s Oklahoma Derby card