The AQHA office is closed Thursday, December 25, Friday, December 26, and Thursday, January 1.

A Toss Up Scores in Eastex

Sweet First Down gelding takes first graded stakes of Remington Park meet.

March 4, 2012

Remington Park’s big opening weekend of the 2012 American Quarter Horse and Mixed-breed Season came to a close on Sunday with the first graded stakes race of the meet. A Toss Up used a tremendous start and pulled away in the $53,600 Eastex Handicap (G2) to win easily by 1 3/4 lengths.

Prior to the rousing Eastex victory by A Toss Up, Paint A Famous Candy scored against fellow Oklahoam-breds in the $35,000 Mighty Deck Three Handicap (R).

A Toss Up, the young gun of the field in the Eastex, proved to be too explosive for his elder competition by blasting immediately to the front. The 3-year-old Oklahoma-bred gelded son of Sweet First Down from the Corona Cartel mare Shake Cartel raced the 350 yards in :17.327 over a fast track to win for the Cedar Hills, Texas, partnership of James Sills and Abel Flores.

Jockey David Pinon guided A Toss Up home in flashy style for trainer Eddie Willis, who won four races on the 12-race card. The four wins came over the final six races on the day.

A Toss Up paid $24 to win, $12.60 to place and $6 to show. Jess Special Candy finished second at 13-1 odds and paid $16 to place and $7.80 to show. Wcrseperateandcool went into the race with four straight wins but could only muster a third-place finish to pay $5 to show.

A Toss Up has now won four career races from seven attempts and won his first career race at Remington Park. The gelding, who was bred by Sills, also won last year’s Black Gold 330 Futurity (R) at Will Rogers Downs. The Eastex winner’s share of $31,980 moved his overall earnings to $118,978.

The Eastex is named after the 1984 champion 2-year-old and All American Futurity (G1) winner. When the Oklahoma-bred retired in 1987 he was the all-time leading earner in Quarter Horse racing.

$35,000 Mighty Deck Three Handicap
It took Paint A Famous Candy seven races to win his first race. Now, he has won five of his last seven attempts. The 4-year-old gelded son of PYC Paint Your Wagon from the Leaving Memories mare This Candys Famous is a homebred of owner Carl Pevehouse of Ratliff City, Oklahoma.

Paint A Famous Candy began his 2012 racing season with an emphatic win in the Might Deck Three Handicap in the race preceding the Eastex on Sunday. Trained by Clint Crawford and ridden by jockey Tony Bennett, the gelding broke sharply at the rail and was never headed to cover the 250 yards in a time of :13:016 and pay $16.60 to win, $6.40 to place and $4.40 to show.

Longshot Fishin CR also broke sharply and chased gamely to finish second while paying $13.80 to place and $7.60 to show. Finche, last year’s winner of the Mighty Deck Three and the race favorite, broke through the gate just prior to the start and had to be reloaded. He ran third once the field was dispatched to pay $3.40 to show.

Paint A Famous Candy is a winner of five races from 13 attempts and has been victorious three times at Remington Park. He earned $20,280 in the Mighty Deck Three and pushed his lifetime bankroll to $81,514.

The Mighty Deck Three is named in honor of the gelding of the same name who was the champion 2-year-old in 1980.

Oklahoma Derby Trials
Also on the Sunday program, a total of six trials were held to determine the field for the $135,000 Oklahoma Derby. Cruzin The Wagon was the fastest qualifier as she handled the 350 yards in :17.322. Owned by Terry and Mary Louise Pursel of Leavenworth, Kansas, and trained by Brent Clay, Stormy Smith had the winning mount aboard Cruzin The Wagon. The 3-year-old Oklahoma-bred filly is by PYC Paint Your Wagon from the Okey Dokey Dale mare Penelope Cruzin. She was bred by Michael Pohl.

The complete field, with trial times, for the Oklahoma Derby final on Saturday, March 17 includes: Cruzin The Wagon, : 17.322; Folly Del Rey, :17.335; Eufala Del Rey, :17.450; Lil Kool Wagon, :17.480; Eye Slip By, :17.484; Easydoesitcindy, :17.490; Sumokin, :17.507; Tel A Story, :17.511; Kelli Kae, :17.515 and Troubador B :17.518.

The win aboard Cruzin The Wagon ($6.60 to win) was one of three wins on the Sunday card for Stormy Smith. He also won with Tyler Chase ($5.60) in race two and Eufaula Me ($10) in race six. The hat trick for Smith gives him five wins for the season, placing him in a tie for second in the rider standings with Berkley Packer behind colony leader Jimmy Brooks, who has six wins.

Trainer Eddie Willis placed three runners into the Oklahoma Derby with Easydoesitcindy, Tel A Story and Troubador B. Their trial wins along with the Eastex score by A Toss Up gave Willis four wins on the Sunday program and eight for the opening weekend, placing him atop the conditioning standings after three race dates.

The live racing season resumes Friday through Sunday, March 9-11. The first race on Friday and Saturday is at 6 p.m. with Sunday afternoon racing at 1:30 p.m. All times are Central.