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March 2, 2012
Jon Hurdle’s Remington Park Derby (R) winner Cold Granite Stone comes off an extended layoff to be the starting high weight in the $50,000 Eastex Handicap (G2) at Remington Park on Sunday.
Supporting the Eastex Handicap is the $30,000 Mighty Deck Three Handicap (R) at 250 yards for Oklahoma-breds.
Carrying 126 pounds in the Eastex, Cold Granite Stone, a 4-year-old stallion by Granite Lake out of Hempen Chics Alibi by Skirt Chasin Alibi, has won four of his eight starts at Remington Park and raced to a pair of stakes wins a year ago. The member of the Michelle Hurdle stable posted his most important career win when he took last year’s Remington Park Derby for Oklahoma-breds by a neck in :19.831 for the 400 yards. He then wrapped up his campaign with a neck win in the Jack Brooks Stakes (RG3) in :17.639 as the 5-2 favorite. That win back on May 30 is his most recent start.
Cold Granite Stone prepared for his return in the Eastex with a 220-yard drill on February 10 that was the third-fastest time of :11.61 from 77 horses working that distance on that day.
Starting at 125 pounds are Zoomin With Ease and Thru The Fire.
Bobby Cox’s homebred Zoomin With Ease, a 5-year-old gelding by Azoom out of All About Ease by First Down Dash, reached the upper echelon of the Grade 1 division when he won the 2009 Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs and ran in the 2010 the All American Derby, and he also was third in the 2010 Dash For Cash Derby (G2). Last year, the John Buchanan-trained gelding only made three starts – all at Ruidoso Downs – and he won an allowance race, was disqualified from a second-place run and placed sixth in the Mr Jet Moore Handicap (G3), his most recent start on August 6.
Melany and Ron Shalz’s Thru The Fire makes his first start at Remington Park since 2010 when he won his first two outs at the track. The Eddie Willis-trained 4-year-old gelding by Walk Thru Fire out of Algonquin by Invisible Injun, made three starts last year and in his final 2011 out he finished seventh in the $987,000 Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1).
In the Mighty Deck Three Handicap, Larry Abney and Chris Sheehy’s Finche defends his title after winning last year’s running by a half length. The 7-year-old gelding by Tres Seis out of Doctor Prospector by Bully Bullion then finished second in the Mr Jet Moore Handicap (R) and narrowly won the Sooner State Stakes (RG1). Each of those races were against state-breds at Remington Park. The Abney-trained Finche adores the Remington Park track with five wins and three seconds from eight trips down the Oklahoma City straightaway.
The Christian Rubalcava-owned and -trained Fishin CR was second behind Finche in last year’s Sooner State Stakes and third to Make It Bentley and Finche in the Mr Jet Moore. The 5-year-old stallion by Fishin Kisses out of Junos Tinys Gold by Junoimgood made a pair of starts last fall at Will Rogers Downs with his best result a second-place finish in an allowance race.
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