Special to The Sun
OKLA. CITY —
The 2014 Remington Park American quarter horse & mixed-breed season will run from March 7 through June 1. The accompanying schedule of stakes races offers plenty of big-money opportunities for horsemen with 39 events worth an estimated total value of $4.9 million.
The kickoff stakes event to the 50-date season once again is the Grade II $50,000 Eastex Handicap, the first graded event of the Remington Park season. The Eastex will fall on a Sunday, March 9 to help wrap up a big opening weekend of activity.
Many important trials will be conducted for most of the opening weekend with qualifying heats for the Grade II $325,000 Oklahoma Futurity dominating the entire program Saturday, March 8. The Oklahoma Futurity will be contested on March 22. The Oklahoma Futurity is the longest running such race in the sport, having been contested yearly since 1947.
Other trials for the first three days of the season include March 7 heats for the Grade I $100,000 Oklahoma Paint/Appaloosa Futurity and the Grade I $60,000 Speedhorse-Graham Farms Paint/Appaloosa Derby. March 9 trials will decide the final field for the $125,000 Oklahoma Quarter Horse Derby.
Remington Park will once again offer a trio of rich futurities and a trio of derbies for the quarter horses. The Oklahoma Futurity and Derby will both be run March 22. The $700,000 Remington Park Futurity and $250,000 Remington Park Derby will be contested April 19. On the final Saturday of the season, May 31, the Grade I $1,000,000 Heritage Place Futurity and the Grade II $275,000 Heritage Place Derby will top the richest race program of the season.
The Remington Park Futurity and Derby are both restricted to eligible Oklahoma-breds.
The Grade I $250,000 Remington Park Championship May 31 will feature many of the top veterans in quarter horse racing. In addition to the purse, the winner will automatically secure a berth into the most prestigious race for older quarter horses, the Grade I Champion of Champions, at Los Alamitos Racecourse in southern California in mid-December.
Other Grade I races for quarter horses include the $100,000 Leo Stakes, March 29, and the $100,000 Sooner State Stakes (restricted), May 3.
The top event for Paints and Appaloosas is the Grade I $225,000 Speedhorse-Graham Farms Paint/Appaloosa Futurity May 31.
The Remington Park Futurity and Derby lead a long list of stakes races for eligible Oklahoma-breds. In total, 15 stakes events will be offered for Oklahoma-bred horses. The Oklahoma Speedfest program of four Oklahoma-bred stakes races will be held May 25, with the restricted Grade III $50,000 Jack Brooks Stakes for 3-year-olds leading the card.
Remington Park will also host a group of American Quarter Horse Association Challenge Stakes races May 11. The Grade II $100,000 Bank of America Oklahoma Challenge Championship is the main event. The Grade III $50,000 Red Cell Remington Park Distance Challenge and the $35,000 Merial Remington Park Distaff Challenge are the main undercard challenge stakes.
In addition to the Red Cell Remington Park Distance Challenge at 870 yards, the longer running stakes competitors have opportunities in the $35,000 SLM Big Daddy Stakes (550 yards) March 15; the Grade III $50,000 Pauls Valley Stakes April 6 and the Grade III $50,000 Remington Park Distance Handicap June 1.
All purses for futurities and derbies are estimated based on the value of the races in 2013.