No owner had ever won 300 races at Remington Park before. One has now – Danny Caldwell of Poteau, Okla.
Caldwell reached that pinnacle at this Oklahoma City track Thursday night when California Breeze put him in the winner's circle after the sixth race, winning a $36,300 allowance race, going 6-1/2 furlongs on the main track.
“It's an honor,” Caldwell said after the race. “I didn't even realize it. The credit should go to all the people who help me. It all goes to them. I have a lot of people who make me successful. Freddie (trainer Federico Villafranco) and his crew, my jockeys, my shoers.”
In the saddle for the honor on this night was Richard Eramia, who lassoed the two front-runners at the top of the stretch, passed them and held off runner-up and 3-2 betting favorite Mo Mo by a length for the win. This 4-year-old filly by Into Mischief, out of the Afternoon Deelites mare Ava G, cruised home in 1:17.29 over a fast track. Mo Mo and Cowgirl Judge set the early fractions, the first quarter-mile in :22.36, followed by :45.57 for the half-mile before Cowgirl Judge faded badly. Mo Mo tried to hold on after the speed duel, but California Breeze and Eramia had the favorite measured and rolled past her to the wire.
“Everybody who helps, it goes to them,” Caldwell said. “I'm just the guy who kind of places the horses and recruits them. I have a great crew and they work hand in hand together. Basically I just try to get them the horses to win with.”
California Breeze, bred in Kentucky by Venneri Racing, Inc. & Flintridge Stables, earned $21,627 for the victory. It was her third win lifetime in 15 starts and increased her bankroll to $100,964 from three wins, four seconds and three thirds.
“Winning 300 races here really is quite a feat,” Caldwell said. “I want to say, “Hi,” to my mom at home watching. My family is very important to me, my wife, they all support me and that means a lot.”
The 300th win was also Caldwell's 18th of this race meet and he is two ahead of second-place End Zone Athletics, Inc., which has taken 16 trips to the winner's circle. Caldwell is a nine-time champion owner at Remington Park, winning the title for the last eight seasons in a row.
It was Eramia's 26th win of the meet and he stands alone in third place, just one back of Ramon Vasquez's 27 after he had a riding double. Jamie Theriot and Freddy Manrrique also had two-baggers Thursday night. Manrrique had the biggest bomb of the night, winning aboard Brickley Sioux at 64-1 odds in the final race of the night. The horse had just won a race at Remington Park at 93-1 the previous time out on Sept. 27.
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