When trainer Danny Pish of Cibolo, Texas, glanced down the shedrow of his barn before the meet began at Remington Park in August, he said he thought he might have a superstar in one of his stalls.
“I'm just not sure who it is,” Pish said with a laugh.
That question may have been answered Saturday night as a horse he trains for the Richter Family Trust and B.J. Richter of Perkins, Okla., took over after a half-mile in the $75,000 Don McNeill Stakes and never was headed after that, finishing two lengths in front in a race for 2-year-olds going a mile distance over the main track.
It was one of two co-features on the night for Oklahoma-foaled juveniles as Dicey won the $75,000 Slide Show Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at a mile, a couple of races later on the main racing surface. This daughter of Flat Out from the Broken Vow mare Broken Blues was ridden to victory by Kevin Roman for owners Pat Swan and Jay Lewis of Jones, Okla. She was bred by John James Revocable Trust.
D Toz, a gelded son of Chitoz, out of the Strategic Mission mare Dyna Okie, earned $45,000 for the victory under jockey Lane Luzzi, who gave the young bay a beautiful ride up front. He sat just off the shoulder of pacesetter Dominante for a half mile and then moved to the lead after fractions of 23.90 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and :47.29 for the half-mile. He handled three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.86 and then stopped the timer at 1:39.99 at the wire over a fast track.
“This horse has just matured in so much time over two…three races,” said Luzzi, who has been aboard for all three lifetime races with D Toz. “From the rail position (1-hole), I knew I had to commit to being either close to the pace or just off the pace. Out of the gates he was pretty keen, but he put me in a good position that I was confident to get him to relax around there.”
Luzzi said D Toz has improved so much it wouldn't surprise him if he continued to grow into the superstar that Pish was wondering about. The juvenile has now won two of three starts and run second in the other.
“His first time he was a little bit green but when he ran second (to tonight's runner-up Cowboy Mischief), I knew I was sitting on something,” Luzzi said.
He said he hadn't talked to the owners or Pish about where D Toz might show up next, but he wouldn't mind sharing a van with him wherever he lands.
“I'm just happy to be on for the ride,” Luzzi said.
D Toz increased his earnings to $78,269 in those three starts. He was sent off at 7-2 odds and paid $9.20 to win, $4.40 to place and $3 to show across the board. Cowboy Mischief, the beaten favorite at 5-2 odds, was another 3-1/4 lengths ahead of Dobbins G in third place.
D Toz was bred in Oklahoma by the Richter Family Trust.
The Don McNeill Memorial is named in honor of the late owner and breeder who was so prominent in Oklahoma-bred racing, represented by many talented horses but especially by millionaires Clever Trevor and Mr. Ross, among others.
Swan said he noticed the filly Dicey at a sale and had owner Lewis on the phone. They bid for her and were successful at $43,000 at the 2017 OKC Carter Summer Sale.
“I told Jay we have to have this outstanding individual,” said Swan. “I thought she would love a mile,” he said. And she did.
Dicey covered the mile in 1:41.64 and earned $45,000 for her owners. She has won twice in five starts, now with lifetime earnings of $78,108. She was soundly beaten in the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile Fillies by She's Shiney on Oct. 19, but turned the tables tonight. She's Shiney finished second by a length as the odds-on 3-5 favorite and Brew Casa ran third, another 4-1/2 lengths back.
“She has been training great after that race,” said Swan. “She didn't like the (sloppy) track last time.”
Dicey paid $14.20 to win, $5.40 to place and $4 to show. Roman said it was easy stepping as she closed from mid-pack to win.
“When it came time to go, she listened,” he said.
The Slide Show Stakes is named in honor of the Oklahoma-bred filly who was near perfect in her career at Remington Park, winning 10 of her 11 starts, and seven stakes events, here in the mid-1990s.
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