The $175,000 Governor's Cup, the feature event on the Opening Night of the Remington Park Thoroughbred Season on Aug. 23, has a stout list of 30 nominations. The 1-1/8 miles Governor's Cup could feature past winners of the event as well as multiple contestants who have earned millionaire status.
National Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has four horses nominated, including the winner of the 2018 Governor's Cup, Hence. Owned by Calumet Farm in Lexington, Ky., the 5-year-old Hence, by Street Boss from the A.P. Indy mare Floating Island, worked Aug. 11 at Remington Park, moving five furlongs handily in 1:01.26 over a fast track. Hence is attempting to become the first horse to win the Governor's Cup in consecutive years since millionaire Oklahoma-bred Mr. Ross managed the feat in 1999-2000.
Another from the Asmussen barn at Remington Park is Lookin At Lee who could make his local debut in the Governor's Cup. Owned by L and N Racing of Tulsa, Okla., Lookin At Lee won the $200,000 Downs at Albuquerque Handicap in his last start on Aug. 3. Now 5, Lookin At Lee was second, beaten 2-3/4 lengths by Always Dreaming, in the 2017 Kentucky Derby. If he starts at Remington Park, Lookin At Lee would become the highest placing finisher of a Kentucky Derby to compete in Oklahoma City. A horse by Lookin At Lucky from the Langfuhr mare Langara Lass, Lookin At Lee has total earnings of $1,327,945 from 25 career starts with four wins, six seconds and three thirds.
Lone Sailor, winner of the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby in 2018, has also been nominated to the Governor's Cup. The second-place finisher in the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap in Hot Springs, Ark. in April, Lone Sailor was recently second in an allowance event at Saratoga in upstate New York on Aug. 9. A 4-year-old colt by Majestic Warrior from the Mr. Greeley mare Ambitious, Lone Sailor has earned $1,203,737 from 21 starts with two victories, seven seconds and four thirds. He has not won since his Oklahoma Derby on Sept. 30, 2018.
Smack Smack, winner of the 2015 Governor's Cup, recently returned to racing action for the first time in more than two years when he finished third in an allowance event at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa on Aug. 1. Owned by Toby Keith's Dream Walkin Farms and trained by Don Von Hemel, the 8-year-old Smack Smack has never finished worse than third in five starts at Remington Park, including a victory in the 2013 Clever Trevor Stakes when he was a developing 2-year-old. The son of Closing Argument from the Victory Gallop mare Smack Madam, Smack Smack has earnings of $986,419.
Others nominated to the Governor's Cup include:
– Believe In Royalty, second to Lone Sailor by only a nose in the 2018 Oklahoma Derby
– Bokeelia Island, second in the Downs at Albuquerque Handicap, beaten just a half-length by Lookin At Lee on Aug. 3
– Forevamo, second to Hence in the 2018 Governor's Cup
– Hawaakom, an earner of $1,091,295 over 54 career attempts, with a previous allowance win at Remington Park in 2015
– Limation, winner of the 2018 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs
– Mocito Rojo, a winner of three straight stakes races, most recently the $100,000 Evangeline Downs Mile on June 22
– Silver Dust, winner of the Grade 3 West Virginia Governor's Stakes at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 3
The Opening Night program will be drawn in the Remington Park racing office this Friday, Aug. 16. The 67-date season begins Aug. 23 and continues through Dec. 15. The first race on Friday, Aug. 23 and Saturday, Aug. 24 is at 7pm-Central.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2019 Paulick Report.