Hence Seeks Title Defense In Opening Night Governor’s Cup At Remington

by | 08.16.2019 | 5:16pm
Hence wins the Downs at Albuquerque Handicap by 6 1/2 lengths

The Opening Night program for the 2019 Remington Park Thoroughbred Season has been compiled. A nine-race card will greet on-track guests and horseplayers on Friday, Aug. 23, featuring the $175,000 Governor's Cup as the initial stakes race of the season.

A field of six entered the Governor's Cup, at 1-1/8 miles for 3-year-olds and older. Remington Park odds-maker Rick Lee has tabbed win-streaking Mocito Rojo as the morning-line favorite at 9-5 odds. Owned by Wayne Davis of Miami, Okla. and trained by Shane Wilson, the 5-year-old Mocito Rojo will make his second Remington Park start, after running third in the Jeffrey Hawk Memorial in December 2018.

The winning streak for Mocito Rojo started with the $60,000 Owner Appreciation Cup Stakes at Delta Downs in Vinton, La. in March. The son of Mutadda from the Orientate mare Blushing Royale then won the Grade 3, $300,000 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas in April. In June, Mocito Rojo captured the Evangeline Downs Mile in Opelousas, La. to make it three straight stakes triumphs. Jockey Gerard Melancon has been named for the mount.

Hence returns to defend his Governor's Cup win from 2018. A 5-year-old by Street Boss from the A.P. Indy mare Floating Island, Hence is owned by Calumet Farm in Lexington, Ky. and is trained by National Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen. 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. Richard Eramia has the mount on Hence, who is at 7-2 odds in the morning-line.

Millionaire Lookin At Lee is set for 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. Alfredo Juarez, Jr. was up for the win at Alburquerque and will travel to Oklahoma City to keep the mount on Lookin At Lee who is at 6-1 odds in the morning-line.

Believe In Royalty, second to Lone Sailor by only a nose in the 2018 Oklahoma Derby, returns to Remington Park for trainer Larry Jones. The 4-year-old colt by Tapit from the Proud Citizen mare Believe You Can, will make just his second start off a layoff that started after his Oklahoma Derby trip in September last year. Gabriel Saez has the mount at 4-1 odds in the morning line.

The field for the Governor's Cup, race eight on Aug. 23, with a scheduled post time of 10:23pm, by post-position and program order, with trainers, jockeys and morning-line odds:

1. Popularity: Joe Offolter, Walter De La Cruz, 3-1

2. Believe In Royalty: Larry Jones, Gabriel Saez, 4-1

3. Hence: Steve Asmussen, Richard Eramia, 7-2

4. Lookin At Lee: Steve Asmussen, Alfredo Juarez, Jr., 6-1

5. Mocito Rojo: Shane Wilson, Gerard Melancon, 9-5 (morning-line favorite)

6. Limation: Steve Asmussen, Ramon Vazquez, 20-1

The nine-race Opening Night program on Aug. 23 has 90 horses entered for an overnight average field size of 10. The combined purses for the first evening of the season stand at $373,325.

The first race on Friday, Aug. 23 will be 7pm. All times are Central.

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