Oscar Performance Collects Third Win In A Row With Secretariat Triumph

by | 08.12.2017 | 5:10pm
Oscar Performance wins The Secretariat at Arlington International

Amerman Racing homebred Oscar Performance has now won his last three starts, two of which were Grade 1 stakes, including Saturday's G1 Secretariat Stakes on the Arlington International Festival of Racing card. The 3-year-old son of Kitten's Joy, ridden by Jose Ortiz for trainer Brian Lynch, covered 1 1/4 miles over Arlington's firm turf in 2:01.79 to defeat Taj Mahal by 2 1/2 lengths.

“You're never confident until the finish line but they were very good horses and so we're delighted Jose could ride so well and beat him,” said John Amerman. “I said good luck [to Jose Ortiz before the race] because he knows the horse and has ridden him ever since his first race.”

Off as the wagering favorite, Oscar Performance broke well and with the field, settling just off the frontrunning Sonic Boom. Those two led the field through fractions of :24.77, :49.51, and 1:13.83, followed by the pair of Afandem and Permian in unison, and then Taj Mahal and Gorgeous Kitten trailing while just nine lengths off the lead.

Rounding the far turn, Ortiz was making his move aboard Oscar Performance as he went after the leading Sonic Boom, and the closest competitors' jockeys, aboard Afandem and Permian, were already scrubbing away on their mounts and making no progress. Oscar Performance drew even with Sonic Boom at the head of the lane, then steadily drew away from that rival in the stretch. Taj Mahal came with a strong late rally, gaining second while never seriously threatening the winner. Afandem got in front of Sonic Boom to be third.

“He [Oscar Performance] was sitting very comfortably in second and when I asked him to go he ran very well,” Ortiz said. “I love that Brian [Lynch] gave me the opportunity on this horse. I'm very happy I won the race for them [connections John Amerman and Brian Lynch].”

After the wire, Permian appeared to go down on the turf, and jockey William Buick had to be carried off the course via stretch. Permian had to be euthanized, and Buick was transported to the hospital conscious, but complaining of neck/back pain. DRF later reported that Buick sustained a fracture to his T-12 vertebrae; though it does not require surgery to repair, he will be out of commission for some time.

Bred in Kentucky by his owners, Oscar Performance now owns a trio of Grade 1 wins, including last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita. He struggled in his first two starts of 2017, but appears to be firing on all cylinders heading into the fall season. Overall, Oscar Performance boasts a record of six wins from nine starts, with earnings of over $1.7 million.

  • Ida Lee

    RIP Permian….why do we lose so many foreign horses? This is a nightmare…..He was only 3…I can’t stand it …. sorry Oscar …. you deserve better and you did run a great race….

    • Lulu Admana

      OH MY GOD, I wish I never researched this … oh a death so sad

      • Ida Lee

        I know Lulu …. it’s a nightmare…and dying away from home….can’t stand it ….

  • Neal Baker

    The Saratoga meet is less than a month old and there have been 10 deaths. 5 during training and 5 while racing. Yet Ida laments “foreign” horses. I wonder why.

    • Ida Lee

      That’s what you got out of my statement ? OK…Why? because in March we lost Huracan Americo and last November we lost Corona del Inca, two of South America’s Grade 1 winners and Champions….and so now we’ve lost a Euro Grade 1 winner, Permian…..and though we don’t know what actually happened, Euro Thunder Snow had a major meltdown on the track this year.. Sill wondering Neal?…..statistically, we may have a problem with yes “foreign” horses racing on our tracks….or maybe there’s a difference in training techniques ….obviously, we’ve had very successful foreign horses but lately it seems there may be a problem with these particular horses…..I may be wrong and it may be that I notice them more because of my Latina background and Huracan and Corona were from South America… BTW I care about all horses not just the “American” horse …. you should try it….

      • whirlaway

        I really think these tragedies know no geographical area it sadly seems to apply to all, young horses, older horses, both dirt and turf. I know turf is suppose to be kinder per many but there are times it seems I see break downs on turf more frequently then should occur maybe because of being a big turf lover I tend to watch many turf races from claiming to G1. It is true with not watching tons of TV we usually have tvg on in the background and weeks go by without a serious accident that I see but when they happen it seems to bring back some of the older accidents to mind. I am still getting over the jump accident at Saratoga recently just as I glanced at the TV coming in the house from walking the dog to see the mishap at the 2nd fence that a horse lost her life it was very bad. I never watch jump races anymore but I understand those that are fans just not me.

      • Minneola

        You are not alone in your thinking. It isn’t just the U.S. horses but all of them. How many others do we not see that break down on some track, somewhere. It can sap one’s energy and enthusiasm for this sport. By the way, I, too, remember Huracan Americo. Each horse is magnificent in its own way and it can become very disheartening to see a horse break down in a sport that is intended for our entertainment. A few years ago, I was at a track and a horse, that no one followed, won the race but broke down right after the wire… and right in front of where I was standing. To this day, I can still hear the “thunking and crashing” sound of that horse as he hit the ground. It doesn’t fade, but one by one, it becomes a cumulative effect.

        • whirlaway

          It is very tough to see and I dare say for all of us it never gets easier. I remember one day my husband and I were watching a claiming turf race when a mare suffered a terrible breakdown and my husband who is very tough on humans as I am quietly said
          ” bless her she is not famous and I hope there are a few to mourn her loss” That is
          what break downs can do to even men that have feelings for an injured animal. It really is tough to take and I find myself still wondering why I love this sport.

        • Ida Lee

          I remember when Summer Bird went to Japan to race …. I was a wreck all the time he was over there thinking …what if he gets injured? or he breaks down? he’s away from home with his people and adoring fans so far away…I just knew in my heart something would happen to my beloved Bird in Japan and he did get injured and came back home…then, he was sold to Japan and died of colic….I still can hardly speak of him with the tears….if he was mine, I couldn’t have loved him more….so maybe I’m a little sensitive about horses dying away from home….

      • Neal Baker

        Ida I criticized your selective outrage, nothing more. You cheery pick a Euro horse here and 2 South Americans there,14 within a seven month period; fine. I believe the more alarming stat are ten deaths within 4 weeks at North America’s premier meet.

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        • Ida Lee

          We’re addressing the Secretariat Stakes where a Euro was euthanized and we have lost a number of foreign Champions within the last year….if we want to talk about the plight of the TB in horse racing and the breakdowns and injuries, let’s do that but please don’t suggest that I don’t care about our own horses…I’ve cried way too many tears to be accused of something so heartless ….

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