If Shotgun Kowboy is going to make his mark on Oklahoma Classics history Friday night at Remington Park, he will have to defeat four rivals while breaking from the outside post position, number five, in the 1-1/16 miles event.
Shotgun Kowboy is attempting to win his third $175,000 Oklahoma Classics Cup, the richest event on the $1,000,000 Oklahoma Classics Night of stakes events for eligible Oklahoma-bred Thoroughbreds. Bred, owned and trained by C.R. Trout of Edmond, Okla., Shotgun Kowboy won the Classis Cup in 2015 and in 2017. A third victory in the race would put him alongside Mr Ross (1999-2001) and Zee Oh Six (2002, 2005-2006), as the only horses to capture the top event in the series three times.
Jockey David Cabrera receives the call on Shotgun Kowboy for the first time in the 6-year-old gelding's career. A son of Kodiak Kowboy from the Siphon (Brz) mare Shotgun Jane, Shotgun Kowboy has earned $1,267,501 overall with 12 wins (seven at Remington Park), five times finishing second and another five races where he was third. He will make his 31st career start when he leaves the gate on Friday night.
Shotgun Kowboy is the first horse to win the Grade 3, Oklahoma Derby (2015) and then win the Oklahoma Classics Cup. The Classics series started in the fall of 1993, shortly after the legendary Oklahoma-bred Clever Trevor had retired. Clever Trevor is the only other Oklahoma-bred horse to have won the Oklahoma Derby, known as the Remington Park Derby in 1989, when he took the inaugural edition of the top event in Oklahoma.
Shotgun Kowboy seeks his fourth career victory in the Oklahoma Classics. He started his career in the state-bred series with a win in the $100,000 Classics Juvenile in 2014. Only four horses have won four or more Oklahoma Classics races in its history. Highland Ice won five Classics races with Notable Okie, Okie Ride, and She's All In each winning four.
Shotgun Kowboy enters the Classics Cup off a third-place effort in the $175,000 Governor's Cup behind Hence on Sept. 30. Earlier this year, Shotgun Kowboy, won the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, defeating Mubtaahij, out of National Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's barn. Mubtaahij was the winner, by eight lengths, of the Grade 2, $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai in 2015. He then competed in the Grade 1, $2 million Kentucky Derby and finished fourth to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes that year.
Tuff Kid is among those trying to spoil Shotgun Kowboy's party Friday night. Tuff Kid raced second, beaten 5-1/4 by Shotgun Kowboy, in the Classics Cup last year. He was fourth in the 2016 edition of the race behind winner Phantom Trip, when Shotgun Kowboy skipped the event.
Claimed on August 31 for $30,000 for new owner GK Racing of Driftwood, Texas and new trainer Karl Broberg, Tuff Kid is normally a deep closer in his best efforts and will add blinkers for the first time in his career for the Classics Cup. A 5-year-old gelding by Don't Get Mad from the Wild Again mare Tuff Chick, Tuff Kid will be ridden by Ramon Vazquez for the first time in his career.
Hyper Drive is the only other contestant in the Classics Cup to have started previously in the race, finishing seventh behind Phantom Trip in 2016. Owned by Henry Thilmony of Minneapolis, Minn. and trained by Randy Oberlander, Hyper Drive last won on April 16 at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla. in a starter allowance race at the same 1-1/16 miles distance of the Classics Cup.
Making his first start in the Classics Cup will be Rowdy The Warrior, a 4-year-old trained by Donnie Von Hemel, the all-time leading trainer by wins in the Oklahoma Classics with 26. Also entering the race for the first time is Night Strike, a 3-year-old trained by Bret Calhoun who won an Oklahoma-bred allowance race at 1 mile-70 yards at Remington Park on Sept. 6.
The field for the Oklahoma Classics Cup by post position and program order, with trainer and jockey:
1. Night Strike – Bret Calhoun, Jamie Theriot
2. Hyper Drive – Randy Oberlander, Lindey Wade
3. Rowdy The Warrior – Donnie Von Hemel, Luis Quinonez
4. Tuff Kid – Karl Broberg, Ramon Vazquez
5. Shotgun Kowboy – C.R. Trout, David Cabrera
The Classics Cup is the sixth of 10 races on Oklahoma Classics Night and will start at approximately 9:25pm. The other stakes events during the evening include:
Race 1, 7:07pm: $130,000 Distaff Turf, fillies and mares, 3 and up, 1-1/16 miles (turf)
Race 4, 8:31pm: $130,000 OKC Turf Classic, 3 and up, 1-1/16 miles (turf)
Race 5, 8:58pm: $130,000 Sprint, 3 and up, six furlongs
Race 7, 9:52pm: $130,000 Distaff Sprint, fillies and mares, 3 and up, six furlongs
Race 8, 10:19pm: $145,000 Distaff, fillies and mares, 3 and up, 1 mile-70 yards
Race 9, 10:45pm: $100,000 Juvenile, 2-year-olds, six furlongs
Race 10, 11:26pm: $100,000 Lassie, 2-year-old fillies, six furlongs
The Primetime Pick 4 wager (races 7-10) on Oklahoma Classics Night will carry a guaranteed minimum betting pool of $100,000. The wager is comprised of all stakes events for the evening.
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