The Grade 1 American Paint Classic Futurity on April 25 at Remington Park poses an excellent handicapping opportunity. The majority of the field, 80 percent, are in their first futurity final and many appear to be showing improvement.
Only Imahotchicken and Royal Snowman made the American Paint Classic after competing in the Oklahoma Paint/Appaloosa Futurity in March at Remington Park. Both deserve consideration, as do many of the new shooters in this final who seem to be getting better with more racing attempts.
Sturgis is the only one in the futurity who made his career debut in the April 12 trials. Despite the inexperience, he competed to run fourth in a trial won by Got Quick Kicks, a trial that produced four finalists, the most of any heat. Sturgis was somewhat green in his trial run, not completely focused on his task, but still managed to qualify which speaks to his natural talent. He will be coupled in an entry with Psychedelic Scott, as both are owned by Steven Wright of Coweta, Oklahoma.
Psychedelic Scott broke in the air during his trial start but was able to make up huge ground with every stride. He showed vast improvement from his previous trial attempt in March and appears to be ready for a big performance. That makes him one to watch going longer than the Paint Classic’s 350 yards in the future.
Three in the final are still searching for their first racing victory, despite having made three starts this season:
- Eyem Savvy had no excuse in a third-place trial finish.
- Lajollas Lil Ms Big led in her trial in an all-out drive under then-jockey G.R. Carter, but could not hold off Got Quick Kicks.
- Royal Snowman, despite making the Oklahoma Paint Futurity in March, didn’t have the best of trials and was unsettled in the gate prior to the start, possibly utilizing too much energy before the action.
DTL Head Honcho will be coupled with Eyem Savvy in the wagering, as both are owned by Dean and Tonya Lester of Skiatook, Oklahoma. Big things could be set for DTL Head Honcho; he won his trial by a length, despite weaving many times throughout the course. He mightbe capable of a lot more if he can maintain a straight-line performance.
Imahotchicken falls into my easy handicapping category to use any offspring of the all-time Paint producing broodmare Game Chicken. Imahotchicken is the latest in her progeny of performers and overcame a lunging start and slight contact with an outside rival to get up for trial victory. After finishing third in the Oklahoma Paint Futurity in March, her status is one of consistency, and she is a must consideration.
Awesome Ricky benefitted from a nice clean run in his trial to win. However, the 350-yard finish line arrived just in time as Psychedelic Scott would have passed him in two more strides.
Got Quick Kicks might be the one that has improved the most in this field over three starts. He has finished fourth, third and now first over a trio of attempts. Jockey Cody Jensen rode him to the trial victory and his expertise will help this gelding, owned and bred in Oklahoma by Danny Caldwell of Poteau, Oklahoma, a six-time leading owner during the Thoroughbred season at Remington Park.
Barracuda underperformed as a super-heavy 1-5 odds wagering favorite in his trial, breaking inward and then running second behind DTL Head Honcho.
My selections are: Psychedelic Scott, Got Quick Kicks, Imahotchicken, DTL Head Honcho.
American Paint Derby
The 3-year-olds race in the Grade 1 American Paint Classic Derby on Saturday in Remington Park’s 10th race, just prior to the futurity. No trials were needed to comprise the field, with three coming back in this derby after racing in the Oklahoma Paint/Appaloosa Derby in March. From that trio, Texas Silk hopes for a return to form.
Already making his fourth start of the season, Texas Silk is still searching for his first win of 2015 after a stellar 2-year-old season that earned him World Champion honors. His Appaloosa arch-rival Cant Be Caught isn’t around in this derby, so now is the time for Texas Silk to figure it out. He faced older runners for the first time in the Paul Harber Memorial at the end of March, running a disappointing fourth in a small field of five. Jockey G.R. Carter has been named to ride in the derby, replacing Berkley Packer who had been up for 11 consecutive races. The connections are trying everything to get their champ back to the winner’s circle.
Dashin JJ ran third in the Oklahoma Paint/Appaloosa Derby in March, his consistency places him automatically in the mix in the derby on Saturday. Owned and trained by Ray Enlow of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, Dashin JJ has made eight starts with four wins, a second and a pair of third-place efforts. The gelding is always in the mix and can’t be overlooked.
Panther Quick Flash was a disappointing ninth in the Oklahoma Paint/Appaloosa Derby while never close going 350 yards. His first start at 400 yards on Saturday does not appear to be promising.
Cashmere Queen does have 400-yard experience with a second and a third on her resume from two attempts last year, with the third behind Dashin JJ in the Pot O’ Gold Futurity at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Oklahoma, in September 2014. Cashmere Queen was a close second in her allowance return to action in March and picks up big-money rider Larry Payne for the derby.
Camo Cowgirl could play a part in the exotic results Saturday. She recently broke her maiden status in March after running fourth behind Dashin JJ and Cashmere Queen in the Pot O’ Gold last fall.
I Kick Chrome won some smaller stakes events in her 2-year-old campaign and makes her 2015 debut in the derby. She has trained well up to this from the barn of Brian Muse and could be a surprising factor, especially with top rider Cody Jensen in the saddle.
Until he shows me his back, I’m getting off the Texas Silk bandwagon. He has had one poor start after another recently and has lacked the ability to make the big-closing rallies he showed a year ago. My selections are: Cashmere Queen, Dashin JJ, Texas Silk, Camo Cowgirl.
The Remington Park season has just started the second half of its 50-date run with plenty of great Paint racing and stakes events left on the calendar, including the Speedhorse Graham Futurity and the National Cowboy Western Heritage Museum Stakes in late May.
Dale Day is the track handicapper at Remington Park in Oklahoma City; follow him on Twitter @thedaleday. His “Pick a Winner” column is regularly featured during the Remington Park meet season at myflashyride.com.
[Reprinting this article is permitted, so long as credit is given to Flash/APHA and a link provided to myflashyride.com.]
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