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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—MARCH 21, 2020—Uptowne Babe won the biggest race of the American Quarter Horse season at Remington Park last year – the Grade 1, $1 million Heritage Place Futurity. Saturday night, she will attempt to win her first big race as a 3-year-old.
Uptowne Babe will be trying to make her comeback complete Saturday night in the seventh race on a 10-race card, attempting to take down the Grade 3, $232,586 Oklahoma Derby at 350 yards. The comeback part includes almost 11 months off since her biggest win when she finished ahead of the 2019 AQHA 2-year-old Champion, Uncle D, in the Heritage Place Futurity. Uptowne Babe was bred in Oklahoma by the owner, Sam W. Green of Monett, Mo.
After showing the kind of skill that can take a horse into the stratosphere of Quarter Horse racing, trainer Guillermo Valdivia decided to save Uptowne Babe for the All American Futurity trials in August at Ruidoso Downs, N.M. While she was being saddled for her trial that could lead to the $3 million finals, she threw a fit in the paddock, flipped and hit her head and her left hind leg. She did not race again until her Oklahoma Derby trials on March 8 when she won by a nose to qualify for the final. The winning trial effort was not close to the fastest time of the trials.
Uptowne Babe, ridden by her regular rider Rolando Raudales, covered the 350 yards in :18.101, good for a speed index of 89. She was made a lukewarm third favorite at 5-1 odds in the morning line, behind Ivory Turbo, who is 5-2. That 3-year-old gelding finished in :17.82 with a 96 for trainer Michelle Hurdle, under jockey Agustin Silva. He is owned and was bred by Tom and Kathleen McNally of Guthrie, Okla.
The complete field by post position and program order for the Oklahoma Derby, with trainer, jockey and morning-line odds:
- Fantsy First Down: Manuel Rodriguez, James Flores, 12-1
- FMM Rocking Cartel: John Foutch, Gonzalo Gutierrez, 15-1
- Gonnawannakissthis: Jonathan Chavira, Daniel Torres, 12-1
- Astranomical: Stacy Charette-Hill, Jorge Torres, 15-1
- Aint Working: Monty Arrossa, Raul Valenzuela, 8-1
- Uptowne Babe: Guillermo Valdivia, Rolando Raudales, 5-1
- Ivory Turbo: Michelle Hurdle, Agustin Silva, 5-2 (morning-line favorite)
- Ritas Back On Track: Eddie Willis, Justine Klaiber, 8-1
- Love Is Everything V: Eddie Willis, Jimmy Brooks, 4-1
- Sir Runaway Eye: Josue Ponce, Mario Delgado, 10-1
First post Saturday is 6 p.m.-Central. The card on tap also includes the Grade 2, $383,725 Oklahoma Futurity, the oldest running futurity in American Quarter Horse racing history, is the eighth race on a program to be conducted without public spectators.
The complete field by post position and program order for the Oklahoma Futurity, with trainer, jockey and morning-line odds:
- Royal Tales LBH: Manuel Rodriguez, Mario Delgado, 15-1
- Ferrari B: Rex Brooks, Juan Pulido, 12-1
- My Blue Heart: Josue Ponce, Jose Alvarez, 10-1
- Aint She Tempting: Monty Arrossa, James Flores, 10-1
- Cartels Dynasty: Monty Arrossa, (jockey to be named), 6-1
- Jess Kiss Me: Guillermo Valdivia, Rolando Raudales, 5-1
- Coronados Lady: Jonathan Chavira, Daniel Torres, 12-1
- Seven Tales: Mary Meza, Agustin Silva, 5-2 (morning-line favorite)
- Relentlessly: Jose Huerta, Rafael Hernandez, 7-2
- High Rate Dee Dee: Guillermo Valdivia, Armando Ramirez II, 15-1
The Oklahoma Futurity headlines a stakes-laden evening of racing, including:
- Race 4: Grade 1, $61,100 Speedhorse Graham Paint/Appaloosa Derby, 350 yards
- Race 5: Grade 1, $180,100 Oklahoma Paint/Appaloosa Futurity, 300 yards
- Race 6: $50,000 Oklahoma Juvenile, 300 yards
- Race 9: Grade 2, $50,000 Eastex Stakes, 350 yards
- Race 10: Grade 2, $50,000 Decketta Stakes, 350 yards
Tracked by more than 162,000 fans on Facebook and more than 10,100 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $242 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park will host the 2020 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season from March 6 through May 30. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.