After winning the Gr. I Pharaoh Stakes as a juvenile and then capturing the Gr. II Fountain of Youth affair this past March, Mb Stables has been cautious as to the placement of Questionable all this season and it seems there was definitely no Question about this decision on Sunday here at RP. The trainer has four straight OK Derby victories now with previous wins coming from Moment Of Madness, Jake The Snake and Pass Me By.
- OK Derby- Grade III- Purse $400.000
- Remington Park- For Three Year olds
- Mile and One Eighth Distance- Main Track
While Plucky Thinking ( Gdp Inc) looked to get away quickly to the front from the gate, it would be Mercedes Benz ( First Class Stables) who would be pushed to the front by rider Juarez from his nine post to grab the rail entering the clubhouse turn. Plucky Thinking would maintain two lengths back, splitting both Parthian King ( Nakamura Stables ) at the rail, and Zee Unit ( Rampage Stable ) to his outside. Questionable was settling in nicely behind this trio, with Twin Towers ( Smokey Stover ) and Estero Farms Phooey Queen Blue both to his outside flank.
Turning for the backstretch and heading toward the half mile mark of the race and it was still Mercedes Benz on top by two and a quarter over his closer rival, as the field behind him stayed general the same positioning with the exception of Twin Towers now stepping up the pace slightly in the center of the track.
Approaching the far turn and the field was now starting to look to place itself for the turn for home. Plucky Thinking was still being pressed by Zee Unit to his outside, but that would be short lived as Zee Unit and Parthian King would start to feel the effects of there stalking efforts. A hole was starting to develop between these runners for Questionable, while Twin Tower was still game to the outside.
Approaching a furlong to run, and exhaustion was starting to takes it toll on front runner Mercedes Benz as now Plucky Thinking and Questionable were starting to battle it out along side the First Class Stables entry. Twin Towers was in full stride just a neck in front of Phooey Queen Blue.
Fighting on like two classic champions, fans cheering, announcer excitedly shouting ” Plucky Thinking, Questionable…..Questionable, Plucky Thinking….Questionable to win it all!!” Everyone in the stands were on their feet for this amazing finish.
The win now brings Questionable earnings for this season to $1,300.000 in total, and for his efforts he would have his first ever 100 HRP speed figure of his career. The “Question” now is with all the talent this trainer has heading to this seasons BC Classic, is whether there will be a spot for him. Would the Dirt Mile be a better fit? Time will tell. Another brilliant effort for this top trainer with now his 82 Graded Stakes title, and over $27,000.000 in Graded earnings this season. Amazing!!
Being able to complete a $2,682.700 exacta payout as a 82-1 longshot on the day, Plucky Thinking still has the ability to get out near the front and continue to have the stamina to stay late down the lane as well. In what was his first try at a Graded level event, trainer Gdp Inc. has found that this bay sophomore like to run, and run….and run. While the horses previous owner had the full gambit of medications and equipment, the mere use of a shadow roll has been the key to this one’s talents. Definitely should be seeing him at the Graded level from now on.
Gr. I Haskell winner Twin Towers put in a gallant effort with his late kick to seal the deal on the show purse. It seems he is still trying to settle in to his new digs at Smokey Stover’s barns since the grand purchase in August, but everything is pointing to this one being back to the winners circle very soon.
While he slipped slightly earlier on in this affair, Phooey Queen Blue made up ground late to snatch away the minor share purse from a slightly fading Mercedes Benz in a photo at the wire. Both of these runners will be making the most out of their next event.
Remaining runners in order of finish;
Waiting On My Moment ( Luz International )- Stayed some seven back early on in ninth, but managed to close late to miss by three. Well rounded effort.
Man Childe ( Our Athletes )- Off at 44-1 odds, placed seventh some five shy, then closed to within four slightly edging out his rival to stay seventh.
Smugglers Blues ( John Henry )- Stayed at the back of the field for the first mile of this affair, but closed in the final furlong to within four.
Zee Unit ( Rampage Stables )- Challenged early on in the race, sitting third for the opening three quarters, then finishing four back at 146-1 odds.
Parthian King ( Nakamura Stables )- Up at the rail to stage a bit of a rally early, then continued to fade to be four out by the wire.