Llano Teller wins $596K Remington Park Futurity
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)
Heath Reed already had plenty of confidence in Llano Teller's chances of winning the $596,000 Grade 1 Remington Park Futurity. When the trainer saw the weather forecast for Saturday night, he figured the result might already be a done deal.
It rained all day in Oklahoma City, and like his sire - 2005 All American Futurity winner Teller Cartel - Llano Teller likes the mud. On a sloppy track, the 2-year-old Texas-bred gelding started quickly and held off longshot American Runaway by a nose to win under jockey Freddie Martinez.
Llano Teller, off at 6-1 odds, covered the 330 yards in 16.512 seconds.
``We've worked him in the mud before up here,'' a jubilant Reed said, clutching the wet trophy given to the race's winner. ``We were tickled to death when it rained. His daddy was a mudder and his mama (Annie Eye Over) was a mudder.''
Indeed, Teller Cartel won the All American Futurity on a muddy track at Ruidoso Downs.
Llano Teller remained undefeated in three career starts for a Llano, Texas, ownership group led by Terry Wooten. The horse has had a different jockey for each of those races. Top quarter horse jockey G.R. Carter rode the horse during his qualification race for the Remington Park Futurity, but opted to ride Fast Prize Ribbon instead on Saturday.
Reed said he turned to Martinez, a top rider from New Mexico, because of the jockey's experience in riding on muddy tracks. Martinez also has enjoyed success at top Remington Park races before, having won the track's top quarter horse event, the Heritage Place Futurity, last year aboard Ragazzo.
Llano Teller led all the way Saturday, but drifted slightly, allowing 48-1 shot American Runaway to challenge in the final strides. That didn't seem to faze Reed.
``The way he left there, I thought it was over,'' Reed said. ``In these races, it is (all in the start). I never thought he'd get caught.''
Neither Coronas Fast Prize nor Fast Prize Ribbon, full sisters who went off as a favored entry, threatened. They finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 11-horse field.
Wooten said he named Llano Teller after his hometown that's located in the heart of the Lone Star State's Hill Country.
``We've raised him and it's quite a thrill,'' Wooten said. ``What a deal!''
Llano Teller paid $14.20, $6.40 and $4.80. American Futurity went off at 48-1 odds and paid $39.80 and 17.40. Pyc Takes All paid $7.20.
In the $221,000 Grade 2 Remington Park Derby for 3-year-olds, 3-1 second choice Diamond For Jess held off 3-5 favorite Crystal Sola, with Louisiana Blue Dream third.
Thomas Wellington rode Diamond For Jess, a Texas-bred son of Feature Mr Jess. Diamond For Jess, trained by Rick Robinson and owned by Dan Nicks of Devine, Texas, covered the 400 yards in 19.340 seconds and improved his career record to 5-for-10. The gelding has won both his starts this season.