Limation with jockey Diego Saenz won the 39th running of the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs
A pair of Kentucky Derby horses – Lone Sailor and Combatant – and Louisiana’s Super Derby winner Limation, are among 11 horses entered for this year’s edition of the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby. The 30th edition will be contested at 1-1/8 miles on Sunday, Sept. 30 at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Limation, a 3-year-old colt out of the barn of Hall of Famer and perennial top trainer in the country by money earned Steve Asmussen, was established as the morning line favorite at 3-1 odds by line maker Rick Lee. Limation beat Lone Sailor by almost six lengths to win the Super Derby at 26-1 odds for owner Michael Langford of Jonesboro, Ark., with jockey Diego Saenz getting the call that day. He also will get a leg up at Remington Park for the Oklahoma Derby.
Limation drew the 4-hole, eyeball to eyeball with Lone Sailor in post position No. 5 next door.
Lone Sailor has been a nationally prominent 3-year-old colt all year and is the top money earner in the field of 11 horses drawn this morning with more than $600,000 in his bankroll for trainer Tom Amoss and owner GMB Racing, an ownership that has been headed up by the family of former New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson who passed away at 90 this March. The racing enterprise is named for his wife Gayle Marie Benson.
Lone Sailor is the second choice at 7-2 odds in what appears to be one of the most competitive fields ever in this race, going to post as the 11th race on a 12-race card that includes 10 stakes races worth more than $1.3 million.
Lone Sailor raced in the Grade 1, $2 million Kentucky Derby and the second leg of the Triple Crown – the Grade 1, $1.5 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. He finished fifth, only two lengths back of Triple Crown winner Justify, in his Preakness attempt. This colt, by Majestic Warrior, out of the Mr. Greeley mare Ambitious, ran a fast closing eighth in the Kentucky Derby. He was also beaten only a neck by Noble Indy in the Grade 2 $1 million Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Noble Indy went on to race in the Kentucky Derby and Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes.
Jockey James Graham once again gets the mount aboard Lone Sailor.
Lone Sailor is coming off a second place finish in the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs, with Graham up, as the 6-5 betting favorite. He has earned $633,237 in 13 starts.
Combatant, a 3-year-old son of Scat Daddy, out of the Boundary mare Border Dispute, ran into a bear at Oaklawn this spring in Magnum Moon, who won the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby, the Grade 2, $900,000 Rebel Stakes and was one of the favorites in the Kentucky Derby. After running second in the $400,000 Springboard Mile as a juvenile at Remington Park in 2017, Combatant ran second in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and Grade 3, $500,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn before showing a lot of heart, finishing third and fourth to Magnum Moon in the Rebel and Arkansas Derby, respectively.
Combatant, owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Willis Horton Racing LLC of Las Vegas, will break from the 8-hole in the Oklahoma Derby as an outsider at 12-1 odds. Regular rider Ricardo Santana gets the call.
Since running in the Kentucky Derby, Combatant most recently was a fast closing fourth at Saratoga in upstate New York in his last race, beaten a little more than a length in the $100,000 Better Talk Now Stakes. Combatant has earned $405,520 in 11 lifetime starts.
Asmussen has entered four horses in the Oklahoma Derby. The other two that he will saddle are Lionite and Retirement Fund. Lionite actually finished ahead of Limation in a maiden race at Oaklawn this spring, but ran fourth to Limation in the Super Derby. Lionite, who drew the 1-hole for Remington’s leading rider David Cabrera in the Oklahoma Derby, also won the $65,000 Prairie Mile in Iowa by more than five lengths. Lionite is given a puncher’s chance at 10-1 odds.
The field for the Oklahoma Derby from the rail out with trainer, jockey and odds is:
1) Lionite, Asmussen, Cabrera, 10-1
2) Wooderson, Todd Pletcher, Jose Ortiz, 4-1
3) Believe in Royalty, Larry Jones, Gabriel Saez, 20-1
4) Limation, Asmussen, Saenz, 3-1
5) Lone Sailor, Amoss, Graham, 7-2
6) Eisenstaedt, Ron Moquett, Jack Gilligan, 20-1
7) Diamond King, John Servis, Frankie Pennington, 6-1
8) Combatant, Asmussen, Santana, 12-1
9) Sea Foam, Christophe Clement, Florent Geroux, 12-1
10) Retirement Fund, Asmussen, Ramon Vazquez, 30-1
11) First Mondays, Servis, Paco Lopez, 8-1.
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