Derby and Oaks Day, Oklahoma Style

Best Actor | Coady

Sunday's GIII Oklahoma Derby and GIII Remington Park Oaks give the sophomore set a late-season option at age-restricted competition, with some marquee names making the trek across to Oklahoma City.

Brad Cox has sent out the winners of the last three runnings of the centerpiece of the local racing calendar–Owendale (Into Mischief, 2019); Shared Sense (Street Sense, 2020); and Warrant (Constitution, 2021) and can break the tie with Donnie K. Von Hemel should Gary and Mary West's Best Actor (Flatter) validate his morning-line favoritism. The $330,000 Keeneland September purchase has tasted defeat just once in his four-race career when narrowly runner-up in the GIII Indiana Derby July 9, but he bounced back in no uncertain terms with a 5 3/4-length romp in the GIII Smarty Jones S. at Parx Aug. 23. He swerves that track's million-dollar race and its heavy hitters for the clearly softer competition here. Florent Geroux, in the irons for Owendale's tough win four years ago, takes the call on Best Actor.

Rattle N Roll (Connect) won last year's GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity and looks for a third Derby this year to go along with the July 2 American Derby at Churchill and the St. Louis Derby at FanDuel Racing Aug. 20. Sandwiched between those is a seventh in the Indiana Derby, a race that is best forgiven after he was hampered badly and clipped heels at the start, then trailed most of the way.

Barring something unforeseen, Juju's Map (Liam's Map) should be able to add her name to the list of Remington Park Oaks winners. Last year's GI Darley Alcibiades S. victress returned with a smashing Oaks day allowance tally May 6, but has since disappointed at odds-on when third in the GII Mother Goose S. and GIII Monmouth Oaks.

Sunday's other graded action includes the GII Gallant Bloom S., featuring 'TDN Rising Star' Kimari (Munnings), at Aqueduct and the GIII Vigil S. at Woodbine.

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