The 30th edition of the Oklahoma Classics, the million-dollar night of stakes racing for the top Oklahoma-breds, is Friday, Oct. 21 at Remington Park. The richest event, the $175,000 Classics Cup, powered by FanDuel TV, has a field of nine and could be a wide-open affair.
Past Cup winners Dont Tell Noobody (2020) and Absaroka (2021) will test the 1-1/16 miles with others who have won Classics stakes events. Number One Dude, second in the Cup last year, won the Juvenile in 2020. Cowboy Mischief, winner of the Turf in 2019, tries the Cup this year. However, it is a horse returning to the main track surface that has a slight edge in the morning-line odds for the main event of the night.
That’s Something finished second behind Number One Dude in the Red Earth Stakes here on Sept. 23, beaten just a neck in the race for Oklahoma-breds going 7-1/2 furlongs. While he handled the turf well, he moves back to the main track where 16 of his 18 career attempts have taken place, including three of his four lifetime wins. Owned, trained and bred in Oklahoma by Lynn Chleborad, That’s Something has enjoyed nothing but wins or seconds since April. He has been tabbed the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the Cup while Number One Dude and Absaroka share the second morning-line spot, each with odds of 3-1.
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“Really a tough race for making a morning line,” said Remington Park odds-maker Jerry Shottenkirk. “That’s Something has won three of his last five and is two photo finishes away from having five straight Ws. He was pretty powerful on dirt two races back and just missed last time against Number One Dude on the turf. This race is back on the main track and those two should finish right together again. Defending champ Absaroka, despite being fifth last out, can be right there.”
Absaroka Has Just One Start in 2022
Absaroka has only had one start this season, finishing fifth in an open-company allowance on Sept. 7. However, that was the first start for the 6-year-old since Dec. 17, 2021. Trainer C.R. Trout is confident the gelding by Flat Out will show up on Classics night.
“I like Absaroka,” said Trout of Edmond, Okla. “He’s training well. We gave him a bunch of time off this summer. (In his opener), we had him fit but not quite tight enough to run.”
Number One Dude was second to Absaroka in the Cup last year and rallied to gain the close victory in the Red Earth Stakes in his first attempt over turf a few weeks ago. This will be just his fifth start of the year for owner Terry Westemeir and trainer Kari Craddock. He sandwiched two Oklahoma-bred company stakes wins in 2021, around his second in the Cup, scoring in the Oklahoma Stallion Stakes (colts and geldings division) and the Jim Thorpe Stakes.
The talent is deep for the Cup as past winner Dont Tell Noobody is 10-1 in the morning-line odds. The 5-year-old won the biggest race of the night in 2020 but has no victories since that effort. He was recently claimed back to the barn of Federico Villafranco for owner Danny Caldwell who campaigned him to the Cup win in 2020.
Cowboy Mischief finished fourth behind Number One Dude, That’s Something and Tommyhawk in the Red Earth Stakes in September. Trained by Kenny Nolen for owner Kelly Thiesing, Cowboy Mischief will be making just his second start of the year and is 12-1 in the morning line. He has finished in the top three in eight of his nine attempts over the Remington Park main track in his career with three of his five lifetime wins on that surface.
The Classics Cup is set as the ninth of 10 races on Friday. The first race is 7:07pm while the Cup leaves the gate at 11:05pm. All times are Central. Here is the field by post position and program number, with trainer, jockey and morning-line odds:
Classic Cup Field
Beckett’s Luckyday: Pat Swan, Alfredo Triana, Jr., 8-1
Cherokee Legacy: Scott Young, Floyd Wethey, Jr. 15-1
Number One Dude: Kari Craddock, Leandro Goncalves, 3-1
Frigerator: Sue Hunt, Stewart Elliott, 20-1
Absaroka: C.R. Trout, David Cabrera, 3-1
That’s Something: Lynn Chleborad, Luis Quinonez, 5-2 (morning-line favorite)
Dont Tell Noobody: Federico Villafranco, Weston Hamilton, 10-1
Cowboy Mischief: Kenny Nolen, Richard Eramia, 12-1
Cruisin Cue: Carlos Padilla, Gerardo Mora, 10-1
Total purses for Oklahoma Classics night reach $1,120,000 with seven other stakes events and two solid starter allowance stakes.