OKLAHOMA CITY – The last two of five Heritage Place Oaks trials produced nine of the 10 finalists Sunday for the $270,300 race on June 3, including the fastest qualifier, Proximity, winner of the $235,000 Oklahoma Derby on March 25.
The top four fillies from Proximity’s trial are also the top four finalists for the big race for 3-year-old fillies on that final Saturday of the Remington Park season. Only one filly from the first three trials of the day qualified. That was Painted Seis, who finished fifth in the top 10 after being the fastest qualifier until Proximity’s heat. This all happened over a muddy racetrack without a negligible shift in wind conditions which were a consistently slight headwind(6-7mph) throughout the trials.
In Proximity’s trial, the fourth of five on the card, four horses hit the wire together in a photo finish. It’s amazing what the turn of the calendar can do for the improvement of a horse. Proximity, the 3-year-old daughter of Moonin the Eagle, out of the FDD Dynasty mare Conspicuous, was conspicuously kept out of the winner’s circle as a 2-year-old and even went into this year’s Oklahoma Derby still a maiden. She lost her Oklahoma Derby trial by a neck in third, behind Lawless Wallace and last year’s Grade 1, $1.1 million Heritage Place Futurity winner Tres Crystals.
Proximity gained her revenge in the finals, however, breaking sharply at 12-1 odds, and going on to win her first stakes race, and her first career race, by a neck over Lawless Wallace.
Proximity, the 3-2 post-time favorite in her trial Sunday, was guided to a victory by a head over Fearless Moon (5-1) by jockey Francisco Calderon. Fearless Moon was another head in front of third-place finisher Dena Marie (9-5). Fourth-place finisher R Ladys Dynasty (11–1) was another nose back. Those were your four fastest qualifiers of the day. In the following trial, the final one of the day, four more horses would qualify in 6th-10th place.
Proximity is trained by Monty Arrossa and owned by Dennis Dreier of Farmington, Mo. Her record going into the Oaks finals will be nine starts, two wins, one second and two thirds for $118,392. Prior to her Derby win, her record was 7-0-1-2 with a bankroll of $15,610. She was bred in Oklahoma by Ron and Melany Shalz.
The 10 fastest qualifiers in Sunday’s trials qualified for the $270,300 Heritage Place Oaks for 3-year-old fillies going 400 yards on Saturday, June 3. Here they are with times, speed indexes, jockey, trainer and trial number (race number).
Proximity, :19.582, 96, Francisco Calderon, Monty Arrossa, trial four (race seven) Fearless Moon, :19.601, 96, Sergio Becerra, Jr., John Stinebaugh, trial four (race seven) Dena Marie, :19.628, 95, Ricky Ramirez, Trey Wood, trial four (race seven) R Ladys Dynasty, :19.636, 95, Jimmy Brooks, Eddie Willis, trial four (race seven) Painted Seis, :19.722, 93, Francisco Calderon, Toby Keeton, trial two (race five) Sunday Sylence, :19.753, 92, Jesus Salazar, Juvenal Licona-Vazquez, trial five (race eight) Mrs KVN, :19.758, 92, Daniel Torres, Shawna Manriquez, trial five (race eight) Where Theres Sumoke, :19.760, 92, Angel Ramirez, Ed Hardy, trial four (race seven) Curls Joyful Wagon, :19.763, 92, Francisco Calderon, John Stinebaugh, trial five (race eight) A Southern Hero, :19.778, 91, Justine Klaiber, Eddie Willis, trial five (race eight) There is a special makeup race day scheduled for Monday, May 15, for the second day of Heritage Place Futurity trials, with first post of 12:30 p.m. The Grade 1, $1,207,640 Futurity is scheduled for Saturday, June 3. The original day for these trials was Thursday, May 11, but were postponed due to severe weather in the area. A group of five 2-year-olds have already qualified for the finals. These five qualified on Friday, May 12: MFS Cheerio, :17.604, 91, Justine Klaiber, Eddie Willis, trial 11 Cardiac Cowboy, :17.628, 90, Edwin Escobedo, Jason Olmstead, trial four Sheza Famous Candy, :17.722, 88, Edwin Escobedo, Jason Olmstead, trial 12 AB Seis Corazones, :17.734, 87, Bryan Candanosa, Monty Arrossa, trial six Deep Blue, :17.748, 87, Francisco Calderon, John Stinebaugh, trial three The Monday futurity trials will produce the final five qualifiers for the richest event of the Remington Park season.