Trainer Teri Luneack and her star sprinter Welder at Ra-Max Farms in Claremore, Okla.
Oklahoma-bred millionaire Welder makes his late summer debut at Remington Park on Friday night and in the process could set a record as no other horse in the history of the track has ever won 16 races here.
Welder is currently tied for the most all-time wins with 15, deadlocked with Highland Ice and Elegant Exxactsy. Welder, a gray 8-year-old gelded son of The Visualiser, out of the Tiznow mare Dance Softly, has been made the slight 6-5 favorite over Fair Grounds stakes winner Nitrous (7-5 odds). All-time winningest trainer in racing history, Steve Asmussen, conditions Nitrous.
Welder is owned by Ra-Max Farms (Clayton Rash) of Claremore, Okla., trained by Teri Luneack and will once again be ridden by three-time defending champion jockey at Remington Park, David Cabrera. The streak of lightning gray has earned $1,218,902 in his career, racing 41 times, winning 26, running second five times and third another six. He is one of only eight Oklahoma-breds that have ever earned more than $1 million on the racetrack. That list is led by Kip Deville at $3,325,489, followed by 1986 national Horse of the Year Lady’s Secret at $3,021,325; Shotgun Kowboy, $1,548,684; Clever Trevor, $1,388,841; Welder; She’s All In, $1,102,489; Mr. Ross, $1,091,046, and Silver Goblin, $1,083,895.
Welder tied the record of 15 wins at Remington Park on Dec. 19, 2020 when he won an open allowance race by three-quarters of a length over Share the Upside, a horse that had beaten Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Whitmore at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. Welder’s overall record at Remington Park is 20 starts with 15 wins.
“He’s already done everything I’ve ever asked him to do,” said Luneack. “If he sets more records, that’s great for him. If he doesn’t, that’s great for him, too. I don’t feel like the horse owes me or us anything. I don’t feel he has anything more to prove. Welder never disappoints me. I love him.”
Here’s a list of milestones Welder already has notched in his racing belt:
- Only thoroughbred in Oklahoma horse racing history to win All-Breeds Oklahoma Horse of the Year three years in a row. He has won the past three, a reward from Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, presented by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission.
- Was voted Horse of the Meet at Remington Park for third year in a row. No other thoroughbred has won that award more than once. Welder has swept all four Champion categories he’s been in those three years – Horse of the Meet, Okie-bred, Sprinter and Older Male.
- Only horse in Remington Park history to win four stakes races in one season (2018)
- Set track record for six furlongs in 1:08.13, winning the David M. Vance Stakes on Sept. 29, 2019.
- Eleven consecutive stakes wins at Remington Park, a record that is still live. Those 11 stakes wins is also a record for overall stakes wins here. Okie Ride had 10. Welder has won four Silver Goblins, three Oklahoma Classics Sprints, two David M. Vance Stakes, and two Remington Park Turf Sprints (one was taken off the grass and run on a sloppy track).
This could be Welder’s toughest race at Remington Park since he won the Remington Park Turf Sprint by a neck on Sept. 25 last year. This allowance race has horses that certainly are stakes caliber, if not now, in the past.
Nitrous, a 5-year-old son of Tapit, out of the City Zip mare Speedinthruthecity, won the $125,000 Thanksgiving Classic at Fair Grounds in New Orleans in 2020. In October, he lost by only a head in the Grade 3, $200,000 Frank DeFrancis Memorial Dash Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore. Back in 2019, Nitrous came close to winning a Grade 1 Stakes, running second by a neck at Belmont in the Woody Stephens Stakes. Welder has won 18-of-31 races at six furlongs; Nitrous is 2-for-6.
Another two that could upset for the gold are Gold Street and Gold Speed Go. Gold Street was actually on the Kentucky Derby-trail last year, winning the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn by 2-3/4 lengths. He finished more than 23 lengths back in the subsequent Grade 3 Southwest Stakes, however. Gold Speed Go has won two of his last three starts and is 4-for-6 in the winner’s circle here.
The allowance race with post position, horse, jockey, trainer, odds:
- Gold Street, Ramon Vazquez, Frank Lucarelli, 8-1
- Gold Speed Go, Lane Luzzi, Danny Pish, 10-1
- United Patriot, Luis Quinonez, Larry Frazee, 20-1
- Warrior’s Map, Reylu Gutierrez, Karl Broberg, 10-1
- Nitrous, Stewart Elliott, Steve Asmussen, 7-5
- Welder, David Cabrera, Teri Luneack, 6-5
- It Makes Sense, Jose Alvarez, Shawn Davis, 15-1
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