Jockey David Cabrera, trainer Steve Asmussen set Remington Park records
It's been a record-breaking thoroughbred season at Remington Park for a jockey and a Hall of Fame trainer.
This is the final weekend of the thoroughbred season at Remington Park, culminating with Sunday night's Springboard Mile, the last North American qualifying race for the Kentucky Derby this year.
Jockey David Cabrera and trainer Steve Asmussen both set season records at Remington Park and will be part of the Springboard Mile. Asmussen has five entries in the race, including Tone Broke, a horse to be ridden by Cabrera.
With one weekend remaining, Cabrera has already set a Remington Park record for most earnings in a thoroughbred season by a jockey with $2,264.421.
Cabrera, 26, is the first Remington Park jockey to win more than $2 million in a thoroughbred season, topping Ramon Vazquez's previous record of $1,978,896.
“To be honest, the records don't mean a lot to me,” Cabrera said. “My main thing is seeing people happy with the way that I have been riding. More than anything, I just feel good that we had such a good meet because this is like home for me. Oklahoma City is kind of like home for me.”
Cabrera, a native of Mexico who plans to put down roots on a farm he recently bought in Jones, said Oklahoma City and Remington Park is where he got his start in horse racing.
“Remington Park is where I worked my first horse ever,” Cabrera said. “This is why I say it's home.”
In 418 starts this thoroughbred season Cabrera has been aboard 93 winners, finished second 87 times and third 67 times.
Asmussen, of Arlington, Texas, is a member of both the Remington Park Hall of Fame and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Asmussen, 53, also set a Remington Park record for earnings this thoroughbred season as his horses have won more than $2.3 million entering the final weekend. Asmussen broke a training record he already owned, having earned $2,232,645 last season at the Oklahoma City racetrack.
He needs just five more wins over the final three days to tie his own record for most training wins (102) in a single Remington Park season.
The first training title Asmussen ever won was at Remington Park. He keeps and trains 40 horses at Remington Park during the thoroughbred season.
"It meant something to me then and it means something to me now," he said. "That will always be the case."
Asmussen, who has trained horses that have won the Belmont Stakes, Preakness Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic on his resume, will have horses trying to earn points toward secure a Kentucky Derby berth in Sunday night's Springboard Mile.
But he says the race is more important for its $400,000 purse. The derby points are an added bonus.
"There is no such thing as not an extremely important $400,000 race," Asmussen said.
Last year, the Asmussen-trained horse Combatant finished second in the Springboard Mile and eventually qualified for the Kentucky Derby.
Among Asmussen's five horses in Sunday night's Springboard Mile are four who competed at Remington Park this season and another being shipped in for the race, Bankit.
"He's a horse who broke his maiden at Saratoga, won a mile stake earlier this year so the Springboard Mile was ideal for him," Asmussen said. "The other four I felt earned their way through their performances at Remington Park."
Asmussen says he's had more horses in the Kentucky Derby than anyone without a win.
"Speaking of records, that's the one I don't like I do have," he said. "Hopefully it is in our near future."
Across the country, there are seven months of qualifying races for the Kentucky Derby. The top four finishers in each of those qualifying races earn points toward getting a spot in the most famous horse race in the world.
The Springboard Mile for 2-year-olds is the final race of the thoroughbred season at Remington Park and the co-richest. It's $400,000 purse equals the Oklahoma Derby held in September.
•Where: Remington Park
•When: Sunday, 7:52 p.m. First race Sunday is 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday racing starts at 7 p.m.