RP TRAINING RACES ARE MORE THAN JUST HORSEPLAY
Early February is always the start of a surreal time in Oklahoma City. The American Quarter Horse (and Paint & Appaloosa) racing season at Remington Park does not begin until March but they are already off to the races over the RP racing surface. While the “training races”that are conducted here they are not unique to RP, the manner in which they are conducted is, without a doubt, decidedly distinctive. There’s nothing covert or undersold in the purpose, production or promotion of the training races at RP. Why?
There are only a few states in the United States that conduct training races and those that do should be commended. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for the horse to gain valuable seasoning (schooling) before it competes in a pari-mutuel horse race. When a horse benefits from a training race it can be ready to provide a 100% effort when it reaches its actual racing debut. That’s when the horses are running for real purse money and when your real money has been wagered.
First of all, it feels like an actual race card of horse races. The lower grandstand level is buzzing with horsemen. Tables are secured for seating and the Henry Hudsons restaurant is open and in full swing. Hundreds of folks are seated on benches and tables in both the paddock/walking ring area and on the front plaza. It feels like a day of racing is taking place –because it is. Horses are saddled with standard color-coded saddle cloths, they proceed through a proper post parade and there is a free, printed program which is available to note the action. A program!?!It gets better. The races aren’t just run and done. Each race and post parade is shown on the television monitors and on the 50’Coors Light Superscreen giant infield television monitor. And it is replayed a number of times before the next race.
Perhaps the best part of it is that the training race results are posted with official race times and chart comments. There are genuine remarks regarding if the horse has/has not been approved by the stewards and/or starter; and there even bona fide trip notes that are part of the race chart archives. Remington Park realizes that Knowledge is power! Fortunately, RP and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association are in agreement. The cherry on top isthat the training race replays are archived and available, at no charge, at www.oqhra.com and via www.remingtonpark.com (click on: HANDICAPPING or HORSEMEN) At Remington Park, Training Races are treated like a majorleague production –because they are a major league production. What’s good for the horses and horsemen is also good for YOU!