MS ESTHER WINS GRADE 2 PAULS VALLEY STAKES AT REMINGTON PARK

OKLAHOMA CITY - April 4, 2019 -- In the Grade 2 $60,400 Pauls Valley StakesMs Esther wasn’t afraid of her first try in stakes company and she wasn’t afraid of trying to win against stakes horses at 870 yards from the 7-hole.

This 5-year-old mare didn’t try hook races until owner-trainer Jordan Baumann of Sallisaw got her into his barn. She raced for other connections the first three races of her career. Anyone could have claimed her for $6,250 in her third career race, but no one did. Baumann said he bought her in a private sale at a bargain price and knew right away he was going to turn her into a hook horse. Since he sent her out at 870 yards on Sept. 22, 2017, at Will Rogers Downs, all she’s done is win four of five starts around the turn and finished second in the other.

“Her very first race they ran her 550 yards and really had to circle the field and come running,” said Baumann. “I knew that day I knew she would make a nice 870 horse.”

Thursday night’s race was her first against this level of competition as Ms Esther had never run in a stakes race. Jockey Andrew Samaniego had her dead last halfway through the race, but made a beautiful ride pay off, dropping to the rail and letting her skim past horses one by one until he finally got past runner-up Jess a Hilbily Bone by a head at the wire.

This mare by the thoroughbred sire Afrashad, out of the Tres Seis Quarter Horse mare Tres Down The Cash, showed that stamina throughout, stopping the timer in 46.555 seconds for a speed index of 83.

“It was all horse to tell you the truth,” said Samaniego, of the brilliant ride. “She ran a big race and knew how to get to the other end.”

Jess a Hilbily Bone was the post-time 2-1 betting favorite and finished two more lengths in front of third-place finisher Blazen Panther. The favorite had beaten the winner by a half-length in a race only two weeks ago. The difference tonight?

“She was off for a whole year and she just kind of needed that race,” said Samaniego. “I knew she would be tough this way back around.”

Ms Esther earned $37,038 for first and added that to her bankroll for lifetime earnings of $78,992. Her record now stands at eight starts, five wins, one second and no thirds.

“She really loves to run,” said Baumann. “And she makes my job really easy.”

The winner, Ms Esther, went off at 5-1 odds and paid $12.60 to win, $4.60 to place and $2.80 to show across the board. She was bred in Oklahoma by Duwyne or Janice Pfeifle.

The Pauls Valley Stakes is named after the town in south-central Oklahoma, about one hour south of Remington Park in Oklahoma City.

Racing continues Friday at Remington Park with 12 races beginning at 6pm, 11 of those are Remington Park Futurity trials. Another set of 11 trials will be conducted on the 12-race program on Saturday night at 6pm. Remington Park Derby trials will be featured on Sunday afternoon at 1:30pm.

Remington Park is always open for casino gaming. Simulcast horse racing is offered daily. Admission, parking and valet parking are always free at Remington Park. Guests must be 18 or older in order to wager on horse racing or to enter the casino.

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Tracked by more than 150,000 fans on Facebook and more than 9,800 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $215 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park is home to the restricted Grade 1, $850,000 Remington Park Futurity on April 20. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.