Brad Cox became the first trainer to win three consecutive Oklahoma Derbies, sending out Warrant to a 1 ¾-length victory in Remington Park’s flagship race on Sunday.
Not only did Cox set a new bar for Oklahoma Derby conditioners, he tied Oklahoma training mainstay Donnie Von Hemel for the most Oklahoma Derby victories with his third. Shared Sense took the 2020 Oklahoma Derby for Cox, with Owendale winning in 2019.
Cox, who sits second to Steve Asmussen among North American training earnings in 2021, pulled the feat with three different jockeys. Joel Rosario held Warrant’s reins. Richard Eramia did the honors on Street Sense and Cox’s usual go-to rider, Florent Geroux, rode Owendale.
Rosario, who is enjoying a banner year winning 21% of his races with nearly $23 million in earnings, enjoyed the perfect trip aboard Warrant. He piloted the son Constitution to a ground-saving trip along the rail, letting front-runner Flash of Mischief do the heavy lifting on the lead. Rosario turned the 3/1 third choice loose in the stretch and he pulled out a gutsy victory at the wire.
Warrant settled some scores here
“It was a perfect trip. The more I asked him, the more he gave me,” Rosario told Remington Park after the race.
Warrant also gave his connections redemption against one familiar foe. That was Mr Wireless, who beat Warrant in the Aug. 7 West Virginia Derby. But the Indiana Derby champion couldn’t get near Warrant Sunday, finishing 8 ½ lengths back in fifth.
That West Virginia Derby was Warrant’s first race back from a two-plus month layoff. Cox gave Warrant the break after he won the Texas Derby on May 31.
No score this time for Super Stock
Warrant saw another familiar foe from that Texas Derby on Sunday, Super Stock. The 2/1 favorite and Arkansas Derby champion – coming off a victory in the Ellis Park Derby — finished third, 2 ¼ lengths back.
That return paid $8.40 to win while raising Warrant’s record to a remarkably consistent 3-3-1 in seven career starts.