Jockey Quinonez Moves Into Second In All-Time Wins At Remington Park

It was one Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame jockey moving past another into second place in the all-time wins category at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, Okla., when Luis Quinonez won the third race of the night aboard Ace Gilford.

It gave Quinonez 1,420 wins here, one more than Don Pettinger. The win puts the veteran journeyman 705 behind all-time leader Cliff Berry, who had 2,125. Fittingly, Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame trainer Donnie Von Hemel gave Quinonez a leg up on Ace Gilford, a 4-year-old gelded son of Tale of the Cat, out of the Indian Charlie mare Indianella. He races for owner Dream Walkin Farms (Toby Keith) of Norman, Okla.

If you’re going to reach a milestone, it should be done in impressive fashion and Quinonez did not pass up that opportunity. His mount flew to the front out of the gate in this 5-1/2 furlongs race on the main track and just kept widening his lead to the wire. As he hit the finish line in 1:05.31 over the fast track, he was 6-1/2 lengths ahead of everyone. Ace Gilford was sent off as the 2-1 second wagering favorite and made every pole a winning one, setting interior fractions of :22:91 for the first quarter-mile, :46.81 for the half-mile and :58.91 for five-eighths of a mile.

Ace Gilford paid $6 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.60 to show. Bred in Kentucky by the owner, Ace Gilford won for the first time in seven tries, scoring in his career debut at Remington Park. He had hit the board in his last two starts at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., with maiden claimers. Von Hemel gave him nearly five months off and the gelding fired fresh on all cylinders.

Quinonez, inducted into the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2017, needs only 99 more wins to reach 4,000 for his career. Only Berry, Quinonez, and Pettinger have won more than 1,000 races at Remington Park. Two other Oklahoma Racing Hall of Famer jockeys round out the top five – Tim Doocy with 796 and the late Pat Steinberg with 727.

Quinonez has had 26,833 mounts in his career with 3,901 wins, compiling $76,907,686 in horses’ earnings, according to Equibase statistics. His top horses have included Grade 2 winners Alternation and Gold Medal Dancer. He also won with Grade 3 winners Suddenbreakingnews, Shotgun Kowboy, She’s All In, Maysville Slew, and Injustice.

Quinonez made it to the Kentucky Derby once, aboard Suddenbreakingnews, the 2016 winner of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park for Von Hemel. They had teamed up to win the Clever Trevor Stakes at Remington Park in 2015.

Quinonez said he got his first win at Remington Park on his first mount in 1989 when he was in his early 20s aboard New Writer. He beat such riders as Berry, Steinberg (winner of seven riding titles in the early days of the track and an Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Famer), Dale Cordova (10th all-time here and regular rider for Silver Goblin), and Tony McNeil, now the paddock judge at Remington Park. Quinonez now is 54 years old and says retirement doesn’t even cross his mind.


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