Oak Tree Special Posts Big Win in Dash For Cash Derby

(Friday, October 17, 2003) - Oak Tree Special, the fastest qualifier to Saturday’s Grade 1, $191,300 Dash For Cash Derby, continued his winning ways in the final with an authoritative three-quarter-length victory over 8-5 favorite Silvered Eyes in front of 5,240 fans at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The 3-year-old son of Special Task, ridden by J.R. Ramirez, covered 440 yards on a fast track in :21.54, one-hundredth of a second quicker than his qualifying time two weeks ago. Bobby Martinez trains the winner for owner Raul Rubalcava of Wylie, Texas.

“I’m very happy about our horse,” said Rubalcava, who ranks ninth nationally in victories this year. “He’s the best horse I’ve got, and I’ve been buying horses for 50 years.”

Oak Tree Special broke away from the nine horse field in sixth, but ranged into contention midway down the straightaway and pulled clear late.

“That’s always been his trouble; he’s never gotten away from the gates big,” Ramirez said. “Today, he just kind of broke slow, not too fast but right there with them, and he just loves the [440-yard] distance. He’s just a fantastic horse. Midstretch you can just feel him; he hits another gear and he goes on.”

Oak Tree Special, out of the Easy Dozen mare Easy Lady Oak, collected his third Derby win of the year. He also was victorious in the Grade 1 Retama Park and Remington Park derbies.

He earned $76,520 for the triumph and increased his career bankroll to $396,732. It was his 13th win in 19 starts, and eighth in 10 starts this year.

Oak Tree Special, who entered the week as the 10th-ranked horse in the American Quarter Horse Association Racing Poll, paid $5.60 to win as the second wagering choice. Snow Me was another head back of runner-up Silvered Eyes, last year’s Dash For Cash Futurity winner who was vanned off after the race following signs of lameness in his left front leg.

Dazzling Reflection, SLM Snowman, Snow Big Deal, Natural Task, Royal Streakin and Dash On Line completed the order of finish. Outdashing was scratched.

Earlier on the card, Go You Must, the longest shot in the field at 42-1, set a stakes record en route to victory in the Grade 3, $20,000 Rheudasil Handicap. The 4-year-old filly won the 350-yard heat in :17.46, nosing out Storybook Lover in a very tight photo. Juan Vasquez rode Go You Must for trainer John Buchanan and owner Dr. Tommy Bullard of Bullard Farms.

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