Remington Park's Thoroughbred Season continues with a family-friendly evening full of American Indian traditions and Oklahoma horses Friday at “Oklahoma Classics.”
While it's the 20th annual “Oklahoma Classics” racing card with a total purse worth more than $1 million for the night's eight races, it's the third year for the track to partner with Red Earth to feature all kinds of American Indian cultural events starting at 5 p.m. track side. Racing starts at 6:30 p.m.
“We simulcast our races to more than a thousand outlets all over the world,” said Scott Wells, Remington Park president and general manager. “We are one of Oklahoma's showcases.”
Easily the most interesting and unusual sights will be the lead ponies, the horses who escort each racehorse onto the track. Every lead pony will be painted as an American Indian War Horse by artists including Cheyenne artist Harvey Pratt. He will hand paint 12 to 14 horses the way various tribes would have hundreds of years ago. He will be on hand during the event to explain what each symbol means.
Comanche singer and former Oklahoma City Powwow Princess Kimberly DeJesus will be wearing her buckskins as she opens the racing by singing the national anthem.
Chickasaw storyteller Lorie Robins will spend the evening inside a tepee telling tales.
The tepee itself will be built by the Indian Community Church and they will be there talking about how it was erected and all the ways tepees were used in tribal culture.
Between races, American Indian dancers dressed in traditional regalia will perform various dances.
If that isn't enough to keep a person occupied, 30 booths full of tribal arts and crafts will be selling items in an artists' marketplace.
“We are celebrating what makes Oklahoma unique,” said Red Earth Deputy Director Eric Oesch. “This is a cool, fun event. It introduces Red Earth to an audience who may not be familiar with our Indian culture, and shows there is a good fit between Native American art and the Western Art already on display at Remington Park.”
Oesch added that Red Earth and Remington also partner up well and provide an entertaining event for the whole family.
Admission to the event and track is free, as is valet parking, but you've got to be 18 to bet or enter the casino inside Remington Park.
For more information, call Remington Park at 424-1000 or go to www.RemingtonPark.com.