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Oklahoma Classics mixes racing, American Indian cultural events

Every lead pony will be painted as an American Indian War Horse
BY SANDI DAVIS Published: October 19, 2012

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.

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