HRI Edited Release — Remington Park’s top 2-year-old stakes event, the $400,000 Springboard Mile, drew a maximum field of 12 for Sunday’s final race date of the Thoroughbred season. The Springboard Mile headlines a 13-race program with five additional stakes races that begins at 3 p.m. CT.
As the final points prep of the year toward the 2020 Kentucky Derby, the Springboard Mile awards on a 10-4-2-1 basis to its Top 4 finishers. A competitor from the Springboard Mile has started in the Kentucky Derby in three of the last four years, including Long Range Toddy, last year’s winner.
Trainer Brad Cox added Answer In to the Springboard mix on Wednesday, naming Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano for the mount. A Kentucky-bred gelding by Dialed In from the Broken Vow mare D’ya Knowwhatimean, he broke his maiden in his second career attempt on Oct. 27 at Churchill Downs, winning a seven-furlong race by a widening 5 1/4 lengths.
Owned by Robert LaPenta and Madaket Stables, Answer In has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for the Springboard Mile by odds-maker Rick Lee. The colt recently closed at 64-1 in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager off his maiden score.
Rowdy Yates, by Morning Line, has won twice this meet at Remington Park, taking the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile on Oct. 18 and the Don McNeill Memorial Stakes on Nov. 15, both races restricted to Oklahoma-breds. The latter event ran at the same mile distance he will go in the Springboard. Rowdy Yates is second in the morning-line at 7-2 odds and is trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen.
Rowdy Yates also has made a splash on the national scene, winning the Ellis Park Juvenile on Aug. 18 at seven furlongs, running second in the Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs in June, and also finishing fifth behind Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorite Dennis’ Moment in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs in September.
Rowdy Yates, who tops the Springboard field in wins and total earnings of $210,898, will be ridden by Richard Eramia as he gets the return call.
Trainer Michael Stidham has entered Embolden, a gray colt owned by Dare To Dream Stable (Michael Faber) and was bred in Virginia by Nancy L. Terhune & Ernest Frohboese. Embolden is a son of The Factor, out of the Lion Hearted mare Silver Heart, and has won two races in five starts, run second twice and third once for earnings of $137,000. Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. will be up on the third morning-line horse at 9-2 odds.
Embolden broke his maiden in August at Colonial Downs in Virginia after running second in his first try at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. He was an easy 10-length winner in his second outing and then won again in the $100,000 Jamestown Stakes at Colonial in his next start by 3 3/4 lengths. That stakes race was restricted to Virginia-breds, and he was the 2-5 wagering favorite at post time.
Since that win, he has dipped his toe in deeper waters, moving on to Belmont Park and Aqueduct in New York. He ran third in the Belmont Futurity (G3) on Oct. 6 and then second in the Atlantic Beach Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 9, with both of those events on turf.
Shoplifted comes to the Springboard Mile off a seventh-place effort in the Nov. 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park. Another from the Asmussen barn, Shoplifted is owned by the partnership of Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables and LNJ Foxwoods.
The last three attempts for Shoplifted were all in Grade 1 events. He was second in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga on Sept. 2, 6 1/2 lengths behind Basin in the seven-furlong event contested over a sloppy track. Shoplifted was then fifth in the American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 27 prior to his Breeders’ Cup attempt.
Jockey Ricardo Santana was on Shoplifted in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and was also up when he broke his maiden at first-asking at Saratoga on July 27.
Santana has posted big numbers when competing during Remington Park’s biggest stakes days in recent years. He won seven races here in September during the Oklahoma Derby Day program, tying a record for jockey victories on one racing program at Remington Park.
Trainer Wesley Ward, always a fixture nationally with top 2-year-olds, sent Maximiliano via a flight from Kentucky on Tuesday afternoon. A son of Quality Road, out of the Louis Quatorze mare Ben’s Boots. He is owned by Andrew Farm and For the People Racing Stable and was bred in Kentucky by Martha Jane Mulholland.
Maximiliano has had only two starts lifetime, running a distant second in his career debut at Saratoga in upstate New York in September, finishing nine lengths back after carrying the lead halfway through the 5 1/2-furlongs sprint. He came back to win a maiden special weight race at Keeneland by a head when sprinting six furlongs.
Jockey Martin Garcia is in for the mount at 5-1 odds in the morning-line.
Jungle Runner is a colt by Candy Ride, out of Tapit mare Minx, and carries bluer bloodlines, but not quite the same sort of resume as his other stablemates from Asmussen’s barn. Still, Jungle Runner appears to be on his way up the ladder, going from winning a maiden special weight race at Remington Park directly into stakes company, winning the Clever Trevor Stakes on Nov. 1. He is owned by Calumet Farm in Kentucky and was bred there by his owners.
Jungle Runner’s record is four races with two wins for $81,165 in earnings. He has had four different jockeys in his four starts. Ramon Vazquez will have the call, just as he did in winning the Clever Trevor, a race also won last year by Long Range Toddy.
The field for the Springboard Mile:
1. Piece Of Work: Allen Milligan, Luis Quinonez, 12-1
2. Alternate Time: Bret Calhoun, Stewart Elliott, 20-1
3. Rowdy Yates: Steve Asmussen, Richard Eramia, 7-2
4. Answer In: Brad Cox, Javier Castellano, 5-2
5. Jungle Runner: Steve Asmussen, Ramon Vazquez, 15-1
6. Shipman’s Song: Michael Biehler, Lori Keith, 30-1
7. Southgate: Scott Young, Floyd Wethey, 30-1
8. Embolden: Michael Stidham, Brain Hernandez, 9-2
9. Shoplifted: Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana, 5-1
10. Maximiliano: Wesley Ward, Martin Garcia, 5-1
11. Kirkcules: Kari Craddock, Lane Luzzi, 30-1
12. Slew Tang Clan: Kevin Scholl, Dakota Wood, 50-1