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Asmussen eyeing Springboard Mile with Shoplifted

Free past performances for the feature race of the day

Springboard Mile 2019
Purse: $400,000

Distance: 1 mile
Age: 2YO

Remington’s Springboard Mile worth 10 points as Kentucky Derby 2020 Prep Race

A contentious field of 12 is expected to go to post for the annual 2YO event at Remington Park for a purse of $400,000. The Springboard Mile is this weekend’s lone race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and has become a favorite stop for trainers Steve Asmussen and W. Bret Calhoun.

Since 2009, Calhoun has won the Springboard Mile with Grant Jack in 2010 and again in 2013 with Louie’s Flower. Asmussen has won twice, beginning in 2014 with Bayerd, and in 2018 with Long Range Toddy.

The 2019 running of the Springboard Mile includes the Calhoun entry of Alternate Time who has back to back wins at Remington Park. Both starts over an off-track, Alternate Time took his maiden voyage in a head bob going 6 1/2, and returned a month later to duel throughout the 6 furlongs OC$75K to prevail by a neck. Today’s stretch out to 1 mile will not be an easy task for the 20-1 ML entrant.

As for Asmussen, he has once again come loaded for bear for the Remington Park Springboard Mile with three entries including the 7-2 ML second choice Rowdy Yates. The 2YO Oklahoma bred son of Morning Line has won four times in six starts for L And N Racing, LLC. Winner of his last two at Remington in state bred overnights, he was an easy winner at first asking in a 5 1/2 furlong sprint at Churchill in early summer. And took the Ellis Park Juvenile in August, before a 5th place finish in the Iroquois (G3).

At 15-1, Jungle Runner will go as the longest price of the three Asmussen runners. A Calumet homebred, Jungle Runner, by Candy Ride, was victorious last time out at Remington in the Clevor Trevor. In his prior start, he was a runaway winner in a 1 mile maiden special weight in his first trip around the Remington oval. He defeated Slew Tang Clan who has drawn widest of all for the Springboard Mile and opens at 50-1.

Which brings us to Asmussen’s third starter for tonight. Shoplifted, listed at 5-1 to open, took a $90K MSW going 5 1/2 at Saratoga to open his career at odds on favorite. Since then, he has triple G1 tries in the Hopeful, American Pharoah, and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.  Second in the Hopeful, and off the board in his last two starts, he’ll appreciate the drop in class and the cutback in distance.

The Springboard Mile is a Kentucky Derby points for performance prep race worth 10-4-2-1 to the top four finishers. But historically, has failed to produce any serious contenders for the Run for the Roses.

Springboard Mile 2019 field by post position with analysis

1. Piece of Work – Comes in undefeated off his maiden victory last time out here for top connections. Two furlongs and another turn will be added to this challenge and will have his work cut out for him in second career start.

2. Alternate Time –  Two trips to the winner’s circle in as many tries. But will need to step up his game to make it a triple. Running style not conducive to his first two turn try against better.

3. Rowdy Yates – 4 for 6 in the top spot on the tote board. Like the fact that he won at this distance last time out. Was twice challenged in graded company (2nd, 5th), which makes him more experienced than most in here. But his 5th place finish in the G3 Iroquois to Dennis’ Moment does not qualify as a tough test when followed up with two wins vs. other Okies.

4. Answer In – Son of Florida Derby winner Dialed In, he wore blinkers in his first start at Churchill and was nipped at the wire by South Bend going six panels. Hood came off for next out victory in a 7 furlong sprint in Louisville, which saw the runner up horse, Race Driver, return to take a next out distance race over the slop. Gets his third different rider in Castellano, who doesn’t ride for Cox all that often, so this is probably a ‘test drive’ for Cox to get an honest evaluation. Opens at 5-2, and could be the one in here, but don’t call him the winner, yet.

5. Jungle Runner – Two back, beat a horse who’s 50-1 in here. And defeated just 4 others last time out in the Clever Trevor. Love Candy Ride as a sire, but dam won just once in 16 tries. Strange things happen in horse racing but would be a shocker.

6. Shipman’s Song – Another Okie who got his first win in his fourth trip to the track — all against his other ‘Sooners’ — for connections with recent success on this circuit. Still, it’s tough to go from MSW to NW2L, let alone at this level. 30-1 and looks the part on paper.

7. Southgate – To his credit, he does have at least one win when breaking his maiden in a restricted race at Prairie Meadows going 5 1/2 furlongs in the summer. But since then he’s been a no factor despite hitting the board in his next four starts. Closed out the Superfecta behind Rowdy Yates in back to back 4th place finishes in his last two. Long odds and little chance of him increasing his position on the tote. But if you like Rowdy, you might find it hard to leave him off your tickets.

8. Embolden – Son of The Factor will make this trip off four consecutive turf tries. Started in the summer at Monmouth going 5/8 mile on the lead through 1/2 mile on dirt but tired to second behind Meru. Took the next two at Colonial sprinting ahead of native Virginians before finding the waters much deeper in a G3 at Belmont. Rosario was aboard that day in New York and stuck with him for his next start wearing blinkers over the Aqueduct inner to finish second. This seems like an odd place for him to land after all that, but top jock Hernandez sees fit to travel for this. But this just seems like a reach and a possible miss by his team.

9. Shoplifted – 5-1 seems like a big price for a horse who has faced G1 company in his last three starts. But the fact that the winners of those three graded races, Basin, Eight Rings, and Storm the Court have either not returned or have returned in defeat points to why he’s not valued more highly in here by the morning line handicapper. Still, judging by the rest of this bunch, don’t be surprised if this guy is the first to come back a winner from those G1’s.

10. Maximiliano – Speedy type is interesting going two turns for the first time under newly arrived jockey Martin Garcia to the mid-west circuit. He exits a last out maiden win from which the second and third place finishers returned in victory. Again, tough to win right back vs. winners so use caution.

11. Kirkcules – Five times a runner against Oklahoma breds, while carrying Stewart Elliott, he was the runner up to Rowdy last time out. Elliott lands on Calhoun’s horse in here. 30-1 and would have to be ‘Hercules’ to win here.

12. Slew Tang Clan – Runner is still a maiden. 50-1 and makes you wonder why he should be allowed to contest this — despite the mediocrity of the field.

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