Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has entered three of the 12 horses that will compete for a purse of $400,000 and points for the 2020 Kentucky Derby in Remington Park’s top 2-year-old stakes event, the $400,000 Springboard Mile.
The Springboard headlines a 13-race Sunday program with five additional stakes races on the card that begins at 3 p.m. CT.
A competitor from the Springboard Mile has started in the Kentucky Derby in three of the last four years, including Long Range Toddy, winner of the 2018 Springboard. Here’s a look at this year’s field, with the race carded as the 12th and approximate post time 8:12 p.m. CT.
1 – Piece of Work, 12-1
Owner: JRita Young Thoroughbreds LLC (Van Buren, Arkansas)
Trainer: Allen Milligan
Jockey: Luis Quinonez
Trainer Allen Milligan enters this impressive maiden winner after only one start in his career. It was a start that opened a few eyes. This colt by Laurie’s Rocket, out of the El Corredor mare Every Day is Good, went gate to wire, drawing away in a field of 11 with every step. He was given modest respect on the tote board at 6-1 odds, but won like a pro, finishing 6 1/2 lengths ahead of the runner-up. That was on Nov. 15. His workout on Nov. 9, just prior to that maiden race, showed some talent as he got the bullet of 47.76 seconds for a half mile from the gate, the fastest of 77 horses that tried the distance. He was bred in Arkansas by McDowell Farm. Luis Quinonez has one victory in the Springboard Mile with Louies Flower in 2013.
2 – Alternate Time, 20-1
Owner: William T. Reed (Pascagoula, Mississippi)
Trainer: Bret Calhoun
Jockey: Stewart Elliott
Lightly raced, Alternate Time has only made two career starts but won both of them. He graduated from the maiden ranks with his first win coming at Remington Park on Oct. 26. This son of Alternation, out of the Etbauer mare Time for Etbauer, won both of his races by a narrow margin, and both of them on an off track. His first win among maidens was by only a head at 9-1 odds. His second effort was similar to the first, defeating winners by a neck. He has yet to try stakes company, but take a hard look at him in inclement weather. He broke his maiden at 6 1/2 furlongs and won his second start, also sprinting, at six furlong. Trainer Bret Calhoun has won the Springboard twice, with Louies Flower in 2013 and with Grant Jack in 2010. This will be jockey Stewart Elliott’s first mount in the Springboard Mile. Alternate Time was bred in Kentucky by the owner.
3 – Rowdy Yates, 7-2
Owner: L and N Racing LLC (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Richard Eramia
An Oklahoma-bred colt by Morning Line, out of the Yes It’s True mare Spring Station, Rowdy Yates has been a winner twice this meet at Remington Park, taking the $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile on Oct. 18 and the $75,000 Don McNeill Memorial Stakes on Nov. 15, both races restricted to Oklahoma-breds. The latter was at the same mile distance he will run in the Springboard. Rowdy Yates has made a splash on the national scene, winning the $100,000 Ellis Park Juvenile on Aug. 18 and running second in the Grade 3, $125,000 Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs in June. Asmussen has won this race a record number of five times, including last year with Long Range Toddy, Richard Eramia was up last year for his first win in this race. Rowdy Yates has a career record of six starts with four wins and one second for a bankroll of $210,898. He tops the Springboard field in wins and total earnings. Bred in Oklahoma by Tracy Strachan. Only one Okie-bred has won this race, Ted’s Folly in 2011.
4 – Answer In, 5-2 (morning-line favorite)
Owner: Robert V. LaPenta and Madaket Stables LLC
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Trainer Brad Cox has not won the Springboard Mile yet, but has continued to rise on the national scene, finishing fourth in the nation last year among top trainers in wins with 218. Last year he entered Marquee Prince, who finished fifth in this race. This year he sends out the morning-line favorite with Answer In under jockey Javier Castellano, a Hall of Fame rider. It will be Castellano’s first time aboard this colt. He came in to ride morning line favorite Epic Dreamer last year, but could only manage a sixth-place finish at 6-5 post-time odds. Answer In, a son of Dialed In, out of the Broken Vow mare D’ya Knowwhatimean, broke his maiden in his second race, showing strong improvement with the longer distance of seven furlongs at Churchill Downs in Kentucky on Oct. 27. Margin of victory was a widening 5 1/4 lengths. Answer In was bred in Kentucky by Glen Oak Farm & Two Stamp Stables.
5 – Jungle Runner, 15-1
Owner: Calumet Farm (Lexington, Kentucky)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Ramon Vazquez
Jungle Runner is one of three starters entered by Steve Asmussen and will probably be the longest-priced horse for him on the tote board, similar to Long Range Toddy last year, winning this race at 18-1 odds. Only Kaziranga (at 59-1) was higher odds for Asmussen’s multiple entries in 2018. This colt by Candy Ride, out of the Tapit mare Minx, could be the Long Range Toddy for this group. He started his career slowly at Ellis Park but woke up immediately over the Remington Park surface, winning a maiden race by 4 1/4 lengths at 4-5 odds, and stepped up to win a stakes race. He took the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes here by 1 1/4 lengths on Nov. 1 with Ramon Vazquez in the irons. He retains the riding services of Vazquez for this. Asmussen has won the Springboard Mile a record five times – with Long Range Toddy (2018), Bayerd (2014), Test Boy (2005), Smooth Bid (2004) and Shawklit Man (2002). Vazquez rode Bayerd for his only Springboard Mile victory.
6 – Shipman’s Song, 30-1
Owner: Twisted Chaps Racing Stables LLC and RED TR-Racing LLC
Trainer: Michael Biehler
Jockey: Lori Keith
This son of Midshipman, out of the Noble Causeway mare She’s So Evil, took four tries to break his maiden. But when he did, he did it with ease. With jockey Lori Keith aboard, the colt went straight to the lead and never looked back at 6 1/2 furlongs. He won by 7 1/2 lengths at 7-1 odds among Oklahoma-bred maiden special weights on Nov. 25. The previous three races against maidens, he was seventh, second and seventh. None of the connections has ever won this race. He has earned $33,457 in those four starts, all at Remington Park. He was bred in Oklahoma by the James K. Webster Trust.
7 – Southgate, 30-1
Owner: Michael Schmidt (Elk Horn, Nebraska)
Trainer: Scott Young
Jockey: Floyd Wethey, Jr.
This gelded son of Dramedy, out of the Dixieland Band mare Perfect Southerner, has tried Rowdy Yates in both the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile and the Don McNeill Memorial Stakes, but could do no better than fourth, well back in those efforts. He has only won once, taking the $78,000 Iowa Stallion Futurity by 1 3/4 lengths. Leading Remington Park jockey David Cabrera had the mount that day. Southgate gets the services of Floyd Wethey Jr., for this race. Wethey is the first-call rider for the barn of Scott Young and has ridden this horse the last three times out. Southgate was the 5-2 favorite in that Iowa stakes race. His best finish at Remington Park is a third in the $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes on Sept. 29. He has earned $77,515 in his young career.
8 – Embolden, 9-2
Owner: Dare to Dream Stable LLC (Michael Faber, Mundelein, Illinois)
Trainer: Michael Stidham
Jockey: Brian Hernandez, Jr.
Trainer Michael Stidham has entered this gray colt owned by Dare To Dream Stable. The son of The Factor, out of the Lion Hearted mare Silver Heart, was bred in Virginia by Nancy L. Terhune & Ernest Frohboese. Embolden 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 choice 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 Grade 3, $150,000 Belmont Futurity on Oct. 6 and then second in the $100,000 Atlantic Beach Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 9, with both those races on turf.
9 – Shoplifted, 5-1
Owner: Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables LLC and LNJ Foxwoods
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr.
This colt by Into Mischief, one of the hottest sires in the country, is the third entry in the race for Steve Asmussen. Shoplifted comes to the Springboard Mile off a seventh-place effort in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park in southern California on Nov. 1. The last three attempts for Shoplifted were all in Grade 1 stakes events. He was second in the $350,000 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga on Sept. 2, 6 1/2 lengths behind Basin in the seven-furlongs event, contested over a sloppy track. Shoplifted was then fifth in the $300,000 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. Despite his amazing success here, Santana has never won this race.
10- Maximiliano, 5-1
Owner: Andrew Farm and For the People Racing Stable LLC
Trainer: Wesley Ward
Jockey: Martin Garcia
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 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-furlong sprint. He came back to win a maiden special weight race at Keeneland by a head, sprinting six furlongs. Jockey Martin Garcia is in for the mount at 5-1 odds in the morning line.
11 – Kirkcules, 30-1
Owner: Hal Browning and David Faulkner (Dallas, Texas)
Trainer: Kari Craddock
Jockey: Lane Luzzi
A maiden winner for one the all-time leading Remington Park female trainers, Kari Craddock, Kirkcules is one of three horses in this field that has won at the mile distance. Rowdy Yates and Jungle Runner are the other two. A gelded son of Flat Out, from the Kipling mare Gotagogotagogotago, he won at a mile, his first trip around two turns, in his fourth start. He drew off by 3 1/2 lengths in the Nov. 8 race under jockey Stewart Elliott. He gets the riding services of Lane Luzzi for this race. Kirkcules was bred in Oklahoma by the owners. In his subsequent start after loving the mile distance, he ran second, 4 3/4 lengths behind Rowdy Yates in the $75,000 Don McNeill Memorial Stakes.
12 – Slew Tang Clan, 50-1
Owner: Tommy Piwonski (Plano, Texas)
Trainer: Kevin Scholl
Jockey: Dakota Wood
This son of Honor Code, out of the Repriced mare Grand Traverse Bay, is a maiden trying to upset from a poor post position. It would be a major shocker for him to come home first, especially because he hasn’t done it against maidens in four tries. He ran second, beaten 3 1/2 lengths last time out on a muddy track going a mile, and also was runner-up to Jungle Runner back on Sept. 29. He lost by 4 1/4 lengths that night to the Asmussen runner. This horse was bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms.