Rowdy Yates 'getting better' ahead of Springboard Mile try

November 21, 2019 10:20am
Rowdy Yates 'getting better' ahead of Springboard Mile try
Photo: Dustin Orona Photoraphy/Remington Park
Rowdy Yates won back-to-back juvenile stakes for Oklahoma-breds at Remington Park over the last month with performances that will lead him back to open company on the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail.

Michael Levinson, 
racing manager for L and N Racing of Tulsa, Okla., confirmed the Nov. 15 Springboard Mile is on the agenda for the Morning Line colt who has won four of six races overall.

Recent victories for the Steve Asmussen trainee came in the Oct. 18 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile Stakes and last Friday's Don C. McNeill Stakes.

“We’re just really excited about Rowdy," Levinson said. "It’s hard to tell sometimes against the Oklahoma-bred company, but it looks like he’s really getting better. He’s just really sharp."

Although the colt was 1-5 as the post-time favorite, he and jockey Richard Eramia didn't have the easiest of trips in the Don C. McNeill.

“He got boxed in on the turn and had to check up or he would have won by at least 10 (lengths),” Levinson said. “Coming around the turn he gets boxed in and the jockey had to check and finally, when he gets clear he just spurts away.

Rowdy Yates also broke his maiden on debut at Churchill Downs at the end of May and won the Ellis Park Juvenile Stakes in his second start against winners.

Rowdy Yates followed his stakes win at Ellis Park with a fifth-place finish in Churchill Downs' Iroquois Stakes (G3), a race that sent both winner Dennis’ Moment and runner-up Scabbard to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

The Springboard Mile, run around two turns, awards Derby qualifying points on a 10-4-2-1 basis to the Top 4 finishers. It also carries a $400,000 purse.

“He came out of his race well,” Levinson said of Rowdy Yates, who's looking to follow L and N's 2017 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee as a player in the 3-year-old division next season.

“He’s going to have to step up in class, but he’s raced against some of the best in the country so far in the Iroquois and I thought the Ellis Park Juvenile field was really good this year.”

Asmussen won the Springboard Mile last year with Long Range Toddy, who went on to take a division of the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park. Rowdy Yates figures to have competition from within the barn in addition to some shippers from both sides of the country.

“It’s a good race. It’s a lot of money," Levinson said. "We’ll see who shows up and if he draws well hopefully he breaks from the gate well and runs like he did last time.”


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