Shoplifted a 'curious' type on the Derby trail; Smarty Jones next

January 13, 2020 03:33pm
Shoplifted a 'curious' type on the Derby trail; Smarty Jones next
Photo: Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park

Cheyenne Stables’ Everett Dobson intends to give Shoplifted every chance on the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail, but a victory on the first Saturday in May isn’t his top priority.

Dobson said Monday that he along with partners Grandview Equine and LNJ Foxwoods are attempting to build a stallion’s resume with their $800,000 purchase who, in his prior start, became a stakes winner of Remington Park’s Springboard Mile.

The Steve Asmussen trainee is proceeding to a “logical spot,” Oaklawn Park’s Jan. 24 Smarty Jones Stakes at the same distance.

“If he can continue to be competitive at a mile, we’ll at least try him longer and see how it goes,” Dobson said. “If he can run back to that Remington Park race, I think he’ll be tough to beat.”

A son of Into Mischief, Shoplifted rebounded in the Dec. 15 Springboard Mile, entering it after a pair of off-the-board finishes at Santa Anita Park. Connections have chalked up no shows in the American Pharoah Stakes (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to their big horse not favoring a heavy track.

Go back beyond that, however, and they have a debut Saratoga winner who became Grade 1-placed in the Hopeful Stakes (G1) last summer.

“I’m as curious as anyone to see what his upside is,” Dobson said. “He’s not, on the surface at least, bred to go a mile and a quarter, but horses surprise you all the time. We’ll just see. You really don’t know until you try.”

While Into Mischief has produced a Grade 1 winner at 1 1/8 miles, Shoplifted is out of the Yes It’s True mare Shopit, whose family is made up of some top sprinters.

As for how far Shoplifted can excel, “We’re kind of indifferent,” Dobson said, “as long as he has a stallion’s race record.”

Shoplifted positioned in sixth but wide and clear in the Springboard Mile before making his move under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., edging out favored Answer In as that rival battled along the rail.

Asmussen also trains the 2018 Springboard Mile winner Long Range Toddy. He went on to finish second in the Smarty Jones, then won a division of the 2019 Rebel Stakes (G2) to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.

Dobson said he similarly expects Shoplifted “to play out that Oaklawn series and see how far we go.”

The Smarty Jones, which attracted 51 nominations, draws Friday, a week out from the opening day feature at Oaklawn. The race’s first four finishers will earn Derby qualifying points on a 10-4-2-1 scale.


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