2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Long Range Toddy

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

December 17th, 2018

If you’re looking for a 2019 Kentucky Derby contender with the pedigree to excel running 1 ¼ miles on the first Saturday in May, then you’ll be excited to check out Long Range Toddy, who burst onto the Derby scene with a hard-fought victory in the Remington Springboard Mile on December 16th.

All of Long Range Toddy’s immediate ancestors were successful running a mile or farther, including his Florida Derby (gr. I)-winning sire Take Charge Indy, his dam Pleasant Song, his grandsires A.P. Indy (winner of the Belmont Stakes) and Unbridled’s Song (victorious in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile), and his granddams Take Charge Lady (two-time winner of the Spinster Stakes) and Pleasant Temper (a seven-time stakes winner).

With such a stamina-oriented pedigree, it’s not surprising that Long Range Toddy could only finish fourth in his debut sprinting 5 ½ furlongs at Remington Park, though he didn’t run poorly while beaten just 1 ¾ lengths. When trainer Steve Asmussen stretched out Long Range Toddy to a mile one month later, the result was quite different, as the colt tracked a modest early pace before powering clear in the homestretch to prevail by 5 ¾ lengths at odds of 6-1.

Long Range Toddy wasn’t afforded much respect when he cut back to seven furlongs for the Clever Trevor Stakes, starting at 10-1 against proven stakes-winning rivals, but again he showed a new dimension, pressing fast fractions of :22.46 and :45.87 before holding off a mild late rally from odds-on favorite Cajun Firecracker to win by a length.

At some point, bettors figure to recognize Long Range Toddy’s increasingly obvious talent, but it appears they missed the evidence again in the Remington Springboard Mile, where the colt was even more overlooked than usual at 18-1. For his backers, that proved to be a delightful price as Long Range Toddy raced close to the pace, surged to the lead, and held off a late runner to reach the winner’s circle for a third consecutive time.

Owned and bred by Willis Horton Racing, Long Range Toddy seems to possess an ideal blend of tactical speed coupled with a classic pedigree that can easily carry him around two turns. Just as importantly, Long Range Toddy knows how to win, is improving with every start, and doesn't hesitate in following the cues of regular rider Richard Eramia.

No horse that broke its maiden at Remington Park has ever won the Kentucky Derby, but in Long Range Toddy, the Oklahoma racetrack might have its best chance yet to produce a Derby winner.