Betting Out-of-State Shippers in the Remington Springboard Mile
Since its inaugural running in 2009, the $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile Stakes at Remington Park has been rising steadily in prestige, attracting better horses and stronger fields to the extent that it was added to the Road to the Kentucky Derby series last year.As a result, it’s growing tougher for the local runners to defend their home turf, which is why I’ll be leaning toward out-of-state shippers in the 2018 Springboard Mile, which attracted eleven runners for Sunday’s renewal.
The most intriguing to me is #1 Epic Dreamer, who jumps into stakes company after running well in a pair of maiden races at Belmont Park. In his debut sprinting six furlongs, the son of Orb fired off a strong run to finish second behind future Nashua Stakes (gr. III) winner Vekoma, with the next-out maiden winner Mihos checking in third. One month later, Epic Dreamer stretched out to 1 1/16 miles stepped up his game quite nicely, carving out solid fractions on the front end before finishing up strongly to win by 2 ½ lengths.
With BRIS speed figures of 93 and 85, Epic Dreamer is among the fastest horses in the Springboard Mile field, and he’ll also retain the services of the four-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Javier Castellano, who is making a rare trip to Remington to keep the mount. If Epic Dreamer breaks well from the rail, he should be tough to catch.
Another logical contender is #10 Dunph, who opened his career with two easy victories for trainer Mike Maker, including a 7 ¾-length romp in the Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion Stakes at Churchill Downs, for which he earned an eye-catching 95 BRIS speed figure. However, when Dunph stepped up in class for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II), he encountered a very different trip than in his first two starts, when he was able to track the pace while racing outside of rivals. In the Kentucky Jockey Club, Dunph wound up farther off the pace than usual while racing inside and behind horses, and ultimately, he just didn’t fire with that trip, making a brief mid-race move into a hot pace before fading steadily to finish ninth of fourteen.
For the Springboard Mile, Dunph has drawn post position ten, which should help him stay out of traffic. In addition, he’ll be equipped with blinkers for the first time, which could potentially sharpen his speed and help ensure that he doesn’t fall too far behind in the early stages of the race.
Since I don't have strong feelings about most of the other contenders, I won't go too deep in the exotics. Instead, I'll focus on the exacta, boxing Epic Dreamer and Dunph while also adding to the mix #4 Six Shooter, winner of a one-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs last month for trainer Steve Asmussen:
$7 exacta: 1,10 with 1,10 ($14) $3 exacta: 1,10 with 4 ($6)