Greyvitos Joins Derby Trail With Remington Springboard Mile Victory
Racing fans across the country were up a bit later than usual last night to watch an intriguing renewal of the $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile Stakes at Remington Park.The one-mile race offered Kentucky Derby qualification points for the first time in its brief history, but although twelve horses faced the starter, in the end all eyes were on the impressive winner Greyvitos.
Coming into the race, Greyvitos had a few questions to answer. For one, he would be stretching out in distance off a win in the seven-furlong Bob Hope Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita. Secondly, he had drawn the far outside post position with a short run to the first turn, setting up the possibility of a wide trip. Lastly, Greyvitos would be running less than two weeks after being part of the unfortunate fire-driven evacuation from the San Luis Rey training center.
In the end, none of it mattered. Despite breaking outward at the start, the Adam Kitchingman-trained colt used his excellent early speed to sprint past most of his rivals and settle into third place going into the first turn, just three paths off the rail. From there, he tracked respectable fractions of :23.51 and :47.16 while appearing poised to go by the leaders at any point, and when the time came to make his move Greyvitos burst clear of the field and finished with authority to win by 2 ¼ lengths in the time of 1:37.14.
Considering his pedigree, it wasn’t a surprise to see Greyvitos thrive while stretching out in distance. His sire, Malibu Moon, is best known as the sire of 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb, and Greyvitos’ dam—Snow Top Mountain—won multiple graded stakes races going long on turf. With two major stakes wins under his belt already, it’s not hard to envision Greyvitos being a force to reckon with on the road to the 2018 Kentucky Derby; the bigger question is whether he’ll return to California and face off against the likes of McKinzie, Solomini, and Bolt d’Oro, or stay on the road and give the prep races at Oaklawn Park or Fair Grounds a try.
It should also be mentioned that the Springboard Mile runner-up Combatant, trained by Steve Asmussen, also made a very favorable impression. For the most part, Combatant had an ideal trip racing inside and saving ground, but he was also boxed in with nowhere to run at a key moment on the far turn, losing ground against Greyvitos when the latter made his bid for the lead. Combatant subsequently found an opening and put in a valiant run to catch Greyvitos, and although he didn’t gain any ground in the run down the homestretch, he didn’t lose ground either and left the third-place finisher five lengths behind.
Wait-in-traffic trips like the one Combatant received can be hard to quantify, and he might have been able to finish significantly closer to Greyvitos with a clean run. Along with the winner, Combatant is certainly one to keep an eye on this winter.