Regally-bred Battle Tap gets first stakes test in Springboard Mile
Hailing from a strong family and already proficient at two turns, Battle Tap enters Sunday's $250,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park as one of the favorites. The two-year-old feature highlights the closing day program at the Oklahoma City track.
A homebred racing for Ron Winchell, Battle Tap was a disappointing sixth in his debut at Churchill Downs in June, and then finished a distant third in his October comeback at Keeneland. However, the Smart Strike colt stepped up his game last time at Churchill. Trying two turns for the first time, the chestnut rolled to a 5 1/2-length win against maiden company going 1 1/16 miles.
Battle Tap is out of Grade 3 winner War Echo, a Tapit half-sister to Grade 1 winner Pyro. This female family has yielded champion Untapable and Grade 1 winners Olympio, Tapizar, Paddy O'Prado, and Cuvee.
Leading the Remington-based contingent is Suddenbreakingnews, a winner in three of four outings, including the $101,000 Clever Trevor over seven furlongs November 6. The Mineshaft gelding was a course-and-distance maiden winner by more than four lengths in September for trainer Donnie Von Hemel.
Also exiting the Clever Trevor is the race's runner-up Cash Bonus. A half-length behind Suddenbreakingnews there following a victory in the $75,000 El Joven on turf at Retama Park, Cash Bonus is poorly drawn in post 12 for the Springboard Mile.
Esposito invades from California, where he captured a 6 1/2-furlong maiden at Del Mar for Tom Proctor on November 7. The son of Ghostzapper counts as his second dam Grade 1 winner Collect the Cash, who reared the Grade 1-winning Stately Victor, also a son of Ghostzapper.
Uncle Brennie, winner of the $75,000 Sunday Silence on the Louisiana Downs turf in September, enters off a third in the $81,000 Street Sense at Churchill in his dirt debut. Fourth as the Street Sense favorite was Discreetness, previously an 8 1/2-length allowance winner. Also invading from Kentucky is Blue Wings, a 5 1/2-length maiden scorer for Pat Huffman in his first start wearing blinkers.
Sunday's Remington card features two other open stakes. Family Tree is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the $100,000 Trapeze for two-year-old fillies at one mile. Stakes-placed at Churchill last time, she faces a competitive cast that includes the Steve Asmussen-trained Texas Gem, a dominating debut winner in the slop at Remington in October; local stakes winner My Master Plan; and last-out allowance winners Midnight On Oconee and Miss Placed Plan.
Earlier in the day, Grade 3 veteran Cassatt tops a solid field in the $100,000 She's All In H. for fillies and mares at one mile and 70 yards. The Larry Jones charge has been unplaced twice since taking the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic in January.
Multiple stakes winner Diva's Diamond enters off a photo-finish loss in the $200,000 Treasure Chest at Delta Downs, while Savings Account was a distant third to Beholder in the Zenyatta (G1) at Santa Anita in her most recent start.