OTTO THE CONQUEROR DEFEATS GLENGARRY IN HARD FOUGHT BATTLE IN $300,000 SPRINGBOARD MILE, GAINS 10 KENTUCKY DERBY POINTS
Like two fighters engaged in an intense battle to the finish, Otto the Conqueror and Glengarry threw everything except the kitchen sink at each other from gate to wire with Otto gaining the edge at the end to win the $300,000 Springboard Mile on Friday night, earning 10 Kentucky Derby points.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, a winner of this race seven times, may have summed it up best.
“It’s off to Hot Springs (Arkansas and Oaklawn) and Derby trail, here we come,” said the all-time winningest North American trainer. “You just saw two nice horses hooked up from start to finish.”
Tyler Gaffalione, after winning the Eclipse Award for Champion Apprentice U.S. rider in 2015, has been called one of the rising stars as a jockey. He won the 2019 Preakness aboard War of Will and now has Otto the Conqueror as a possibility going forward in racing for a spot in the 2024 Kentucky Derby gate. He showed why the spotlight shines so brightly on him in the Springboard as he went to work on Otto the Conqueror in the eye-to-eye war against Glengarry. By the time those two hit the backstretch, they had extended a chasm of about six lengths from their nearest competitors. They were neck and neck after three-quarters of a mile, covering that ground together in :23.48 for the first quarter-mile, a brisk :46.35 for the half-mile and swift 1:11.40 for six furlongs. When they hit finish, Otto the Conqueror had garnered a three-quarters length victory in 1:39.91 over the muddy track.
Magic Grant rallied for third, closing like a freight train at the end and finished only 1-1/4 lengths back of Glengarry.
“He fired a big one,” Gaffalione said of Otto the Conqueror. “He never gave it up. Steve brought him over and he ran a big race.”
The Kentucky Derby points broke out behind Otto the Conqueror with Glengarry earning five, Magic Grant three, Third Street in fourth gaining two and My Buddy Mel in fifth captured one point. Raging Torrent, a shipper for West Coast trainer Doug O’Neill got nothing for a last-place effort in the field of six. The nation’s leading trainer by earnings, Brad Cox, had Fidget and Gettysburg Address entered but scratched them both the morning of the Springboard. Rhino Runner was also scratched from the original field.
The betting public had trouble sorting among the three shippers for favoritism in the Springboard. Raging Torrent was a slight favorite at 6-5 odds and threw the disappointing effort after breaking poorly from the gate. Otto the Conqueror was sent off as the 7-5 second choice and Glengarry was 2-1 at post-time.
Otto the Conqueror paid $4.80 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.40 to show. He is a 2-year-old colt by Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, out of the Shackleford mare Dream It Is. He earned $180,000 and improved his record to four starts, three wins and a second for owners Three Chimneys Farm of Midway, Ky., and $337,360 in earnings. Otto the Conqueror moved into second among Street Sense’s progeny in earnings for 2023 with the victory behind First Mission ($464,110), a 3-year-old trained by Brad Cox. Otto the Conqueror was bred in Kentucky by Hoolie Racing Stable and was purchased for $450,000 from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2022.
Otto the Conqueror’s sire, Street Sense, won the Kentucky Derby in 2007 and his maternal grandsire Shackleford won the Preakness in 2011.
Asmussen’s other six Springboard winners were Shoplifted in 2019, Long Range Toddy 2018, Bayerd 2014, Test Boy 2005, Smooth Bid 2004 and Shawklit Man 2002. It was the first Springboard win for Gaffalione and for Three Chimneys Farm.
Remington Park racing puts a close on the 2023 Thoroughbred Season with a 12-race program underway on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2:30pm-Central.
Remington Park has provided more than $340 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Parking and admission are always free. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing or enter the casino gaming floor. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.