THE 22ND SPRINGBOARD FEATURES A FIELD OF NINE
The 22nd Springboard Mile features a field of nine and provides the opportunity for 2023 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to eligible runners. Trainer Steve Asmussen will attempt to win his seventh Springboard with two of the nine entrants. Other trainers with previous Springboard wins in this year’s race include Todd Fincher, who saddled Senor Buscador to victory in 2020 and Donnie Von Hemel who won with Going Ballistic in 2006.
The Springboard Mile is a qualifying points race for the 2023 Kentucky Derby. In order to gain the points, a competitor may not use the medication Lasix. Those not utilizing Lasix, can earn 10 points for winning, four for second-place, three for third-place, two for fourth-place and one for fifth-place. The horses in the Springboard not using Lasix are Echo Again, Gunflash and Campfire Creed.
1 – ECHO AGAIN 9-5 (morning-line favorite)
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr.
Trained by the sport’s all-time leading trainer by wins, Steve Asmussen, Echo Again seeks a rebounding effort in the Springboard. He was a well-beaten seventh, 14 lengths behind, as the heavy 3-5 favorite in the Grade 3, $300,000 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on Sept. 17. Prior to that, he easily broke his maiden in August at Saratoga in upstate New York, scoring by 6-3/4 lengths. Santana was up for the maiden voyage and returns in the Springboard… Asmussen has previously won the Springboard six times, most recently with Shoplifted in 2019. Santana was up for that score and seeks his second win in the Springboard. Winchell Thoroughbreds seeks its first victory in the race… Echo Again is one of two Springboard entrants without a trip over the Remington Park surface this fall, the other is Giant Mischief… Echo Again will not use Lasix, thus making him eligible to earn 2023 Kentucky Derby qualifying points if he can finish in the top five.
2 – GUNFLASH 15-1
Owner: Jerry Namy (Fort Worth, Texas)
Trainer: Karl Broberg
Jockey: Cristian Torres
All of the connections seek their first Springboard victory and all of the connections have enjoyed a tremendous season at Remington Park. Namy won a pair of stakes races on the undercard of the Oklahoma Derby on Sept. 25 with Island Hideaway in the Ricks Memorial and with Flash of Mischief in the $150,000 David Vance Sprint. Both horses are trained by Broberg and both were ridden by Torres. Flash of Mischief went to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint off his effort in the Vance… Broberg has wrapped up his second title as leading trainer at Remington Park while Torres wins the riding title in his first full season in Oklahoma City… Bred in Kentucky by Namy, Gunflash broke his maiden at first-asking in November, traveling six furlongs at Remington Park to win by a half-length, making a rally from last early in the race… A colt by Gun Runner, Gunflash will not use Lasix, making him eligible to earn 2023 Kentucky Derby qualifying points if he can finish in the top five.
3 – CAMPFIRE CREED 5-1
Owner: Dennis Foster (Cle Elm, Wash.)
Trainer: Danny Pish
Jockey: Gerardo Mora
Campfire Creed has narrowly missed sweeping the first two major stakes events for 2-year-olds this season at Remington Park. He won the $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes on Sept. 25 and just missed, by a nose, in the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes on Oct. 28, settling for second behind Wildatlanticstorm… He was an easy winner in breaking his maiden at Remington Park on Aug. 20, pulling away to win by 5-1/4 lengths after leading throughout in a five-furlong event… Perfect in the money with two wins and two seconds from four attempts, Campfire Creed was bred in Kentucky by Highclere Inc., and is a colt by Jimmy Creed… The connections seek their first Springboard victory… Campfire Creed had previously used Lasix in his first four career starts but he will go off the medication for the Springboard, making him eligible to earn 2023 Kentucky Derby qualifying points if he can finish in the top five.
4 – LIL SWEET THANG 12-1
Owner: Dan McGough (Granbury, Texas)
Trainer: Donnie Von Hemel
Jockey: Luis Quinonez
If it is experience you seek in the Springboard Mile, these connections bring it. Von Hemel and Quinonez are both members of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame at Remington Park and each has triumphed in this race. Von Hemel saddled Going Ballistic in 2006 while Quinonez won aboard Louies Flower in 2013 and Senor Buscador in 2020. Von Hemel has started 18 previous Springboard runners while Quinonez has ridden more starters in the race than any other jockey with 18 previous mounts and is second in career wins for jockeys, sitting only behind legendary Cliff Berry who won the race three times… Lil Sweet Thang won his only attempt going one mile when he rallied for a one-length score on Nov. 21 at Remington Park. A colt by multiple Grade 1 winner Caleb’s Posse (7th in the 2010 Springboard), Lil Sweet Thang has won twice from three career starts, all this season at Remington Park. He was bred in Texas by McGough.
5 – GIANT MISCHIEF 3-1
Owners: partnership of Spendthrift Farm, Steve Landers Racing, Schwartz, Dubb, Ten Strike Racing, Bakke, Titletown Racing Stables, Kueber Racing, Big Easy Racing, Winner Win, Canuso and Stonestreet Stables
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Undefeated through two career starts, Giant Mischief will make his first attempt at Remington Park after breaking his maiden at Horseshoe Indianapolis on Sept. 22 and then winning in allowance company on Breeders’ Cup Friday at Keeneland on Nov. 4. Geroux was up for the allowance and tries to run his personal streak on this colt to two wins, while seeking his initial victory in the Springboard… Cox has started four horses in the race with his best finish in 2019 when Answer In was second… This is the first stakes attempt for Giant Mischief.
6 – AMERICAN OUTLAW 15-1
Owner: Dale Taylor Racing (Wolfforth, Texas)
Trainer: Todd Fincher
Jockey: Jose Alvarez
Fincher has made the Springboard one of his must races at the end of the calendar year. Since winning with Senor Buscador (2020) in his first attempt in the race, he then saddled Bye Bobby in 2021 (7th)… Jose Alvarez makes his first start in the Springboard, enjoying a great season at Remington Park with 40 wins (thru Dec. 14), good enough for top five in the rider standings… A colt by 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Taylor bred this colt in Kentucky and seeks his first win in the Springboard… American Outlaw broke his maiden at five furlongs on Oct. 15 at Remington Park, then tired late in the stretch to finish second, beaten a length by Lil Sweet Thang, going one mile on Nov. 21. Alvarez had the mount in the allowance race and will use what he learned to try and improve American Outlaw on the final night of the season. He did finish ahead of Springboard entrant Money Run in that allowance race, obviously a major local prep for many in this final event of the season… Fincher will take the blinkers off American Outlaw, for the first time, in the Springboard Mile.
7 – GHOST HERO 15-1
Owner: Norman Stables (Thomasville, Ala.)
Trainer: Jayde Gelner
Jockey: Floyd Wethey, Jr.
Ghost Hero had not broken his maiden status until he started competing in stakes events, since then, he has not lost. The Oklahoma-bred beat state rivals to crack the winning code when he scored the $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile on Oct. 21. He then won the $75,000 Don McNeill Stakes against Oklahoma-breds on Nov. 11… Gelner, son of trainer Scott Gelner who has competed at Remington Park in recent years, is enjoying his first season in Oklahoma City with seven wins from 44 starts (thru Dec. 14)… Jockey Floyd Wethey will get the Ghost Hero mount for the first time after Stewart Elliott rode him in both of his local stakes wins… All of the connections seek their first Springboard score… The colt was bred in Oklahoma by Clark Brewster.
8 – MONEY RUN 12-1
Owner: Ed Farmer Beggs, II (Forth Worth, Texas)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Stewart Elliott
Money Run will make his third straight start at Remington Park for the sport’s all-time leading trainer by wins. He was fifth over the sloppy track in the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes on Oct. 28 and was then third, beaten by fellow Springboard foes Lil Sweet Thang and American Outlaw, in an allowance at one mile on Nov. 21… Stewart Elliott becomes the first jockey to ride the colt in successive races… While Asmussen seeks his seventh Springboard win, Elliott is looking for his initial triumph. He has competed three other times in the race with his best finish a second aboard Cowan in 2020… A colt by Runhappy, Money Run seeks to give his owner a first victory in the Springboard.
9 – WILDATLANTICSTORM 6-1
Owner: Jim Jorgensen (Thornton, Iowa)
Trainer: Ray Ashford, Jr.
Jockey: Leandro Goncalves
The top earner in the Springboard Mile field is Wildatlanticstorm with $126,568 to his credit. The Iowa-bred by Stormy Atlantic also leads the field in victories as he is the only entrant with three career wins… Bred by Jorgensen, Wildatlanticstorm has never finished worse than second in five starts… He has shown improvement in his two stakes races this season, finishing second 1-3/4 lengths back of Campfire Creed in the Kip Deville on Sept. 25, then turning the tables to defeat that colt in the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes on Oct. 28 over a sloppy track at seven furlongs… The Springboard will be the first try at one mile for the large chestnut colt who checked in at 1,230 pounds when he crossed the scale prior to the Clever Trevor Stakes… Leandro Goncalves will have his first start in the Springboard in only his second ride on Wildatlanticstorm, he rallied him to a second-place finish in his career debut, a four-furlong sprint over the Lone Star Park turf course on July 8… Trainer Ray Ashford saddles his initial Springboard runner… All connections seek their first win in this race.