The highlight of a 12-race closing day program at Remington Park, Sunday’s $400,000 Springboard Mile has added importance this year as a new addition to the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. The qualifier offers a total of 17 points (10-4-2-1 scale) and 12 runners will contest the two-turn mile event.
Greyvitos has been installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite following a maiden-breaking victory in the 7-furlong Bob Hope (G3) at Del Mar November 11. After dropping his first two starts, the Malibu Moon colt added blinkers and surprised observers when leading wire-to-wire at 19-1, registering a 98 BRIS Speed rating that easily tops the Springboard Mile. Jockey Victor Espinoza will accompany the Adam Kitchingman trainee to Oklahoma.
However, Greyvitos faces a short run to the first turn from an extreme outermost post and may be forced to change tactics Sunday given the presence of speed to his inside. The gray colt is stretching back out to two turns and the early 6-5 price offers little appeal from this corner.
Combatant stamped himself as one to watch for Steve Asmussen rolling to 2 ¾-length maiden tally the second time out at Churchill Downs and is listed as the 4-1 second choice. A son of Scat Daddy, the bay colt earned a respectable 90 BRIS Speed rating and keeps Ricardo Santana Jr. in the saddle. Combatant is cozily drawn at the rail for a stalk-and-pounce trip.
Believe in Royalty will make an anticipated stakes bow after recording a pair of smashing wins at Laurel Park, scoring by 2 ¼ lengths over maiden rivals and by 3 ¾ lengths over allowance foes. Both came in front-running fashion at a one-turn mile and the Larry Jones pupil appears to be living up to his regal bloodlines; the gray colt is by leading sire Tapit and the first foal out of 2012 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Believe You Can. Robby Albarado takes over the reins on the 5-1 third choice.
Redatory represents the local contingent, easily winning both starts at Remington including a wire-to-wire victory in the November 3 Clevor Trevor. A Texas-bred gelding by Oratory, the Allen Dupy trainee keeps David Cabrera up. Clevor Trevor runner-up Bode’s Maker also returns along with Flat Lucky, who checked in third as 7-5 favorite.
California invader Flip the Coin Jan also figures to add to the pace. Conditioned by two-time Kentucky Derby winner Doug O’Neill, the Trappe Shot colt exits a runaway score over high-priced maiden claiming foes at Del Mar.
Night Strike will be tested for class following a three-length tally in the Don C. McNeill for Oklahoma-breds and Soul P Say merits a look off a good-looking win over open maiden rivals at Remington.