The wire came just in time for Long Range Toddy on Sunday evening at Remington Park, as the Take Charge Indy colt held off fellow Steve Asmussen trainee Bankit by a head on the wire of the $400,000 Springboard Mile. In the process, Long Range Toddy earned 10 points toward a starting berth in next year’s Kentucky Derby (G1).
The Springboard Mile is the final race of 2018 on the domestic Road to the Kentucky Derby series of points races, offering one last opportunity for juveniles to pick up points before beginning their three-year-old campaign. The overall season-ending points contest takes place in Japan on December 19.
Jockey Richard Eramia settled Long Range Toddy in close attendance to the front-running duo on the backstretch once the gates opened. Dobbins G led the way through splits of :24.13 and :48.76 with Marquee Prince at his throat-latch the entire time. Bankit bided his time in last while 6-5 favorite Epic Dreamer settled into a stalking spot on the inside.
Continuing his wide run around the turn, Long Range Toddy angled out four wide in the lane and took command in upper stretch. Bankit was still sixth at this point, but hit another gear late to close the distance between himself and Long Range Toddy. The 3-1 second favorite just ran out of room as his 18-1 stablemate hit the wire in a final time of 1:39.75 for a mile on the fast main track.
Bankit took home four points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and was followed under the wire by Dunph, who was awarded two points. Tone Broke completed the superfecta, good for one point toward next year’s Derby.
Marquee Prince faded to fifth and completing the order of finish were Epic Dreamer, D Toz, Kaziranga, Dobbins G, Tobacco Road and Six Shooter.
Long Range Toddy, a Willis Horton Racing LLC homebred, paid $39.20 for the win. It was his third straight victory and his second consecutive stakes score, as the dark bay took the Clever Trevor Stakes by a length on November 2. His record now stands at 3-0-0 from four lifetime starts and $321,125 in career earnings.
The Kentucky-bred is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Pleasant Song, who is herself a daughter of multiple Grade 3 winner Pleasant Temper. This is the same female family as Grade 1 winner A P Valentine, who ran second to Point Given in both the Preakness Stakes (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1) in 2001.
One race earlier, Douglas Scharbaer’s homebred Cowgirls Like Us upset the Springboard Mile’s sister race, the $100,000 Trapeze Stakes, when getting the best of 7-5 favorite Bella Alicita by 3 1/4 lengths. Ridden by jockey Iram Diego and trained by Bret Calhoun, the dark bay juvenile lass completed eight furlongs on the dirt in 1:40.73.
Cowgirls Like Us earned her third straight stakes win in this spot. The My Golden Song filly broke her maiden in the Darby’s Daughter division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama Park on August 15. She followed up with a three-quarter length decision in the September 4 La Senorita Stakes at the same venue, and this one improved her line to 6-3-1-0, $151,185.
Sydney Freeman kicked off the stakes action earlier on card when taking the $70,000 Useeit Stakes by 4 3/4 lengths as the 3-5 favorite. Ridden by Ramon Vasquez, the Robert H. Zoellner homebred ran a mile on the main track in 1:40.96.
The dark bay sophomore daughter of Tizway, who is trained by Donnie Von Hemel, now boasts a 17-4-3-3, $291,865 career record and three stakes victories.
One race later, Robert G. and Robert K. Nokes’ United Patriot pulled off a 3 1/2-length score in the $70,000 Jim Thorpe Stakes going the same one-mile distance. The brother race to the Useeit, the Jim Thorpe saw United Patriot earn his first stakes win when stopping the clock in 1:40.68 under jockey David Cabrera.
The three-year-old gelded son of Flat out is trained by Karl Broberg. He improved his lifetime mark to read 17-6-1-3, $166,086.
Clever Serve rallied five wide from last to post a 1 1/2-length triumph in the $100,300 She’s All In Stakes under jockey Ramon Vazquez. The Steve Asmussen-owned and -trained four-year-old miss completed a mile and 70 yards over the dirt in 1:43.79
Clever Serve is by To Honor and Serve and added a first stakes win to her resume, which now stands at 27-4-6-10, $236,899.
John E. Anthony’s Lone Rock wrapped up the card with a neck score in the $75,000 Jeffrey A. Hawk Memorial under jockey Alex Canchari. The William Van Meter-trained three-year-old covered a mile and 70 yards on the main track in 1:42.62 after rallying five wide on the far turn.
Lone Rock earned his first stakes victory in this spot while making just his second stakes try. The Majestic Warrior colt is now 12-4-1-1, $155,255 lifetime.