Most of the pre-race attention in Saturday night’s $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile fell upon well-regarded shippers Giant Mischief and Echo Again, but Wildatlanticstorm proved to be the star of the show, driving to a 1 1/4-length victory. Overlooked at 15-1, the Iowa-bred juvenile colt carried his local form forward in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series qualifier.
Ray Ashford Jr. trains the Jim Jorgensen homebred, and Leandro Concalves picked up the mount. By Stormy Atlantic, Wildatlanticstorm rated just off the pace before making his moving up the rail nearing the completion of the far turn, striking the front in upper stretch, and the chestnut comfortably held 4-5 favorite Giant Mischief safe in the final stages.
Echo Again, who established early splits in :23.89, :47.14, and 1:12.07 before giving way, wound up another three lengths back in third. Gunflash, Campfire Creed, Money Run, Lil Sweet Thang, Ghost Hero, and American Outlaw completed the order of finish.
Wildatlanticstorm finished the two-turn mile in 1:38.24.
The Springboard Mile awarded points on a 10-4-3-2-1 basis toward a Kentucky Derby berth, but Wildatlanticstorm and Giant Mischief weren’t eligible to receive points since they raced on Lasix. Echo Again, Gunflash, and Campfire Creed earned points finishing third-through-fifth.
Wildatlanticstorm broke his maiden over Iowa-bred rivals the second time out at Prairie Meadows in August. After romping over entry-level allowance opponents at Remington a month later, he finished second in his stakes debut, the six-furlong Kip Deville. The early/presser was exiting a nose win in the seven-furlong Clever Trevor at Remington on Oct. 28.
Giant Mischief, who brought a 2-for-2 record to his stakes and two-turn debut following an impressive allowance triumph on the Breeders’ Cup Friday undercard at Keeneland, wasn’t prepared for the start, dropping back to last with a bobbling break. The Brad Cox-trained colt advanced to loom a threat while rallying wide into contention at the top of the stretch, but Giant Mischief lacked the necessary closing kick late.
Echo Again, the 9-5 second choice for Steve Asmussen, faltered in his second two-turn stakes attempt. His pedigree suggests for longer distances, but Echo Again may be built for shorter trips.
Wildatlanticstorm has stamped his ticket for upcoming Kentucky Derby prep races. The first stakes winner from the Big Brown mare Imsortaspecial, the physically-imposing colt will enter his three-year-old season on the upswing.