July 13, 2024

Echo Again, Giant Mischief bring intrigue to nine-horse Springboard Mile

Giant Mischief wins at Horseshoe Indiana
Giant Mischief wins at Indiana Grand (Photo by Coady Photography/Horseshoe Indiana)

Added to the Road to the Kentucky Derby series in 2017, the $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile S. has yet to make much impact upon the first leg of the Triple Crown, but Saturday’s edition features a couple of prospects with serious Kentucky Derby aspirations.

Echo Again, a well-regarded son of Gun Runner, has been installed as the 9-5 favorite. Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who owns a record six wins in the Springboard Mile, Echo Again recorded a highly-rated, 6 3/4-length win when debuting in a Saratoga maiden special weight in August. The gray colt faltered when stretching to two turns in the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs in mid-September, but Echo Again bounced back with a strong showing last time.

His previous outing, a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Churchill on Oct. 30, may not appear in past performances, but Echo Again appeared well on his way to a comfortable victory before the race was cancelled due to a spill in the opening stages. Ricardo Santana Jr. will be up, and Echo Again figures to be forwardly placed from his rail post.

Giant Mischief, unbeaten from a pair of starts and the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, looms as a formidable opponent for Brad Cox. A convincing debut maiden winner at Horseshoe Indianapolis, the $475,000 Into Mischief colt rallied from just off the pace to deny odds-on favorite Arabian Lion by three-quarters of a length in a seven-furlong allowance on the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Friday undercard at Keeneland. That rival is a leading contender in Saturday’s Los Alamitos Futurity (G2).

Bet down as the 27-1 fourth choice among individual entrants in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Giant Mischief will stretch to two turns Saturday with Florent Geroux.

Scheduled for 11:19 p.m. ET, the Springboard Mile will offer points toward a Kentucky Derby berth on a 10-4-3-2-1 scale.

Campfire Creed and Wildatlanticstorm, who have taken turns beating each other in the Kip Deville S. and Clever Trevor S. at Remington, come next on the morning line at 5-1 and 6-1. Gerardo Mora will be up on Campfire Creed for Danny Pish, and Leandro Goncalves pilots Wildatlanticstorm for Ray Ashford Jr.

Lil Sweet Thing, American Outlaw, and Money Run, the respective top three finishers from a Nov. 21 allowance at Remington, are also part of the nine-horse field. Ghost Hero will try open rivals after back-to-back wins over Oklahoma-bred stakes foes, and last-out debut maiden victor Gunflash rounds out the cast.