Speeding into the Springboard Mile Winners’ Circle

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Run for the Roses races through the Sooner State on late Friday night. A field of 11 Kentucky Derby hopefuls will race 1 mile on Remington Park's main track in the $200,000 Remington Springboard Mile. Horseplayers might need an extra shot of caffeine for the Springboard with the 12th race's post time set for 11:28 pm eastern.

The winner gets a couple of prizes beyond the $120,000 check, an automatic entry with all fees paid for the Oklahoma Derby and 10 qualifying points for the 2021 Kentucky Derby (second receives four points, two for third and one gets one).

The late-night run will be the fourth as a Derby qualifier for the Springboard Mile, it was added as a stop on the road to the Kentucky Derby in 2017. So far, 2018 winner LONGE RANGE TODDY is the only of the three Springboard Mile champs to make the trip from Oklahoma City to Louisville for the first Saturday in May. Unfortunately, he finished 16th in the KD.

Staying up late might be a good idea for players that like to fade the chalk at the top of the ticket. None of the three post-time favorites hit the wire first since the Springboard was added as a road to the Derby destination. A pair managed to collect place money and the other ran off the board.

Along with making it difficult for the favorite, the distance appears to make it difficult for inside horses. LONG RANGE TODDY was the closest of the trio to score, leaving from box five and only two of the nine in the money finishers that started from posts one through four.  An inside post-disadvantage is kind of unusual considering the first left turn comes quickly. Normally, inside horses, especially speed, have an edge with an early turn in a two turn races.

However, the last three Springboard Miles could be the exception and not the post rule. During the current meet, nine of the 88 winners at the distance left from the rail and another 18 from posts two and three combined.

While the typical post bias in an early turn race hasn't held in the last three Springboard Miles, all the winners hurried out of the gates and pressed the lead from the jump. That's in-line with Remington's numbers during the ongoing meet. The average winner at 1 mile on the Oklahoma track was third at the quarter-pole and first or second after the half.

If outside speed is the key for the Springboard mile, then it could come down to OUTADORE (PP: 9 ML 3-1) and JOE FRAZIER (PP: 10 ML 5-1). Both have made their way to the front in routes (races of 1 mile or more). Others have taken charge early in sprints (less than a 1 mile) but struggled to find the front in longer runs. NUMBER ONE DUDE (PP: 2 ML 6-1) also has early wheels and showed he can stay close to the front in winning his last at 1 mile on Remington's main track.

The folks at Guaranteed Tip Sheet expect the trio of front runners to play prominently as they have them in their top five picks with OUTADORE getting the Kentucky Derby 10.  They aren't alone in liking the son of OUTWORK. Remington Park's house handicappers Jerry Shottenkirk and Randy Hare have OUTADORE on the top of their lists. Meanwhile, Richard Linihan has him second behind COWAN (PP: 8 ML 4-1).

No matter which horse wins, their barns will hope to join LONG RANGE TODDY as the second Springboard Mile champ to race in the Kentucky Derby.


Get today's full picks for all tracks and races at Guaranteed Tip Sheet.