Dec. 8, 2011
Saturday’s $300,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park figures to once again live up to its name with 10 of the 12 horses entered coming from barns headed to Hot Springs. Last year, three horses used this Remington race as a “springboard” into the Smarty Jones Stakes, the first in Oaklawn’s rich 3-year-old series, scheduled for Jan. 16, 2012. Caleb’s Posse rebounded from a poor race at Remington to win the Smarty Jones and the Donnie K. Von Hemel trainee went on to finish second in Oaklawn’s Rebel Stakes before collecting two Grade 1 victories – the King’s Bishop at Saratoga in August and the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November at Churchill.
Von Hemel is back in the 2011 Springboard with impressive seven-length maiden winner Strong Resolve, owned by Pin Oak Stable. The 2-year-old Elusive Quality colt has drawn post nine of 12 and must be on the top of his game to defeat a strong three-horse entry from trainer Steve Asmussen and stakes winner No Spin among others.
Asmussen, a three-time leading trainer at Oaklawn, has the favored 1 and 1A entry of Seeker and Basalt for Winchell Thoroughbreds as well as Maggi Moss’ Pleasant Closing. Seeker, a Hard Spun colt, is the stronger half of the entry coming off a fourth-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint. Prior to that race he ran third in the Grade 3 Nashua Stakes at Belmont. The other two colts are recent maiden winners at the local oval.
Trainer Tim Ice jumped into the national spotlight in 2009 with champion 3-year-old Summer Bird, third in that year’s Arkansas Derby, and could have another future star in No Spin. The Johannesburg colt rebounded from a try at divisional leader Union Rags in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes to easily win the Royal Glint Stakes at Hawthorne in his last start.
Other familiar faces to Oaklawn fans with horses in the Springboard Mile include trainers Kenny Smith (Reckless Jerry), Chris Richard (Pee H Dee), Bret Calhoun (Fire Alarm), Rick Jackson (Mr Bluegrass Magic) and Joe Petalino (Alternative).
Oaklawn will simulcast the complete Remington Park card beginning at 6:30 p.m. CDT. The Springboard Mile is the ninth and final race at 10:15 p.m. For complete entries, click here.