July 12, 2024

Epic Dreamer, Asmussen quintet vie for Derby points in Springboard Mile

Bankit winning the Sleepy Hollow at Belmont Park (c) Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography

Added to the Road to the Kentucky Derby series last year, Sunday’s $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile marks the final qualifier of 2018 and a field of 11 two-year-olds will contest the late feature scheduled for 8:52 p.m. (ET) at the Oklahoma track.

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Epic Dreamer has been installed the 8-5 morning line favorite following a 2 1/2-length maiden win at Belmont Park on October 26. Runner-up to next-out Nashua (G3) winner Vekoma when making his debut at a sprint in late September, the Kelly Breen-trained colt stretched out to 1 1/16 miles for his second start and dominated wire-to-wire as the 2-5 chalk.

Breen sent Epic Dreamer, who had been based at Palm Meadows since November, to Remington Park early and the son of 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb posted a half-mile bullet workout (:47 1/5) in advance of the Springboard Mile last week. Javier Castellano, who picked up the mount last time, will be along for the ride and Epic Dreamer should be forwardly-placed from his innermost post.

A total of 17 points are up for grabs to the top four finishers (10-4-2-1) and Steve Asmussen will be well-represented with five runners.

Bankit will have go-to rider Ricardo Santana Jr. at the helm and is listed as the 3-1 second choice following a convincing tally in the October 20 Sleepy Hollow for New York-breds at Aqueduct. A $260,000 two-year-old in training purchase, the Central Banker colt brings plenty of experience to the equation, recording a 2-2-0 mark from five starts, and registered a field-best 98 BRIS Speed rating when breaking his maiden at Saratoga during the summer. Bankit romped by 5 3/4 lengths when trying a mile last time.

Long Range Toddy exits a one-length tally in the November 2 Clever Trevor at Remington and is an early 12-1 for Asmussen. The Hall of Fame trainer’s contingent is completed by a trio of 15-1 shots: Ellis Park Juvenile winner Tobacco Road, who found graded waters too deep this fall and was last seen placing third in the Clever Trevor; and Tone Broke and Kaziranga, the 1-2 finishers in a November 23 allowance at Remington.

At 10-1 on the morning line, Marquee Prince rates as intriguing for top trainer Brad Cox. A romping turf allowance winner two back, the Cairo Prince colt can flatter the form of Improbable after finishing fifth in the November 2 Street Sense at Churchill Downs. Florent Geroux takes the call.

Six Shooter merits respect for Paul Holthus following a sharp 2 3/4-length triumph in an off-the-turf allowance at Churchill Downs. The Trappe Shot gelding is 8-1 with Alex Canchari. And don’t be surprised to see Dunph rebound with a better showing after a disappointing ninth in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2). An impressive winner of his first two outings, the Mike Maker-trained gelding was included as an individual interest in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager and bet down to 9-2 last time. He will receive a rider switch to Reylu Gutierrez.