Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables, and LNJ Foxwoods’ Shoplifted was back to his best in Sunday’s $400,000 Springboard Mile, crowning a memorable night for Steve Asmussen who became Remington Park’s all-time winningest trainer.
The Hall of Famer tied Donnie Von Hemel at 1,049 career Remington wins when well-bred juvenile filly Princesinha Julia landed the $100,300 Trapeze over stablemate Caribbean Sea, with Best Intentions rounding out the Asmussen trifecta. One race later in the $100,000 She’s All In, Asmussen sent out the exacta as the 19-1 Magical (the Kentucky-bred) upset Blue Moonrise for the record of 1,050.
Shoplifted made it 1,051 in the marquee event on the closing-night card, the Springboard Mile on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Despite dropping to listed company as the Hopeful (G1) runner-up, and also-ran in the American Pharoah (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), the Into Mischief colt was let go at 4-1 here.
Bettors flocked to the dynamic Churchill Downs maiden winner Answer In, who was bet down to 3-5 favoritism from a 5-2 morning line. The Brad Cox pupil turned in a fine effort in his stakes and two-turn debut, but inexperience may have been the difference between victory and defeat.
Asmussen had two others in the line-up. The 7-2 Rowdy Yates was trying to follow up on a romp versus Oklahoma-breds over this track and trip. Jungle Runner, overlooked at 19-1, was coming off an open-company score in the Clever Trevor.
Rowdy Yates’ chances weren’t helped by getting embroiled in a pace battle with longshot Alternate Time through splits of :23.49 and :47.75. Both were effectively done by the three-quarter mark in 1:13.34 when the on-the-muscle Maximiliano made his bid.
Moving best of all that that point, however, was Embolden who rolled to the fore into the stretch. Shoplifted was also beginning to unwind from midpack for Ricardo Santana Jr., and the farther they went, the greater threat he posed to a stalling Embolden.
Answer In, drawn in post 3, didn’t have the same clear sailing that Shoplifted enjoyed. In stalking range in traffic, Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano had to maneuver a passage in upper stretch. Answer In took a little while to reach top gear, and although passing Embolden late, he couldn’t peg back Shoplifted.
A head up on the wire, Shoplifted negotiated the mile in 1:37.95 and banked 10 points toward the Kentucky Derby. Answer In scored 4 points for besting Embolden (2 points) by a half-length. The top three were in a race of their own, for fourth Jungle Runner trudged in 13 1/2 lengths behind Embolden to earn his 1 point.
Maximiliano folded to fifth, followed by Southgate, Rowdy Yates, Kirkcules, Slew Tang Clan, Alternate Time, and Shipman’s Song. Piece of Work was scratched.
Shoplifted’s resume now reads 5-2-1-0, $385,500. Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, Carrie Brogden, and Craig Brogden, the bay first sold to Zayat Stables for $525,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. He was a pinhook success when going for $800,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s Gulfstream Sale, and proved ready to fire first up at Saratoga July 27.
His dam, the Yes It’s True mare Shopit, is a half to Grade 2-placed stakes winner Fifth Avenue. This is also the immediate family of Grade 2 sprint hero Imprimis, underscoring potential stamina limitations as the Derby trail advances. Further back in the line are Grade 1-winning router Miss Shop, Grade 2 sprinter Trappe Shot, and Power Broker, whose signature scores came at 1 1/16 miles in the 2012 FrontRunner (G1) and 2013 Indiana Derby (G2).
In contrast, Trapeze victress Princesinha Julia’s pedigree is all about distance. The Three Chimneys Farm homebred is by Pioneerof the Nile and out of the A.P. Indy mare Love and Pride, who is herself a three-quarter sister to Bernardini.
Unplaced in her first two outings in Kentucky, Princesinha Julia prospered on the deployment to Remington to break her maiden and capture a second-level allowance. She made it three straight as the 8-5 favorite in the Trapeze, outstaying Caribbean Sea by a half-length in 1:40.73 for the mile. Princesinha Julia improved her record to 5-3-0-0, $103,553.
The five-year-old Magical was another enhancing her broodmare value with a black-type laurel in the She’s All In. The Tapit mare had failed to hit the board in her two previous stakes attempts, but putting the blinkers back on served to galvanize her. As her front-running 9-5 stablemate Blue Moonrise swished her tail and slowed down the lane, Magical kept on to chugging to a two-length decision. By finishing a mile and 70 yards in 1:43.01, she sparked a $40.60 win mutuel and boosted her bankroll to $164,050 from her 11-4-2-1 line.
A homebred racing for Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, Magical is a full sister to current multiple stakes scorer Exulting. They were produced by Grade 2 heroine Magical Feeling, a daughter of Empire Maker from the family of Grade 1 winners Dream Tree and Golden Ticket.
Asmussen and Santana scored a total of four wins on the card. Aside from their trio of stakes, the trainer/jockey team also took the 1ST with Code Runner, via the disqualification of Empire of Gold who bumped him in their stretch duel. The Calumet Farm juvenile was breaking his maiden in his fifth attempt. Another bred for a route, he’s a son of Honor Code and Grade 1 turfiste Nereid, also the dam of Grade 3-placed stakes winner Figarella’s Queen.