Five horses entered in the $250,000 Springboard Mile for 2-year-olds on Dec. 13 at Remington Park have won races at the Oaklawn meeting, including two important races on the road to the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby and eventually the Kentucky Derby.
Springboard Mile winner Discreetness won the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 18, and runner-up Suddenbreakingnews won the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 15.
Other Springboard Mile graduates to strike in Hot Springs include fourth-place finisher Cutacorner, who captured a Jan. 21 entry-level allowance/optional claimer, and ninth-place finisher Giant Trick, a Jan. 16 maiden special weights winner. A fifth horse, Blanket of Ice, scratched from the Springboard Mile because of a minor problem, broke his maiden Feb. 15.
Donnie K. Von Hemel, who trains Suddenbreakingnews, said the Springboard Mile has “proven to be a very nice race” in preparing horses to tackle Oaklawn’s series of Kentucky Derby prep races.
“I think if you look at the Remington 2-year-old stakes schedule, it just fits real nice with what Oaklawn has going on here, especially the Springboard,” Von Hemel said. “You look at the horses that have run it over the years, it probably should be a Grade 3. I think the Smarty Jones should be a Grade 3.”
Texas Bling beat Will Take Charge in the 2012 Springboard Mile. Will Take Charge then edged Texas Bling in the Smarty Jones en route to 3-year-old champion male honors in 2013.
The Von Hemel-trained Caleb’s Posse finished seventh in the 2010 Springboard Mile, but bounced back to win the Smarty Jones in his 3-year-old debut. Caleb’s Posse finished a close second in voting for champion 3-year-old male of 2011.
(from Oaklawn press release)