Springboard Mile History

In multiple respects, the Remington Springboard Mile Stakes ranks among the youngest Kentucky Derby prep races. It’s also one of the fastest-growing prep races in terms of national recognition and impact.

Remington Park’s signature race for juveniles was given its current name and mid-December calendar slot in 2009, having previously been run as the Remington MEC Mile Stakes. In the years since, steady purse increases have served to significantly raise the profile of the one-mile race.

Case in point? During the first decade of its revamped conditions, the Springboard Mile produced five Derby starters. Leading the charge was the aptly-named Will Take Charge, who turned in a gallant front-running effort to finish second in the 2012 Springboard Mile. The following season, Will Take Charge competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown and was voted champion 3-year-old male of 2013.

The rising prominence of the Springboard Mile didn’t go unnoticed by Churchill Downs. In 2017, the Springboard Mile was added to the Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race schedule, offering qualification points to the top four finishers on a 10-4-2-1 basis.

The horses aren’t the only stars competing in the Springboard Mile. Prominent jockeys and trainers have also set their sights on the increasingly rich prize. In 2017, three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Victor Espinoza guided Greyvitos to victory in the stakes-record time of 1:37.14. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has saddled a handful of winners, including It’sallinthechase, who parlayed victory in the 2001 Remington MEC Mile into a start in the 2002 Kentucky Derby.

Asmussen also saddled 2018 Springboard Mile winner Long Range Toddy, who inadvertently had an outsized impact on the 2019 Kentucky Derby. When the ultimately victorious Maximum Security ducked out sharply on the final turn, Long Range Toddy was forced to steady sharply in traffic, part of a chain reaction that famously led to the disqualification of Maximum Security.

Suffice to say, the Remington Springboard Mile has earned its place on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and should only continue to grow in stature.

By J. Keeler Johnson

Springboard Mile Recap

Make It Big is on the right path to live up to his name on Kentucky Derby Day after a hard-fought victory in the Springboard Mile at Remington Park Dec.17.

The Saffie Joseph-trained colt was 13-10 favorite for the Oklahoma feature after winning his two starts, both at Gulfstream Park over seven furlongs, but he got a tougher test than the odds might have suggested.

Settling just off the speed, Make It Big made his move on the final turn along with Osbourne and Concept, but didn’t master Osbourne until the final furlong, scoring a half-length triumph.

The victory earned Make It Big 10 points in the Road to the 2022 Kentucky Derby series. Osbourne picked up four points for finishing second. The third and fourth, Concept and Classic Moment, raced on Lasix and therefore did not accrue points.

A $120,000 purchase by Red Oak Stable at the 2021 OBS April Two-Year-Old Sale, Make It Big is a Florida-bred from the first crop of 2017 Dubai World Cup (G1) third placegetter Neolithic.

His dam Ruby On My Mind (by Congrats) is a granddaughter of Ruby Wax (Gallant Romeo), whose descendants include graded stakes winners Graeme Six, Cali Star, and Delightful Joy. Graeme Six scored her biggest success at six furlongs, but the other two were graded stakes scorers at one mile and 1 116 miles, respectively.

The female family’s profile makes the prospect of staying 1 14 miles a little uncertain, but Neolithic’s stamina should help Make It Big.

Osbourne was clearly the best prospect of the others in the Springboard Mile, and he could be a useful Derby contender for trainer Ron Moquett.

By Alastair Bull