Derby Prep: Undefeated Hometown Hero Number One Dude Tops Nominees To Springboard Mile

Locally undefeated hometown hero Number One Dude was one of 35 horses nominated to race in the $200,000 Springboard Mile on Friday, Dec. 18, as well as four horses that ran in Breeders’ Cup races.

The Springboard Mile is the cornerstone race for 2-year-old Thoroughbreds annually at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, and carries important Kentucky Derby qualifying points for the 2021 start of the Triple Crown series. Horses running first through fourth place in the Springboard Mile accumulate points (10-4-2-1). Long Range Toddy gained 10 points in the 2018 Springboard Mile and earned his way into the Kentucky Derby field.

The race has been won by the nation’s leading trainer, Steve Asmussen, six times since its inception in 2001. Jockeys of national acclaim pepper the history of the Springboard with victories, riders such as Victor Espinoza, Luis Saez, Ricardo Santana, Miguel Mena, Brian Hernandez, Jon Court and Jeremy Rose. Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Famer and Remington Park’s all-time leading jockey Cliff Berry (2,125 wins here) has won the Springboard the most with three victories.

“We knew Remington Park would draw the very best 2-year-olds for the Springboard Mile,” said owner-breeder of Number One Dude, Terry Westemeir of Broken Arrow, Okla. “Having one (horse) to nominate in good faith for the race is like living the dream right now.”

Westemeir utilizes the services of trainer Kari Craddock for this horse, and jockey Ezekiel Lara has ridden him in two of his three wins.

“Kari will have him well prepared and Dude will be game,” said Westemeir.

Number One Dude broke his maiden with Oklahoma-bred maiden special weight horses, going 5-1/2 furlongs, winning easily by 7-1/2 lengths on Sept. 18. He was entered in two subsequent stakes races – the $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile on Oct. 16 and the $75,000 Don McNeill Stakes on Nov. 13 – and won both of them. The Juvenile was at six furlongs for Oklahoma-breds and he finished one length ahead at the wire. Richard Eramia rode him to that win when Lara was sidelined with a minor injury. When Number One Dude raced around two turns for the first time, he blew them away by six lengths at the Springboard Mile distance on a muddy track.

A start in the Springboard Mile would be the first outside of Oklahoma-bred company for Number One Dude.

The four horses nominated for the Springboard coming from the Breeders’ Cup races are:

· Cowan, second-place runner in the Grade 2, $1 million BC Juvenile Turf Sprint, owner William and Corinne Heligbrodt, Madaket Stables and Spendthrift Farm.

· Outadore, third-place finisher in the Grade1, $1 million BC Juvenile Turf, owner Breeze Easy, trainer Wesley Ward.

· Sittin On Go, ninth in the Grade 1, $2 million BC Juvenile, after winning the Grade 3, $200,000 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs, owned by Albaugh Family Stables and trained by Dale Romans.

· Camp Hope, a Churchill Downs maiden winner that ran 12th of 14 in the BC Juvenile, owned by Walking L Thoroughbreds, trained by Ken McPeek.

The noms also include local stakes winner Game Day Play, winner of the $60,000 Clever Trevor Stakes here on Oct. 30 at seven furlongs. He is owned by Tom Durant and trained by Bret Calhoun. Lindey Wade rode him to victory in that stakes race.

Brad Cox, second-leading trainer in the country behind Asmussen in money earned, has the most horses nominated with five – Caddo River, Gagetown, Inspector Frost, Joe Frazier and Swill. Asmussen’s horses have earned a little more than $19 million this year while Cox runners have garnered $18 million-plus.

The Springboard Mile will headline a stakes-laden card on Dec. 18. Also on tap that night:

– $75,000 She’s All In Stakes, older fillies & mares, 1 mile-70 yards

– $70,000 Jim Thorpe Stakes, 3-year-old Oklahoma-breds, 1 mile

– $70,000 Useeit Stakes, 3-year-old Oklahoma-bred fillies, 1 mile

– $60,000 Trapeze Stakes, 2-year-old fillies, 1 mile

– $60,000 Jeffrey Hawk Memorial, 3-year-olds and up, 1 mile-70 yards

Remington Park racing continues Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11 & 12 with the first race nightly at 7:07pm-Central.

The post Derby Prep: Undefeated Hometown Hero Number One Dude Tops Nominees To Springboard Mile appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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