King Henny, winner of the Clever Trevor Stakes last month, drew the far outside post in a maximum field of 12 juveniles entered in the $300,000 Remington Springboard Mile Stakes Dec. 9 at Remington Park.
The Springboard Mile headlines a program that includes three other stakes on closing day of the 2012 meeting at the Oklahoma City track. The ninth on a 10-race program is scheduled to go off at 5:14 p.m. CST.
The top three finishers in the Springboard Mile will get an automatic nomination to Remington's Oklahoma Derby in 2013, with the winner receiving an all fees paid invitation.
John Oxley's Exploring has been tabbed as the 7-2 morning line favorite over King Henny and Channel Isle, both listed at 9-2 on the early line.
Trainer Mark Casse entered Exploring for Tulsa owner and Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame member Oxley. The Sky Mesa offspring broke his maiden at Woodbine on Polytrack in his second start prior to a third-place effort in an allowance optional claiming race at Churchill Oct. 28. Exploring breaks from post 2.
Steve Asmussen, who has already wrapped up his ninth Remington Park training title, conditions King Henny for his father, Keith Asmussen, and Erv Woolsey. The Kentucky-bred Henny Hughes colt has won two of his three starts with one second, breaking his maiden in his second start Oct. 4 at Hoosier Park.
Shipped to Remington from Churchill Downs for the seven-furlong Clever Trevor Nov. 9, King Henny prompted a quick pace from second before rallying along the inside to get the lead. He prevailed by a head, holding off Backstreet Hero, with Best of Birdstone a close third in a blanket finish.
Jamie Theriot, who rode the chestnut King Henny for the first time in the Clever Trevor, retains the mount for Asmussen, who also entered Hornet for owner Ron Winchell. The gray Tapit colt is coming off a maiden win over the track at one mile and 70 yards in his sixth lifetime start.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas ships in with two shots at the Springboard Mile in Bluegrass Hall homebred Channel Isle and Willis D. Horton's Will Take Charge.
A son of English Channel , Channel Isle is fresh off a maiden victory Nov. 24 at nine furlongs on turf at Churchill Downs. Will Take Charge, by Unbridled's Song, broke his maiden on Polytrack at Keeneland Oct. 17 before trailing the field in the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) Nov. 24 at Churchill.
Backstreet Hero and Best of Birdstone are both entered back in the Springboard Mile. Backstreet Hero, a son of Street Hero that just missed after rallying four wide in the Clever Trevor, is trained by Danny Pish for owner Dennis E. Forster.
Richard P. Hogue Jr.'s homebred Best of Birdstone, a colt by Birdstone , also rallied well but was beaten in the final strides. Best of Birdstone, trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel, won the Razorback Futurity over Arkansas-breds in his only other start Sept. 22.
Toby Keith's Dream Walkin Farms has a coupled entry in local hopes Steelman Run and Smack Jack. Steelman Run was a close fifth in the Clever Trevor for trainer Kelly R. Von Hemel. Smack Jack comes off a maiden victory at one mile on turf Oct. 31 for Don Von Hemel.
Worldventurer, runner-up in the one-mile El Joven Stakes on turf at Retama Park Nov. 10, gets the services of Remington's leading rider, Cliff Berry. Bret Calhoun trains the Texas-bred gelding by Wimbledon .
Berry, a 14-time winner of the Pat Steinberg Award as Remington's meet riding champion, leads Luis Quinonez, who is aboard Best of Birdstone, 68-61 in victories through Dec. 5.
$300,000 Remington Springboard Mile Stakes (Race 9, 5:14 p.m.), 2YOs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. a-Steelman Run (KY), G W Corbett, K R Von Hemel, 10/1
2. Exploring (KY), G Murphy, M E Casse, 7/2
3. Will Take Charge (KY), V Lebron, D W Lukas, 121
4. a-Smack Jack (KY), P Compton, D Von Hemel, 10/1
5. Backstreet Hero (KY), L Wade, D Pish, 8/1
6. Best of Birdstone (AR), L S Quinonez, D K Von Hemel, 8/1
7. Hornet (KY), A Birzer, S M Asmussen, 15/1
8. Worldventurer (TX), M C Berry, W B Calhoun, 15/1
9. Texas Bling (TX), E McNeil, D Durham, 20/1
10. Channel Isle (KY), J K Court, D W Lukas, 9/2
11. Hardrock Eleven (FL), K D Clark, D P Banks, 8/1
12. King Henny (KY), J Theriot, S M Asmussen, 9/2
a-Dream Walkin Farms entry.
All carry 120 pounds.