Greyvitos wins the 2017 Springboard Mile

Greyvitos wins the 2017 Springboard Mile

Dustin Orona Photography

Greyvitos Overcomes Challenges to Win Springboard Mile

Horse evacuated from the San Luis Rey fire now has Road to the Kentucky Derby points.

Triple B Farms' Greyvitos had a handful of hurdles to overcome in the $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile Stakes Dec. 17.

It was his first race away from his California base, his first race at night, and he had to break from the far outside in a field of 12 at Remington Park.

But the Malibu Moon  colt had already been through plenty just to get to Oklahoma. One of the first horses evacuated during the deadly fire at San Luis Rey Training Center Dec. 7, Greyvitos logged his final work for the Springboard Mile for trainer Adam Kitchingman at Santa Anita Park Dec. 10.

"It's been a lot to overcome in the last 10 days," Kitchingman said.

So Greyvitos took the challenges presented at Remington and put any doubts away in a 2 1/4-length victory. Jockey Victor Espinoza hustled the gray colt out of the gate, was able to clear some of the field in the turn, and although he lost some ground as expected in the first turn, it wasn't debilitating.

Greyvitos settled into a stalking position in third, a length and a half off the early pace set by Major Brown, who covered a quarter-mile in :23.51 and a half in :47.16.

But in the second turn, Greyvitos made a three-wide move to take command. He opened up a length on the field through six furlongs in 1:11.71 and was never seriously challenged in the stretch. Favored Combatant battled on gamely to finish second, 5 1/4 lengths ahead of 86-1 longshot Kingsville, but was never a threat to the winner. Greyvitos finished off the mile in 1:37.14.

"For a horse who doesn't like dirt in his face, (being outside) is not the worst place to be, I guess," Kitchingman said. "(Espinoza) put him into a position where he was in the clear, but he still looks around a bunch, looks at shadows, and even jumped at the wire."

The fact that Greyvitos has the talent to overcome some young-horse idiosyncrasies is encouraging to Kitchingman, who said he'll give the colt some time off before pointing to a race later in the winter.

"When you have a horse like this, with a small barn, there's a lot of pressure," Kitchingman said of his colt, who picked up 10 points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings in the Springboard Mile, which followed his maiden-breaking win in the Bob Hope Stakes (G3) at Del Mar Nov. 11. "We'll back off a little bit. I can't imagine running until February. Now is the time to give him a rest, because in his 3-year-old year, the races are only going to get tougher."

Bred in Virginia by Audley Farm Equine, out of the Najran mare Snow Top Mountain, Greyvitos now has two wins from four starts and $306,345 in earnings.