Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables and LNJ Foxwoods' Shoplifted showed promise in his first several starts, breaking his maiden at Saratoga on debut and then running second in the G1 Hopeful Stakes next out. Sent out West to prepare for the Breeders' Cup, the 2-year-old son of Into Mischief struggled home fifth in the G1 American Pharoah and seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
Trainer Steve Asmussen found softer company for the colt this Sunday, facing down a field of 10 others in Remington's Springboard Mile. Shoplifted and jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. settled off the early pacesetters and went three wide around the far turn, then ran gamely in the stretch to win by a head over the favorite Answer In. Sent off at odds of 4-1, Shoplifted ran a mile over Remington's fast main track in 1:37.95 to earn his first 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
It was Asmussen's sixth win in the Springboard Mile, and the fourth win on the card for the Asmussen-Santana duo.
“He broke really well today,” Santana noted. “He was sharp and finished very strong for me. I knew he might be something special when he broke his maiden at Saratoga.”
Breaking from the inside, Alternate Time and Rowdy Yates were both sharp out of the starting gate and were head-and-head for the early lead. Embolden was wide just behind that pair, with Maximiliano also pressing the pace. Favorite Answer In found his way close to the rail in fifth position around the clubhouse turn, while Shoplifted was three-wide outside stablemate Jungle Runner in seventh early on.
Rowdy Yates tugged his way to the lead through early fractions of :23.49 and :47.75, but both he and his fellow frontrunner Alternate Time could not keep pace when challenged nearing the quarter pole.
A four-wide Embolden took command at the head of the lane, but Santana had sent Shoplifted widest of all and had his colt rolling down the center of the course. Jockey Javier Castellano had no choice but to send Answer In up the rail inside of Embolden in the final eighth of a mile, and those three dug in for a battle all the way to the wire.
In the end, Shoplifted finished a head better than Answer In while Embolden had to settle for a hard-fought third. It was several lengths back to Jungle Runner in fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, Carrie Brogden and Craig Brogden, Shoplifted is out of the Yes It's True mare Shopit. He commanded a final bid of $525,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale, then was purchased by his current ownership group for $800,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select sale the following March. The colt has now won two of his five career starts for earnings of over $380,000.
Everett Dobson of Edmond, Okla., represented the ownership group with his Cheyenne Stables. He was thrilled with the result in winning his first Springboard Mile.
“I have to give Steve Asmussen credit,” Dobson said. “He told me (Shoplifted) could be competitive here and in this race and we're thrilled we came. I have great partners in this horse and they couldn't be any happier. It's great to be back in Oklahoma and win a race!”
Dobson had previously finished seventh in the 2010 Springboard Mile with Caleb's Posse who eventually went on to win the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Dobson's Cheyenne Stables campaigned Caleb's Posse with the late Don McNeill.
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