12/13/2013 2:00PM

Remington Park: Smack Smack should get a nice setup in the Springboard Mile

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Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Late-running Smack Smack should benefit from a quick early pace in the Springboard Mile.

Smack Smack could get an ideal setup Sunday at Remington Park, when he attempts to win the fourth stakes of his young career in the $250,000 Springboard Mile. The meet’s premier race for 2-year-olds has drawn a bountiful amount of speed as the field of 12 includes Grade 3 Sapling winner Dunkin Bend, the Grade  2-placed Guns Loaded, Calder stakes winner Pachanga Party, Aqueduct maiden winner Noble Cornerstone, Remington stakes winner Alpha and Omega, and the undefeated Walt. A duel would play right into the hooves of Smack Smack.

“We always hope we get him in a race with a lot of speed,” said Don Von Hemel, who trains Smack Smack for the Dreamin Walkin’ Farms operation of country music artist Toby Keith.

The Springboard Mile anchors a special afternoon program of four stakes worth $400,000. The card was to be the meet finale, but severe weather forced the cancellation of three dates earlier this month and Remington has extended its season to Tuesday. The forecast for Sunday is a high of 52 degrees, according to The Weather Channel. First post is 1:30 p.m. Central.

Smack Smack has compiled a 4-for-5 record that includes a pair of stakes wins this summer at Prairie Meadows. In more recent times, he rallied from about 10 lengths off the pace to take the $100,000 Clever Trevor. The seven-furlong race at Remington on Nov. 8 served as an ideal prep for the Springboard.

“He showed me just what I was looking for,” Von Hemel said. “He made a good move from the head of the lane to the wire. A little more distance won’t hurt him a bit.”

Von Hemel said the Springboard has long been an objective for Smack Smack, in part because Keith and his family are Oklahoma residents. The horse will break from post  5, under regular rider Jake Barton.

“He’ll be laying off the pace,” Von Hemel said.

In Smack Smack’s only two-turn race, he won the $60,000 Juvenile Mile at Prairie.

Boji Moon will get another crack at two turns after finishing sixth in the Grade 3 Bourbon at Keeneland in his most recent start Oct. 6.

“It was his first time going two turns, he went a mile and a sixteenth, and at the end of the day, he was only beat two lengths for the whole thing,” trainer Chris Richard said. “I think the mile is definitely within his scope.”

Boji Moon was the Bourbon favorite after winning the first three starts of his career by a combined 29 1/2 lengths. He came into the race off a five-length win on turf in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile.

“Unfortunately, the rain got us off the turf at Keeneland,” Richard said. “I was really anticipating that he was going to be very competitive on the turf in that race. The Poly, I think he handled it okay. I’m sure not making an excuse. I just don’t think it’s his preferred surface.”

Richard said the timing of the Springboard worked well for Boji Moon, an Oaklawn-based runner whose 3-year-old path will be determined by the results of the Springboard.

“If we go over there, have a perfect trip, and run fifth or sixth, he’ll be done for [now] and we’ll point for Prairie Meadows because he’s eligible for a lot of good Iowa-bred stakes in the summer,” Richard said. “If we’d be fortunate to run really well in the race – first, second, or third – we’d take him to Oaklawn and run in the 3-year-old series.”

Texas Bling won last year’s Springboard Mile over Will Take Charge and both went on to run in Oaklawn’s series, with Will Take Charge winning the track’s Grade 2 Rebel and later the Pennsylvania Derby, Travers, and Clark Handicap.

Boji Moon, owned by Brian Hall, William Gessman, and River Ridge Ranch, will be ridden by Terry Thompson.

Kent Desormeaux has the mount on Noble Cornerstone, who will add Lasix following a 5  1/2-length debut win over New York-breds Nov. 3. Wesley Ward trains the horse and also will send out Pachanga Party, front-running winner of the $80,000 Birdonthewire at Calder. David Flores has the mount Sunday.

◗ Desormeaux and Ward, who teamed together to win the 2012 Oklahoma Derby at Remington with Politicallycorrect, also will be active in the $50,000 Trapeze with La Mejor Fiesta. The one-mile race for 2-year-old fillies drew a field of 10, including stakes winners Redgrass Cat and Okie Smokey. La Mejor Fiesta is stakes placed, having finished second in the $64,000 Tippett at Colonial Downs in July. In more recent times, she was third in a one-mile allowance at Keeneland in her two-turn debut Oct. 9.

◗ My Brother Don returns to racing with straight 3-year-olds in the $50,000 Jim Thorpe, a one-mile race for Oklahoma-breds. He took on older rivals last out and finished fourth in the $158,000 Oklahoma Classics Night Classic.

◗ Bringinthelute seeks her third win at the meet in the $50,000 Useeit, a one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies bred in Oklahoma. Her chief rivals include More Than Even and Lounge Lady.