12/09/2010 4:58PM

Stretchout a question for Caleb's Posse


Caleb’s Posse, Aces N Kings, and Behold de Buy are the most accomplished 2-year-olds in Saturday night’s $250,000 Springboard Mile, but each has significant questions to answer in the competitive race that closes out the meet at Remington Park.

A field of 12 is set to start, including invaders from Kentucky, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania. But most of the attention will focus on a local horse, Caleb’s Posse, for his victory by more than more than five lengths in the $100,000 Clever Trevor on Nov. 6. He tracked the pace then overtook the leaders in the seven furlong race at Remington, earning a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 89.

“This will be our first effort at two turns, and I think that’s probably a good question we need to answer,” said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Caleb’s Posse for McNeill Stables. “This looks to be a quality field, a good race to try and win and learn something about your horse in.”

Von Hemel said there are a couple of reasons to believe Caleb’s Posse might handle the new distance demands, among them the fact that his dam, Abbey’s Missy, is by Slewacide.

“He’s certainly had enough horses of the two-turn variety,” Von Hemel said. “That’s a good thing. And this horse, he’s pretty well rateable in his races, the one’s we’ve been in so far. I think we’ll be able to place him according to pace to give us our best chance to be a two-turn horse.”

Caleb’s Posse began his career at Arlington Park, winning a maiden special weight in his second start Aug. 14. He proceeded to run third by a length in the Grade 3 Arlington Washington Futurity, and win an allowance at Keeneland. Von Hemel then moved the horse, who had raced exclusively on Polytrack, to dirt for the Clever Trevor. “He’d run well on Polytrack [but] after the race we felt like he may be a better dirt horse,” said Von Hemel, who has given the mount to Quincy Hamilton.

Aces N Kings is a three-time stakes winner who lost his rider in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot at 1 1/16 miles Nov. 20. Aces N Kings drfited off the rail on the final turn as he lost his action and unseated jockey Calvin Borel, who broke his jaw in the incident.

“We know he can run two turns on the grass, but we have yet to see what he can do at two turns on the dirt,” said Jimmy “Scooter” Dodwell, whose family races Aces N Kings. “That’s what we’re trying to find out, to see if he can go two turns on the dirt the way he can on turf.”

Aces N Kings ran perhaps his most impressive race in a turf route, when he rolled home by more than six lengths in the $50,000 Sunny’s Halo at Louisiana Downs in August. Eguard Tejera was aboard, and has the mount Saturday.

Behold de Buy won the $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park, and will be making his two-turn debut in the Springboard Mile. Others set to start in the race include Twinspired and Rampaige, who were maiden special weight winners at Keeneland.

◗ The fillies Vertical Vision and She’s All In might give the boys all they can stand in the $50,000 End of the Trail, a seven furlong stakes for 3-year-olds bred in Oklahoma.

◗ The multiple stakes winner Smiles Ahead goes in the sixth, one of three $100,000 optional claimers for 2-year-olds on the card. In all, 130 horses were entered for the 11-race program Saturday.