Kentucky Derby Preps at Remington, Los Alamitos; Odds, Picks

It’s closing weekend at Remington Park and Los Alamitos Race Course, and what better way for small tracks to close out a meet than with a Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race?

First up is the $300,000 Springboard Mile at Remington in Oklahoma City, where a field of nine is entered with Otto the Conqueror the 5-2 morning-line favorite for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.

The Springboard is Friday night’s 10th and final race with a post time of 10:28 p.m. ET. The meet closes on Saturday.

On Saturday night, it’s the $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) in Cypress, California. A field of six is entered with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sending out three – Wine Me Up, Coach Prime, and Wynstock. The meet ends on Sunday.

Post time for the 1 1/16-mile Futurity is 7:30 p.m. ET.

Each race offers Derby qualifying points to the first five finishers on a sliding scale of 10-5-3-2-1.

The final Derby prep of 2023 is the Gun Runner at the Fair Grounds on Dec. 23. Then it’s on to the more lucrative preps in 2024, as the 2-year-olds turn 3 and face even tougher races on the road to Derby 150.

Japan: Road to the Derby

Earlier this week (Dec. 13), Forever Young won the second of four Derby qualifiers on the Japan road to the Derby when he captured the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yoshin by seven lengths. The winner earned 20 Derby points. After four Derby qualifiers on the Japan road to the Derby, the points leader receives an automatic berth in the Run for the Roses.

$300,000 Springboard Mile

The nine-horse field is led by Otto the Conqueror, a worthy favorite based on his four-length victory in a 7-furlong optional claimer at Churchill Downs on Oct. 29.

He’s trained by Asmussen, who has more wins than any conditioner in North America and is the usual leading trainer at Remington.

The 2-year-old is a son of 2007 Derby winner Street Sense and is owned by Three Chimneys Farm. Top rider Tyler Gaffalione rides from post 8.

Brad Cox sends out a pair in Fidget (8-1, post 1) and Gettysburg Address (6-1, post 3). Fidget, a son of More Than Ready, enters after two straight wins; Gettysburg Address won in his debut at Ellis Park and ran third in the Street Sense (G3) at Churchill Downs last out on Oct. 29.

The picks: 1 Otto the Conqueror 2 Raging Torrent 3 Fidget

$200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2)

Wine Me Up, a son of Vino Rosso, comes into the Futurity with a maiden win and a second to stablemate Muth in the American Pharoah (G1). The 5-2 second choice on the morning line will be ridden by Juan Hernandez has the call from post 6.

Baffert has won this race a record 13 times, his first coming in 1997 with Real Quiet, who went on to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (G1).

Coach Prime, a $1.7 million purchase by Zedan Racing Stables, broke his maiden at second asking by 7 ¼ lengths at Del Mar, and is the 2-1 favorite.  Perhaps the name reference – as in Colorado football coach Deion “Pime Time’’ Sanders – has something to do with it.

He’ll be ridden by Flavien Prat from post 5.

Rounding out Baffert’s trio is New York-bred Wynstock, who broke his maiden at third asking by 7 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita in October. Kyle Frey has the mount leaving from post 2.

Stronghold, trained by Phil D’Amato, has a good chance to break up Baffert’s stronghold on the Futurity. The son of Ghostzapper ran second to Baffert-trained Nysos in the Bob Hope (G3) at Del Mar.

The winning trainers of the Futurity the past two years are back again: Tim Yakteen won in 2022 with Practical Move and will send out Moonlit Sonata on Saturday; Doug O’Neill won in 2021 with Slow Down Andy and sends out Ace of Clubs this time.

Baffert trainees are ineligible for Derby points due to Churchill Downs Inc.’s ongoing ban of the trainer.

The picks: 1 Wine Me Up 2 Moonlit Sonata 3 Coach Prime





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