Monday, December 17, 2012


                                                                                                                        By Chris Kotulak

Texas Bling won the Dec 9, 2012, $300,000, Remington Springboard Mile at 128-1.  Shocking!  Yes, he was a longshot and no, he wasn’t an impossible consideration.  But in every horse race, someone must be the longest price on the board and someone must win.  It just so happened that the two musts = busts for just about everyone who bet on the race.  Incidentally, the win = $259.60.   Call it a longshot, blingshot.  Track announcer Dale Day called it like this…  Texas Bling coming on; Texas Bling gets through; and Texas Bling will pull-off the upset.  Texas Bling, at 99-1 in the Springboard Mile!”   That was a very organic roar at the end of a race that hardly had a rock-solid favorite.

     King Henny was the favorite until just after the post parade.  He was the Steve Asmussen horse that squeaked-out a win in the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes, the prep race for the Springboard Mile.  His physical appearance was not the reason he lost favoritism (he looked terrific).  Personally, I felt he was a false-favorite due to his previous narrow win against similar foes and his outside post position in The Springboard.  He also has a pedigree slanted for a sprinter. 

     A few minutes before the race, the Mark Casse-trained Exploring went favorite; and the money snowballed from there.  He left the gate as the 7-5 favorite.  In my paddock previews, more than once I said “I love the race, I just don’t love a horse.”  That meant I thought it was a very good betting race, with many horses that had legitimate chances to win; yes, even Texas Bling.  Worldventurer went off at 19-1 after a 2nd-place finish in the El Joven Stakes.  Texas Bling finished just two lengths behind Worldventurer in the El Joven.  But The Springboard Mile was bet more like there was a furlong between the pair; specifically, there was 109-1 in odds-points between the two horses. 

Texas Bling
     I loved how calm, composed and collected winning trainer Danele Durham was in the post-race interview with the winning connections.  Danele is an educated well-spoken woman, but I’m still convinced she was in shock with what she had just accomplished with her Texas-bred.  For that matter, the winning jockey, young Erik McNeil also spoke sensibly.  He should win more races; he’d be easier to listen to.  Confidence flowed from the trainer and jockey as they each basked in their greatest professional accomplishment.  Congratulations to them both, and to the Hall Family Trust, owners of the homebred colt by Too Much Bling.

     Most trainers despise seeing their horse in the program with a morning line greater than 10-1.  Danele is no different.  In her ebullience, and in self-defense, she chose to thumb her nose to the morning-line.  Well, yes, she did prove the morning-line wrong; Texas Bling did not go off at 20-1.  But technically, it was the betting-public who got it so wrong.  Their real money is what actually made him 128-1.  The morning-line installment of 20-1 is simply an accepted assessment of a horse expected to be a longshot.  The morning-line odds-maker was pretty much on target.  What’s more (or less) is that the bettors on-track at Remington Park gambled only a paltry $65 to win on Texas Bling; and the total win pool of all wagering sources was just $251.  Danele took a shot at the morning-line; only a few bettors took a shot on her horse. 

     Ultimately, Danele Durham felt she had a horse that was better than looked on paper.  The $300,000 total purse was achievable to the 48 horses who were nominated and then reachable for any of the field of twelve that showed up.  She had the confidence in her horse, the horse showed-up to the races with a shiny coat and a spring in his step, and the jockey guided him through rivals for the win.  For their efforts, Texas Bling earned $180,000.  They won it fair and square.  And they did it against the odds. 

     It should be said that Danele’s entire 2012 season has been a combined against the odds endeavor.  Her ten wins at Remington Park this year were her first-ever wins in any season at RP.  She only began training racehorses in 2007; she has 29 lifetime wins.  But her 18% win-rate at Remington this year is something to crow about.  Erik McNeil was along for the ride as well, the pair had a 19% strike-rate together.  Five of McNeil’s six wins at the meet were trained by Danele Durham.   Let’s hope their 2012 accomplishments are a genuine Springboard into 2013.  

To see the Equibase chart for the 2012 Remington Springboard Mile, visit: and type in "12/09/2012" and click "submit".

You will then be able to see "Remington Springboard Mile," with a link to the chart right under it.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely article Chris. It was a pleasure competing at Remington this year and I look forward to returning in 2013. Bobby Blackburn happens to be a fabulous track superintendent and it is always a pleasure to run over one of his well groomed surfaces. My special thanks to the racing office for a job well done and to Scott Wells and his hospitality.