Class prevailed in the $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile on December 15 at Remington Park. The lightly-raced Answer In was favored at 3-5, but when the real running began, it was the experienced Shoplifted who rallied to win by a head.
Shoplifted’s tenacious victory secured the Steve Asmussen-trained youngster 10 qualifying points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. It also proved Shoplifted has the stamina to win a competitive race around two turns, though whether he possesses the stamina to handle 1 1/4 miles—the testing distance of the Kentucky Derby (G1)—remains uncertain.
Stamina limitations are a concern for Shoplifted since his pedigree is geared toward success in sprints and miles more than spring classics. His sire is the acclaimed Into Mischief, a Grade 1-winning sprinter who is a half-brother to four-time Eclipse Award-winning mare Beholder and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Mendelssohn. Into Mischief has proven wildly successful at stud, and in 2019, he sired more winners in a single calendar year than any stallion in North American history.
But Into Mischief’s progeny have almost exclusively been sprinters and milers, with their stamina reserves topping out at 1 1/8 miles or less. His best foals include two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Goldencents and the Grade 1-winning sprinter/milers Covfefe, Practical Joke, and Mia Mischief. That’s not to say Into Mischief can’t sire a classy winner running longer—Audible won the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby (G1) and finished third in the Kentucky Derby—but it’s not something you generally want to count on.
Nor is Shoplifted likely to receive a significant dose of stamina from the bottom half of his pedigree. Dam Shopit scored her lone victory sprinting six furlongs, and while she’s produced a pair of multiple winners running 1 1/16 miles or farther, those runners (Dakota Fred and Just Charge It) were low-level claimers sired by Harlington and Take Charge Indy, stoutly-bred stallions who won graded stakes races running 1 1/8 miles or longer on dirt.
Also keep in mind, Shopit is a daughter of Yes It’s True, whose eight graded stakes wins came exclusively in sprints of seven furlongs or less. His best foals have followed suit as sprinters and milers, including La Verdad, The Big Beast, Aikenite, and Proud Accolade.
On the bright side, when Yes It’s True’s daughters have been mated to stoutly-bred stallions, the resulting foals have shown more stamina—two-turn graded stakes winners Terra Promessa and Valadorna (both by Curlin) are good examples. But with Into Mischief being questionable as a source of classic stamina, it’s unclear whether Shoplifted has the pedigree components to eventually rank among Yes It’s True’s more long-winded descendants.
Shoplifted’s class remains indisputable; in addition to his victory in the Remington Springboard Mile, he ran second in the Hopeful (G1) and contested the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). But he’ll have to outrun his pedigree if he’s going to reach the winner’s circle on the first Saturday in May.
(Shoplifted: Cecila Gustavsson/Horsephotos.com)