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Joseph lands US$400 000 Springboard Mile

December 19, 2021

Barbadian trainer Saffie Joseph Jr’s success cut a path through the American south on Friday, when favourite “Make It Big” won the feature US$401 200 Springboard Mile at Remington Park.

Better known for his exploits along the Eastern Seaboard, the 34-year-old found himself in the winner’s circle when Irad Ortiz, replacing the injured Edgard Zayas, carried the Red Oak Stables colt to a half-length win over the two-year-olds in a time of one minute, 41.23 seconds.

Barbadian trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.

“He has a personality and a half. We expected the cold weather to sharpen him up here,” said Joseph’s assistant Sarah Shaffer, after the race was run off in chilly single-digit temperatures.

“We really wanted to get him warmed up. He’s very smart. He knew what he was here for. Nice horse.”

Going off at odds of 6-5 for the mile trip, Ortiz settled Make It Big just off the rails and just off the pace as 5-1 bet Bye Bye Bobby and 3-1 chance Classic Moment tussled through the quarter in 24.77 seconds.

At the half-mile run in 49.22, 5-1 choice Concept had moved up to challenge for the lead with 3-1 bet Osbourne also taking closer order, leaving Make It Big fifth.

However, Ortiz made his move approaching the quarter pole, sweeping Make It Big up on the outside to enter the stretch in a battle with Concept and Osbourne.

Concept faded along the rails leaving Osbourne as the main challenger to Make It Big but Ortiz got the best out of his colt in the dying yards.

“The horse was two-for-two with Edgard,” Ortiz said afterwards, the 28-year-old Puerto Rican flying in from his base in New York for the 13-race card which yielded him three winners.

“Unfortunately, Edgard couldn’t ride because he had to have surgery on his shoulder.”

Joseph, currently the leading trainer at Gulfstream Park, sent out one horse at the South Florida racetrack on Friday but was unplaced.

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