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A Tale of Two Skies

After watching and re-watching the Sam F. Davis Stakes, I still cannot say with whom I am more impressed: the gutsy Falling Sky who refused to lose or the determined Dynamic Sky who chipped away at the winner’s lead to almost get up for the win. Either way you look at it, it was an impressive race by both Skies. Equally impressive was the third place finisher My Name is Michael who was picking up steam at the end. Extend the race out another sixteenth and the order of finish would certainly have changed since both Dynamic Sky and My Name is Michael clearly needed more distance. 
 
Falling Sky has been quietly good since winning his debut by four lengths at Calder. In four career starts, he has notched three victories. The lone mar on his record came in the Inaugural Stakes when facing the highly regarded Purple Egg and Brave Dave. After the race, trainer John P. Terranova, II stated, “This is why we bought him. We thought he would be a natural route horse…We cross-entered him in the Hutcheson because we weren’t sure if now was the time to stretch him to two turns or to continue the natural progression, but obviously it looks like we made the right call.” Falling Sky will likely continue on his Road to the Roses in Tampa Bay at the Tampa Bay Derby but no decision has been made just yet. 
 
Dynamic Sky has also been more or less working in the background. The Sky Mesa colt is 6: 2-2-1 with his lone off the board finish coming in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Despite his record, Dynamic Sky did not really enter into Derby discussions until he surged past stable mate Sky Commander to win the Pasco Stakes last out. The Mark Casse trained colt lost nothing while taking second today. “I’m happy with his performance. Luis said he was late switching leads, but when he did he came running. It was just too little, too late,” Casse said in a post race interview. 
 
Though it looked like Dynamic Sky would catch the winner with just a little more distance, it would be an insult to Falling Sky to say for sure that the order of finish would be reversed in a re-match. This was the colt’s first attempt at two turns and his pedigree indicates that a longer distance will not be a problem. Falling Sky is by 2004 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lion Heart. His damsire Sea Hero won the 1993 Kentucky Derby and Travers Stakes. Additionally, the bottom half of his pedigree is full of classic winners. I fully expect Falling Sky to relish the increase in distance in the lead up to the Kentucky Derby.
 
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Across the state at Gulfstream Park, impressive debut winner Verrazano showed he was not a one hit wonder. Winning by a margin of “from Brooklyn to Staten Island,” there was never any doubt who the winner would be once the field of five turned for home. The only question would be by just how much the Todd Pletcher trainee would win. Despite his late career start, Verrazano has stamped himself as a legitimate contender in this year’s Road to the Roses, but if he wants a spot in the starting gate come May, he is going to need to accumulate some points. Pletcher believes Verrazano is ready to step up, but he is undecided about the colt’s next start, though it is unlikely to be in the Fountain of Youth due to timing. 

 

What the Nation is saying about A Tale of Two Skies...

Verrazano BSF 105
It was no "Narrow" margin for Verrazano on Saturday. I love crossing that bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn because it usually means I'm on my way to AQU or BEL.
Hopefully Purple Egg will be back to challenge these top two in the Tampa Bay Derby ... Verrazano was definitely a "wow" type of performance.

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis
 

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.

 

Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Since joining Horse Racing Nation as a contributing blogger, Ashley writes as frequently as possible as the Florida Filly. Though she mainly covers racing in South Florida, Ashley also blogs about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offers her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. Most recently, Ashley was selected to participate in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.

 

An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley lives in Central Georgia with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. When she is not covering the races, Ashley works with insurance claims, a job she is able to do from home in order to spend as much time as possible with her family. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is passionate about football, reading, and history and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.