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From Coast to Coast

Caracortado begins comeback in optional claimer at Del Mar

Caracortado 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire


Absent from the starting gate since a close 4th place finish in the G3 Eddie D Stakes, Caracortado begins his comeback in Friday's 6th race, a NW3X optional claimer, at Del Mar. Last year, a sore foot knocked the popular gelding out of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. The injury was so minor that trainer Mike Machowsky was confident that his charge would make the Hollywood Turf Express on December 8, but in horse racing, things cannot be counted on to go according to plan.


Now nearly 10 months removed from his last start, Scarface, as the gelding is affectionately known, is ready to rumble. Under Machowsky's care, Caracortado has put in good work after good work, but a newly widened turf course at Del Mar has equated to larger "allowed" fields in turf sprints. Whereas only 7 could previously start in a turf sprint at Del Mar, Caracortado will face 9 rivals in his comeback.


The five furlong optional claimer drew a rather deep cast of 10, and as racing luck would have it, all the early speed drew to the outside. While Caracortado is the class of the field as a multiple graded stakes winner, he still faces as tall task since the field is comprised of six other stakes winners. Pure Tactics won the Siren Lure last out and is accustomed to facing tough rivals. Highly regarded Boat Trip won the Hollywood Turf Express three starts back, and Wine Police gets a major class break when dropping into this spot off three consecutive graded stakes attempts.


Merit Man also takes a drop in class after finishing a well beaten 11th in the G2 Woody Stephens. Artest most recently finished 4th in the Siren Lure behind Pure Tactics, and Rosengold finished 2nd in that same event. The field is rounded out by Giant Ego, Ankeny Hill and Celzo's Birdie, who stretches out in distance after running Quarter Horse type distances in his most recent starts.


Giant Ego, Rosengold and Ankeny Hill should all ensure a lively pace. Drawing posts 7-9 respectively, the trio will have to be quick out of the gate to clear the field and establish their early running positions. Wine Police, Merit Man, Artest and Celzo's Birdie all like to be near the lead and could even contest the early pace should the three speedsters fail to get good front-running positions. That should set things up nicely for Pure Tactics, Boat Trip and Caracortado in the stretch.


"Scarface" receives a 4 lb break in weights from high weights Pure Tactics and Boat Trip under the conditions of the race. Rafael Bejarano, who was aboard for the gelding's G3 Daytona win, gets the call, and the duo will break from post 5 in the field of 10. With only one start in both 2012 and 2013, here is to hoping the often absent runner is healthy and ready to return to his 2011 form.


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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. Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation blogging as The Florida Filly. Using that moniker, she mainly covered racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. A move north to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the new From Coast to Coast blog for HRN, which is simply a revamped version of The Florida Filly. Don't let the new look and name change fool you, though. Ashley still brings to the table the same great coverage as From Coast to Coast as she did for The Florida Filly. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.


An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying 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.

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