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HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Csaba successfully defends Fred W. Hooper title

Csaba, last year’s G3 Fred W. Hooper winner, was sent to post in this year’s renewal as the even money favorite and did little to disappoint. While I’m Steppin’ It Up went to the front and set early fractions of 23:35 and 47:65, Csaba patiently bided his time in a good stalking position back in fourth. At the eighth pole, the bettors’ favorite gained a slim lead but then appeared to hang. All was not lost, however, as the bay colt dug deep and began to pull away late. The margin of victory was a comfortable 1 ¼ lengths, but Csaba had to work for today’s victory.
 
 
By Kitten’s Joy, Csaba returned $4.20/$3.20/$2.20. Valid gained second place after racing in third for much of the race and returned $5.40/$3.40. On the Loose Again ran a huge race, closing from way out of it to finish third. He paid $2.60 for a $2 show bet. Lovable loser Joshua’s Comprise closed from dead last to finish fourth and was followed by Twin, Sr. Quisqueyano, pace-setting I’m Steppin’ It Up, Macho Bull, Notimetokill, and Ducduc.
 
 
Today’s victory improved Csaba’s record to 11 wins in 25 starts. The bay son of top sire Kitten’s Joy has been particularly effective at Calder Race Course during his career, compiling a record of 12: 9-0-2 at the South Florida track. The winner’s share of the Fred. W. Hooper purse pushed his earnings over the half million mark to $551, 480.
 
 
One race prior to the Fred. W. Hooper, Speaking of Which returned to top form with a victory in the G3 Tropical Turf Handicap. The Irish bred son of Invincible Spirit utilized a mid-pack stalking trip, tucking into 5th behind pacesetter Heiko, who set slow fractions of 24:44 and 50:13. In the far turn, Speaking of Which split horses and then wheeled to the outside, gunning down the leaders to win by a length. Favored Tetradrachm ($4.00/$2.60) moved up from third to nab second, and Bad Debt ($2.40) was out-finished and lost second. Heiko faded to fourth, and the order of finish was completed by Grand Tito, Paris Vegas, Reflecting, Exothermic, and Live in Joy. The Moyglare Farm Stud winner recorded just his 4th career victory in 11 starts and pushed his total earnings to $187,918.
 
 
Valiant Girl capped the trio of Calder stakes with a 42-1 upset in the G3 My Charmer Handicap. The bay daughter of Lemon Drop Kid broke from the far inside and saved all the ground for the entirety of the race. Despite racing in tight quarters at times, the Graham Motion trainee settled nicely for jockey Matthew Rispoli behind front-running Rose to Gold and Angelica Zapata. As the field kicked for home, Rose to Gold began to weaken and drifted off the hedge, opening up a hole for the patient winner. Valiant Girl ($87.60/$31.60/$13.40) did not even hesitate, she roared through the opening to prevail by a half length over runner-up Angelica Zapata ($4.80/$3.40). Strathnaver ($4.20) finished third, followed by Parranda, Rose to Gold, Somali Lemonade, Naples Bay, Sure Route, Awesome Flower, Millennia, and Team. Running for Antoinette Oppenheimer, Valiant Girl improved to 4 wins from 14 starts and pushed her career earnings to $130,843. 
 
 
Fifth place finisher Rose to Gold was trying turf for the first time in her career. This was also her first race back since undergoing surgery to remove multiple bone chips following a rough rendition of this year's G1 Kentucky Oaks. Despite the layoff, surgery, and surface switch, the talented filly was only beaten for it all by 2 lengths and arguably needed the race. Look for her to improve next out. 

 

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Older Comments about Csaba successfully defends Fred W. Hooper title...

I think that is what they used to say about Flat Out and Belmont. I am glad for Phil Gleaves(one of the last remaining desciples of the great Woody Stephens) Csaba always runs hard,has had some big races at the Spa the last couple of years.
Csaba has a pair of wins at Gulfstream, too. Maybe he should just stick to Florida and be done with the everywhere else.
9 of 12 lifetime at Calder ... Why does Csaba run anywhere else???

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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.