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HRN Original Blog:
Florida Filly

Devil's Cave repels foes in Ocala Stakes

Devil's Cave 615 X 400 Ocala
Photo: Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin
Leading up to the $100,000 Ocala Stakes, it appeared to be a two horse race on paper. My Pal Chrisy had won three straight stakes races at Gulfstream before finishing a good third in the G2 Go For Wand at Aqueduct. Her main foe, or so it appeared, was the three-year-old Sweet N Discreet, sister to graded stakes winners Discreet Dancer and Travelin Man. Like her two brothers, Sweet N Discreet has a particular affinity for the South Florida track, but when the dust settled, neither of these two talented fillies came away a winner.
Three-year old Devil’s Cave was not initially nominated to the $100,000 Ocala Stakes, but she sure made it worth her connections’ time and money to supplement her for $5,000. Breaking from the rail as Program #2, the dark bay filly uncharacteristically shot straight to the lead where she proceeded to click off quick fractions of 22:30 for the opening quarter and 45:10 for the half. Leaving the far turn, Sweet N Discreet headed Devil’s Cave with My Pal Chrisy looming large to her outside, but Devil’s Cave was not done yet. While under a vigorous hand ride, jockey Joel Rosario gave his charge two quick, well-spaced taps, and it was over from there. Devil’s Cave battled back to edge away and win by two.
By Put It Back, Devil’s Cave completed the mile event in 1.34:74. As the 9-2 third betting choice, Devil’s Cave returned $11.40/$5.80/$2.80. Sweet N Discreet, who held second by a neck, returned $4.80/$2.20 as the second betting choice, and My Chrisy, the odds on favorite, returned $2.10. The order of finish was completed by Courtney Ryan, Mass Invasion, and Princess Malia, all three of whom played a rough game of bumper cars at the break.
My Pal Chrisy, who generally sits back and makes one run, was up close to a swift pace. At the half mile call, the multiple stakes winner was just 1 ½ lengths back in fourth. At the top of the stretch, the 3-5 favorite looked strong and poised to strike, but as the battling trio continued down the stretch, My Pal Chrisy appeared to hang.
After the race, trainer Marty Wolfson, who had both the winner and the third-place finisher, said that he felt the distance and the assigned weight (123 lbs) hindered My Pal Chrisy in today’s race. In truth, that statement is really no more than an excuse. My Pal Chrisy just won the 8.5 furlong Millions Distaff Preview carrying the same impost two starts back. Today, stablemate Devil’s Cave was simply the better filly despite My Pal Chrisy having plenty of pace to run at. If anything, the reason why My Pal Chrisy hung in the stretch was due to the fact that she was simply too close to a hot pace and the combination of pace and distance was not to her liking. Regardless, Devil’s Cave ran a bang up race and was a deserving winner off the step up in class.
Devil’s Cave is the second stakes winner for her dam Wabash Gal, who also produced 2002 Indiana Stallion Stakes winner Sheza Pretty Gal. Alpha Delta Stables purchased Devil’s Cave for $180,000 at the Spring Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company 2012 spring sale of two-year olds in training. She has since earned $132,647 and has amassed a career record of 8: 3-3-0. Today was her first attempt in a stakes race. 


What the Nation is saying about Devil's Cave repels foes in Ocala Stakes...

He's currently the 10th leading trainer at Gulfstream. The top spot is obviously occupied by Todd Pletcher, but Wolfson has been doing a wonderful job with his barn. I've noticed that it's only a matter of time before his new charges take a turn for the better after being transferred to him from another trainer.
1-3 for Wolfson, a trainer that deserves more recognition outside of the Sunshine State.


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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 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.