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HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Game On Dude tops my first NTRA Poll

I have been sitting on this for about a week now, so I am very pleased to finally announce that I am now a NTRA Poll voter. I am very honored to be a part of the esteemed group who votes on the nation’s top 10 thoroughbreds each week. Since this is the first week in which I am participating, I decided to share the thought process that went into how I chose my very first Top 10 as an NTRA voter.
 
 
1. Game On Dude—[5:5-0-0] It was really tough for me to choose between The Dude and the Titan of the Turf for the top spot, but I ultimately went with The Dude. While they are both undefeated this year, it is the way in which they have gone undefeated that finally tipped the scales in favor of Game On Dude. He has won three of the nation’s biggest and most prestigious races for older horses by a combined 17 ¼-lengths. He finally won the G1 Pacific Classic after knocking on the door for the last couple of years, but not only did he get the win over a surface he has not liked in the past, he completely demolished the field while doing so. A win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic wraps up Horse of the Year honors.
 
 
2. Wise Dan—[5:5-0-0] I mean no offense to the Titan of the Turf by not putting him in the top spot, but American racing revolves mostly around the traditional dirt surface and classic distances. While also remaining undefeated this year, Wise Dan has made everything he does look easy, most recently setting a new course record in the G1 Woodbine Mile while looking like he was merely out for an easy morning work. Should he win the Breeders’ Cup Mile and Game On Dude win the Classic, it will be tough to choose who is more deserving of Horse of the Year honors.
 
 
3. Princess of Sylmar—[6:5-1-0] The three-year old filly division has been pretty solid this year, but when it mattered most, Princess of Sylmar absolutely dominated her competition. A rough running of the Kentucky Oaks and stretching out to 10 furlongs for the first time did nothing to deter her superiority. Whether or not she goes to the Breeders’ Cup, she has divisional honors sewn up, unless one of the other fillies can manage to beat the Queen of the Distaff division in the Distaff.
 
 
4. Royal Delta—[5:3-1-0] The Queen of the Distaff division is so superior to her opposition that it is becoming hard to find any that will run against her. Her poor run in Dubai and defeat in her first race back in the U.S. can be forgiven in lieu of what she has done since June. Her last two starts have been in Grade 1 races, and she won them both by a combined 15 ¼-lengths in hand. At this point, it looks as though the only filly or mare that could derail her is Princess of Sylmar, and that showdown is looming large and just around the corner. Win or lose, though, Royal Delta is almost certain to take home some hardware for the third year in a row.
 
 
5. Groupie Doll—[2:1-0-1] The long layoff and the third place finish in her return race had the skeptics’ tongues wagging, but the reigning champion female sprinter put any and all questions to rest in her second start off the layoff. Despite local star Purely Hot’s best effort, Groupie Doll gunned her down in the stretch and pulled away to win by 1 ½-lengths while setting a new course record in the 6 ½-furlong G2 Presque Isle Downs Masters. The Bowman’s Band mare clearly still has her mind on business, is as good as ever, and will be tough to beat when she returns to Santa Anita to defend her title.
 
 
6. Will Take Charge—[9:4-1-0] The brother to last year’s Florida Derby winner has recently built upon the promise he showed early in the season by stringing together two consecutive graded stakes wins. He defeated two-thirds of the year’s Triple Crown race winners in the esteemed G1 Travers by getting up in the shadow of the wire, and then turned right around and won the G2 Pennsylvania Derby in convincing fashion after sitting closer than usual to the pace. If not for getting stopped cold by Verrazano, he may very well have battled Orb to the wire for the win in the Kentucky Derby.
 
 
7. Palace Malice—[8:2-2-1] It is hard to imagine that a colt with only two wins from eight starts for the year would make the Top 10, but yet here is Palace Malice with exactly that stat. He has had an almost rabid following from day 1 due to being sired by Curlin, and he finally started to show what all the hype was about during the last few months. After his Kentucky Derby freak-out brought to you by first time blinkers, he came back to be the impressive winner of the final leg of the Triple Crown. He then coupled that with a win in the Jim Dandy in which he posted the second fastest win time for the race…ever. Though he finished 4th in the Mid-Summer Derby, his hat is still in the ring for yearend divisional honors.
 
 
8. Dance to Bristol—[9:7-2-0] Her impressive winning streak might have been snapped over the weekend, but in my opinion, she lost nothing in defeat. The Jewel of the Mid-Atlantic racing circuit has raced once a calendar month since February, while the equally talented and undefeated Cluster of Stars, the filly that defeated her in the G2 Gallant Bloom, was coming off a 5 month layoff. She is clearly a very talented filly, and trainer Ollie Figgins, III has done a fantastic job of stepping her up in class gradually and giving her every opportunity to succeed. I fully expect Dance to Bristol to continue to be a force among the nation’s best filly and mare sprinters.
 
 
9. Orb—[7:4-0-2] The Kentucky Derby winner absolutely dominated the division during the first part of the year, but he has not been nearly as impressive during the second half. After a brief freshening at Fair Hill, he did return to run 3rd in the Travers, beaten for it all by less than a length. I really believe he needed that race and look forward to seeing him return to his first half of the year form as the year closes out.
 
 
10. Point of Entry—[2:2-0-0] Since Point of Entry has been sidelined, I have not seen a performance from any other turf router that has made me forget about the son of the late Dynaformer. Had it not been for the injury, I firmly believe he would have repeated in the Sword Dancer, Man O’ War, and the upcoming Joe Hirsch. As it stands, in the two races he has ran in and won this year, he defeated World Cup winner Animal Kingdom, world-record holder Twilight Eclipse, and Arlington Million winner Real Solution. He faces a tall order in trying to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf with no prep race beforehand, but a win there would be one of the biggest comebacks I have ever seen. 

 

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Older Comments about Game On Dude tops my first NTRA Poll...

this one is somewhat like Precisionist but not as good a sprinter.
Laz i have washed my hands with them ,until they win the division with 7 wins,then we get that rabbits foot we are known for.
Well let's see, Breaking Bad is over so nwo I guess we can switch to Playing Bad. I wonder how many season this new show will last.
You are right,if there is one Universal opinion amongst the fans during losing streaks.Fire the Coaching Staff.
Yes, well, that would be my point---the consensus around the D/FW area is that the Cowboys are being "outplayed and outcoached".
Goblin, you just brought the enemy into view. Jerry and the Boys are not a Giant fans favorite topic (Lol)
Y'all are too funny. The G-Men may provide continuing opportunities for blog humor throughout the season; if not, the Cowboys may be an acceptable substitute...
Lucky,talented or a fluke. Ask Dollar Bill Belichek or Tom "Giselle" Brady ,if they would of wanted the rabbits foot we had in our pockets. Goooooooooooooooooooo GIANTS!!!!!
After finally being exposed after their lucky Super Bowl wins, what's the old saying, I CAN'T STOP. But I guess it's time to give you a break, until next Sunday anyway. LMAO
You made me proud Laz, almost misty eyed that our beloved G-Men affected you so much.
Hey Florida Filly, my deepest humbling apology. Tom and Goblin, I guess like the Giants my mind is stuck in the past. I must get with it.
Yes, my mythical 10 million dollar put up.
Was that the bet where I declined to be the mythical stakes holder??
Not to mention Blabs owes me a grand in mytical money,more bragging rigths than anything else.
Yes, I miss amino and his quick (sometimes acerbic) wit. Hope he returns soon.
Those damned G-MEN,they devastated the poor guy.Either that,or he took the Giants +23.5 pts. No word from Amino,if we did not see any posts after TTT was so impressive.I hope all is well.
Hi, Tom, our posts crossed. Poor Laz, Monday mornings are difficult sometimes. :)
Hello Goblin,hope all is well.As i said,he took the Giants loss yesterday,harder than he is leading on.
LAZ, Beholder IS in the current top ten. Please see Ashley's new weekly top ten list in the thread headed, "A Super Top Ten."
LAZ, you are looking at last weeks list my friend.Beholder did make her new list.Look at new thread below.WOW! you took our GIANTS loss harder than i did. You are the true BIG BLUE FAN, amongst us(LOL)

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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.