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HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Joint Return seeks first graded stakes victory in Delaware Oaks

Joint Return wins 2014 Busher
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
 
When eight 3-year old fillies enter the starting gate for the G2 Delaware Oaks this Saturday, all eyes will be on Joint Return. Winner of the local prep, the Our Mims Stakes, at the beginning of June, the daughter of Include has won four of her six starts in 2014. Despite being a three-time stake winner, she will be seeking her first graded stakes victory for trainer John Servis and owner Main Line Racing Stable. Despite what looks to be a favorable projected pace for the filly, earning her first graded victory will be far from a walk in the park for Joint Return.
 
 
Like the probable post time favorite, Lady Paradime and Image of Anna have the advantage of having previous racing experience over the Delaware Park main track. Lady Paradime broke her maiden at second asking going 1 mile 70 yards over this surface back in October. Despite stumbling badly at the break and nearly unseating her rider, the filly recovered to make a bold last to first run, getting up in the final strides. Since then, she’s only added two optional claiming victories to her résumé, but an affinity for the track could help propel her to victory. Conversely, Image of Anna ran second to Joint Return in the Our Mims after showing the way through the early stages of the race. She got away with easy fractions that day, a condition that likely will not happen here with the presence of Honey’s Ryan and Vero Amore.
 
 
Honey’s Ryan enters this spot on a formidable 3 race win streak, albeit one that has not seen her truly tested. She recorded two smashing wins at Remington Park to end her 2-year old season last year and was then given 7 months off from the races. She resurfaced at Thistledown in late May and picked up right where she left off, wiring an allowance field in a solid 1.11:26 for the 6 panels. She takes a major step up in class and stretches out to 1 1/16 mile for the first time, but she could pose a huge threat if she gets loose on the lead.
 
 
Black-type earner Vero Amore ran a huge, brave race when finishing 2nd to Stopchargingmaria in the Black-Eyed Susan two starts back. She bounced badly when cutting back a furlong in the one mile Acorn, but she also did not have the best of trips that day. Shuffled back from her customary front-running position, the Robert Reid, Jr. trained filly ended up at the back of the field taking an overland route before eventually spitting the bit altogether. She had a nice 47:85 half-mile work on June 29, indicating that she’s now ready to fire her best shot and potentially capture her first stakes victory. Pixie Dust, never worse than third in her career, listed stake winner Aibhilin, and Black-Eyed Susan third place finisher Fortune Pearl complete the field.
 
 
Honey’s Ryan, Vero Amore and Image of Anna should ensure a fairly lively pace. Pixie Dust, Lady Paradime, and Fortune Pearl typically like to get good stalking trips; and Joint Return and Aibhilin generally save their best strides for the stretch. Depending on just how fast the three front-runners go through the opening three-quarters, things could set up quite favorably for Joint Return in the stretch drive. However, should she fail to fire, the race very likely could go to any of the other seven fillies. This is by no means an easy spot, but Joint Return with jockey Kendrick Carmouche aboard looks to have the foundation to get the job done. 

 

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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.