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Private Jet flies by field, wins Turf Sprint

On paper it looked like the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes would be all about Great Attack and Little Nick, but, though they both hit the board, it was ultimately all about the South African invader Private Jet. Breaking from post five in a diminished field, the seven-year old gelding stalked the pace from the fourth position before blowing by Great Attack, Little Nick, and Marquet Cat in the stretch run. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee completed the five furlong dash in a blistering 55.48, running the final furlong in 11.17. As fast as the time was, though, it still did not come close to the track record Starfish Bay set in February of 2010; Starfish Bay completed the five furlongs in 53.75. The favorite, Great Attack, checked in for the place; and Little Nick, who set the pace, faded late to finish third. Marquet Cat and Wekiva Wachee ran fourth and fifth respectively. Madman Diaries, McCarty, and Black Diamond Cat were all scratched.

In what I found to be an interesting turn of events, Private Jet, who had been listed as the 4-1 third choice on the morning line, failed to interest the bettors and was sent off as the fourth choice. The Orpen gelding ran on Lasix for the first time and had the red hot John Velazquez aboard. Despite this, however, his final odds were 9.1-1, and he paid $20.20 for the win. Going into the race, Private Jet was a bit of an unknown. Today’s race at Gulfstream Park was his first start in the United States after racing in South Africa for his entire career. Additionally, his last listed race was back in September of 2010. Furthermore, all of his works recorded at Belmont Park were not attention grabbers. With the exception of one work, none of his works were fast enough to land him among the top workers for the distance. His final work in preparation for today’s race was a leisurely four furlong move in 50.09.

Private Jet, who had not raced in sixteen months, had been training at Belmont Park with McLaughlin in preparation for his return to the races. In an interview with the Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch, McLaughlin stated, “We’re very proud of him to run like that after such a long layoff. He had breathing problems and has since had surgery. It’s great to see what he can do when he can breathe.” Today’s win makes Private Jet a stakes winner in two countries since he was already a Group 1 winner in South Africa. So far, no announcements have been made regarding future plans for the Argentinian bred gelding.

Private Jet Cartoon courtesy of Marcy Leonard


What the Nation is saying about Private Jet flies by field, wins Turf Sprint...

Nice to see a 7y.o., former Group 1 winner, do well in the States after such a long layoff.


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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 lives in Central Georgia with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. When she is not covering the races, Ashley works with insurance claims, a job she is able to do from home in order to spend as much time as possible with her family. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is passionate about football, reading, and 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.