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From Coast to Coast

Profiling the Sunshine Millions: Toby's Corner

Toby’s Corner, stablemate of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, is most famous for defeating 2010 Juvenile Champion Uncle Mo in last year’s Wood Memorial. Aside from knocking off such a formidable foe, the Bellamy Road colt should also be commended for never finishing worse than third in all six of his career starts. With two such impressive factors to his name, he was likely to be one of the top choices for last year’s Kentucky Derby, but trainer Graham Motion had to pull the colt out of training after he developed lameness in his right hind leg. Nuclear bone scans revealed no structural damage, but rather than risk injuring the colt further, it was decided that it would be best to give him a rest. Beginning in September, Toby’s Corner resumed training, working on an Aquatread machine for a month before moving on to jogging under tack. After two or three weeks of jogging, Motion moved his charge into more serious training at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, and the colt has been coming along beautifully, sometimes working alone and other times working with stablemate Animal Kingdom. A couple of weeks ago, both Toby’s Corner and Animal Kingdom were shipped down to Palm Meadows when the weather finally soured in Maryland. When contacted at his Fair Hill base about the two colts, Motion told Gulfstream Park's Publicity Department, “He’s (Toby’s Corner) on the same schedule as Animal Kingdom, or maybe a little ahead of him.”
 
 
Both Toby’s Corner and Animal Kingdom were possibly being pointed toward the Dubai World Cup, but when nominations for the race were released this week, Toby’s Corner’s name was conspicuously absent. Since he will not be running in such a huge overseas race, Toby’s Corner’s name may appear when entries for the Sunshine Millions Classic are released. The colt has not raced since April, but he has been training well at both Fair Hill and Palm Meadows, and judging by his works, he looks ready to roll. The Sunshine Millions Series as a whole has not always drawn the toughest fields, but the Classic field tends to attract some top stars, and this year’s edition looks to be no different. Among the 18 other nominees for the race are Mucho Macho Man, Adios Charlie, Comma to the Top, Duke of Mischief, and Flat Out. That is a tough field to face for any horse but especially one that has not raced in nine months. Long layoffs have not been a problem as of late, however, and Gulfstream Park has been especially adept at returning horses coming off long layoffs to the winner’s circle. Three horses that come immediately to mind in a similar scenario include Adios Charlie, Algorithms, and Trickmeister.
 
 
Handling the distance of the Classic should not be a problem for the Bellamy Road colt. In winning the G1 Wood Memorial, Toby’s Corner proved adept at the mile and an eighth distance necessary to win the Classic. The colt’s sire line consists of proven routers. Bellamy Road won the 2005 running of the Wood Memorial. His sire Concerto won the G2 Jim Beam Stakes and the G3 Clark Handicap, both at a mile and an eighth. Concerto’s sire Chief’s Crown was a multiple Grade 1 winner who hit the board in all three Triple Crown races in 1985 and won the G1 Marlboro Cup, the G1 Travers Stakes, the G1 Blue Grass Stakes, and the G1 Flamingo Stakes. Chief’s Crown was sired by Danzig, and his damsire was the illustrious Secretariat. That is just his sire line. Other ancestors of Toby’s Corner include Mr. Prospector, Damascus, Sword Dancer, Round Table, and Native Dancer. Clearly, distance is not an issue for this colt, and a mile and an eighth appears to be the specialty distance for Toby’s Corner’s sire line as well as the colt’s damsire Mister Frisky.
 
 
Like Mucho Macho Man and Awesome Feather who are also taking the next step on their own comeback trails, Toby’s Corner will have his work cut out for him. Much of his potential success in the Classic will of course depend on which horses are actually entered. If he faces the full force of the handicap division, then he will have to run the race of his life in order to make it to the winner’s circle. His task will be easier if the connections of the other stars opt to skip the Sunshine Millions in favor of a later race. The distance of the race is certainly in his favor, but he has never before raced at Gulfstream, and so far this season, the track has been favoring speed. Toby’s Corner has closed in most of his races, but he has stalked the pace a couple of times. Stalking the pace would probably be the best option for the son of Bellamy Road, but it all depends on his fitness level, too. Personally, I do not look for him to run a bad race because he is much too talented for that. I have to admit that I am rather excited about this colt’s comeback, and though Mucho Macho Man is one of my favorites, I will be hoping that Toby’s Corner runs well.

 

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Older Comments about Profiling the Sunshine Millions: Toby's Corner...

Yea, I saw that, too, but he was nominated for the SM Classic, so I was hoping he would go there rather than one of the sprints.
I read on DRF recently that Toby's Corner will likely return in 7f Super Stakes at Tampa Bay on Feb 11 or 7f GP Sprint Championship on Feb 18.
Disappointing. I was really hoping for Toby's Corner to be included in the field.
Seven enteredin Sunshine Millions Classic: 1. Duke of Mischief (FL), J Bravo, 117, D Fawkes 2. Dream Maestro (FL), J Leyva, 117, W Kaplan 3. Adios Charlie (FL), J Castellano, 117, S Hough 4. Decaf Again (FL), D Centeno, 117, B Rose 5. Turbo Compressor (FL), J Velazquez, 119, T Pletcher 6. Mucho Macho Man (FL), R Dominguez, 117, K Ritvo 7. Ron the Greek (FL), J Lezcano, 117, W Mott
Entries should be posted today or tomorrow. I'll be crossing my fingers that Motion decides to let him go in the Sunshine Millions rather than waiting. It would be a great preview for the rest of the year, especially if all the big stars nominated are actually entered.
It looks like Motion may be pointing him for a sprint stake at either Gulfstream or Tampa Bay instead.

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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.