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Purple Egg Looks Golden at Tampa Bay

Purple Egg, the gelding named for the way Goodwood Racing partner Sven Johnson's wife looked in a purple sweater while pregnant, looks well on his way to making the starting gate of the 2013 Kentucky Derby. That was not always the case, though. It took the unusually named son of Lion Heart three tries to even attempt to break his maiden due to bad behavior. The first time he went to the starting gate he reared up and ran off. The second time he turned on his lead pony and knocked the pony girl off despite trainer Jane Cibelli walking out with him. 
Such bad behavior resulted in Purple Egg being gelded. The surgery made a world of difference, and the third time became the charm. Sent off as the second choice in his debut, Purple Egg dueled through grueling fractions of 21.95 and 46.11. Such fractions would have burnt out most first time starters, but Purple Egg did not get that memo. Instead, he drew off in the stretch to win by 4 3/4 lengths. The 3-YO gelding following up his dazzling debut with a convincing allowance win and a hard fought stakes win, making him 3 for 3 at three different tracks.
The Gulfstream Park Derby was to have been Purple Egg's 2013 bow, but the gelding missed the race after spiking a fever. His next race could either be the Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs or the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream, but since he is stabled at Tampa Bay and being pointed to that track's big Kentucky Derby preps, Cibelli will probably choose to run her charge in the Pasco. Regardless of what his next start is, his road to the Kentucky Derby is set to go through Tampa Bay, a road that should get him to the starting gate on the first Saturday of May with little to no trouble.
Over the last ten years, the Sam F. Davis Stakes and the Tampa Bay Derby have not exactly been known for showcasing true Derby talent. Of the last ten winners of the Sam F. Davis, six did not even start in the Derby, and Bluegrass Cat's second place Derby finish was the closest the Sam F. Davis came to producing a Kentucky Derby winner. The Tampa Bay Derby has fared a little better. In 2007, Street Sense won the Tampa Bay Derby en route to a Kentucky Derby victory. The TB Derby also produced the 2009 third place finisher and the 2004 fourth place finisher, Musket Man and Limehouse respectively.
Given such recent history in Cibelli's chosen prep races for Purple Egg, I see no reason why The Egg shouldn't reach the Kentucky Derby starting gate with at least 60 points after winning both races. Though he has yet to race beyond 6 furlongs, distance should not be a problem. After all, his sire ran a good second behind stand out Smarty Jones in the 2004 Kentucky Derby, was a winner at 9 furlongs, and competitive at most traditional route distances up to 10 furlongs. Yes, he may be the Purple Egg, but right now, he's looking pretty golden.


What the Nation is saying about Purple Egg Looks Golden at Tampa Bay...

Lion Heart seems like one of the hottest sires for this year's sophomore class. I had no idea of the 2 unruly failed starts that led to the Egg being gelded, but if he continues to progress in his talent, I hope we see him healthy and racing for many years to come.
I've heard that Tampa Bay paddock host Margo Flynn is also involved in the partnership of Purple Egg.
With his unusual name, it's hardly surprising. I'm ready to see him stretch out.
The egg has quickly become one of the most popular horses on the Derby trail.


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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.