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HRN Original Blog:
Florida Filly

Saint of Saints Marches Home

Here it is the end of March, and most of us are focused on the already-proven three-year old colts that are either headed to the Kentucky Derby or are right on the bubble in terms of graded earnings and are trying to make the cut. But what about the promising late bloomers who, for one reason or another, are just now getting their careers started? Earlier in the year I discussed Christopher’s Joy, a colt that had a late start but was two-for-two at Parx before finishing 5th in the Fred “Cappy” Capossela Stakes at Aqueduct. Despite the poor finish, I still have faith in the Exclusive Quality colt. During my recent trip to Gulfstream Park, I had the good fortune to meet “in horse” another colt that I have had my eye on: Saint of Saints. The Saint Anddan colt debuted at the beginning of this month, finishing a game second after chasing a blistering pace. Dream Team Racing Stable and trainer Dale Romans liked what they saw, and since the colt came out of his debut good, they entered him in another maiden special weight on today’s card at Gulfstream.
 
 
Just like in his debut race, Saint of Saints broke well and took up a good early position just behind the pacesetter Unbridled Fire, who set a modest 23.02 first quarter before being pressured into a 45.27 half. Kent Desormeaux, who filled in for the injured Paco Lopez, gave the colt a great ride. He sat pretty chilly on the colt while not letting Unbridled Fire get loose on the lead. Desormeaux brought out the whip leaving the far turn, but once Saint poked his head in front, Desormeaux took him home under a hand ride without having to really push him. Unbridled Fire hung on for the place, and Into the Fray maintained the show after racing in third the entire seven furlongs. Prescott Brown and Shootdeworx rounded out in the field in order of finish.
 
 
I spoke to Kostas Hatzikoutelis (above) of DTRS after the race, and he, his partners, and Romans were as impressed with Saint’s victory as I was. Hatzikoutelis praised the colt’s efficient strid, high cruising speed, maturity, professionalism. He described the colt as easy to love, nice, and kind, but also pointed out that he is all business on the track, an assessment I can full-heartedly agree with from first-hand experience. He also stated, “We knew from training that he had the ability to rate, but we wanted to see him rate a little more and finish out the race strong. He passed the test.” As for future plans for the colt, Hatzikoutelis said they were going to give him a few days to see how he came out of the race but that they intend to send him to Churchill Downs for the Grade 3 Derby Trial on April 28. “We do not intend to dodge anyone with this colt. Most of the top 3-year olds at Churchill will likely be there for the Kentucky Derby, but this will be step up for him,” he stated.
 
 
Each horse develops differently, but Hatzikoutelis and his partners wish they had been able to do something differently in order to have the colt ready sooner. It is still early in the year, though, and I would expect Saint of Saints to become a major player in his division if he does well in the Derby Trial next month.

 

What the Nation is saying about Saint of Saints Marches Home...

I'm very excited about Saint. I really hope he does well at the Derby Trial. I intend to follow his career pretty closely, and Kostas has been very obliging when it comes to discussing this colt.
Saint of Saints to the Derby Trial ... thanks for the scoop, Ashley!

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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 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.