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HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Sophomore Soiree is a Tour de Force

Sophomore Soiree day at Gulfstream Park ended up being a veritable tour de force for many of the winners. Four stakes races for 3-YOs were on today’s card, but it was not just the stakes runners that were making statements. Three winners of non-stakes races combined to win their races by 20 ¾ lengths.
 
Easily the most impressive winner of the day was Live Lively, a dark bay filly by Medaglia d’Oro. Setting all the pace, Live Lively cruised through splits of 22.42 and 44.96 before pulling away to win the 7 furlong contest by 11 ¼ lengths in a final time of 1.23:14. Today’s win makes the speedy filly 2 for 3 lifetime. She was beaten in her debut race in June by stakes placed Baby J but returned to the starting gate five months later to break her maiden at second asking in a 5 ½ furlong affair. The increase in distance obviously did her a world of good, as evidenced by her convincing victory against winners. 
 
Let’s Go Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher sent out Verrazano (More Than Ready—Enchanted Rock, by Giant’s Causeway) in the second race on the card, a maiden race for three year olds. The bay colt immediately proved why Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez are a duo to be reckoned with at Gulfstream. After tracking the pace through the first stages of the race, Verrazano began to advance through the turn before taking charge of the race and pulling away to win by 7 ¾ lengths. He stopped the clock in 1.16:48 for the 6 ½ furlong race. Verrazano’s next race is yet to be determined. 
 
Bradester was also impressive in his first start against winners. Under Jose Lezcano, the bay son of Lion Heart sat just off the pacesetters through most of the race. Coming into the stretch, he moved up to vie for the lead while racing greenly. Once Lezcano got his mount straightened out, the duo continued on, gaining and holding the lead. Bradester has proven in his three lifetime starts that he likes a bit of distance. In his debut race, a seven furlong affair, he finished second, nine lengths behind the winner. In his second start, trainer Eddie Kenneally placed him in a mile and a sixteenth race, and Bradester pulled away to win by 3 ¼ lengths while being kept to the task at hand. 
 
Live Lively and Bradester could easily have raced in stakes company today. Though I am not sure if there was any catching Kauai Katie in the G3 Old Hat, Live Lively was so impressive in her race that she surely would have given Katie a run for her money. Bradester was in fact nominated to the Gulfstream Park Derby, won by Itsmyluckyday, but Kenneally’s first choice for his charge was the allowance race if it filled. It did fill, and the rest you already know. With two wins over a route of ground and his next start likely being the G3 Holy Bull, it looks like we will be seeing more of Bradester in the lead up to the Kentucky Derby. Shanghai Bobby had better watch his back because Bradester is coming for him and distance has not yet proven to be a problem. 

 

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Older Comments about Sophomore Soiree is a Tour de Force...

Top Beyers from yesterday include Kauai Katie - 101, Itsmyluckyday - 95, and Live Lively - 94.
After seeing her decimate the Old Hat field, I'm really excited for a potential match-up with Groupie Doll later on down the road. It would be nice to see it at this meet, but I doubt her connections would want to run KK against her elders so early in the year.
It was a really nice card at Gulfstream. Kauai Katie will be a force in the Sprint division this year.
Woohoo! I like the competition :)

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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.