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HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Step Back is Step Forward for Doubles Partner

Doubles Partner 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
Since March 2011, Doubles Partner has raced exclusively in stakes company. In that two year span, the bay son of Rock Hard Ten captured a pair of Grade 3 races and ran very well to finish in the money behind some of the nation’s top turf milers and routers. After a disappointing 7th place finish in the G2 Dixie Stakes on the Preakness undercard, his first worse-than-4th place finish since March 2010, trainer Todd Pletcher decided that a class break was in order. 
 
 
Two scratches left Doubles Partner with only four foes in today’s feature, an $81,000 optional-claiming event at 1 mile on the turf, at Belmont Park. Though Doubles Partner was cutting back to a mile, Pletcher felt that there shouldn’t be any problem as long as he had some pace to run at. Jockey John Velazquez and trainer Eddie Kenneally evidently knew how dangerous Doubles Partner would be if the pace was quick because at the break, Velazquez put Joes Blazing Aaron under a tight lock in order to keep the pace as moderate as possible. El Commodore, the other speed in the race, did not press the issue but rather was content to sit right off Aaron through fractions of :24.46 for the opening quarter and :48.54 for the half.
 
 
Despite the sensible pace, Joes Blazing Aaron had no answer for Doubles Partner or Admiral Perry when those two were called on for their best stride. He stubbornly tried to fight off the top two but was finally collared inside the final sixteenth. Doubles Partner forged to the front and pulled away late to cross the wire 1 ¼ lengths in front of second place finisher Admiral Perry. It was another 1 ¼ length back to pacesetting Joes Blazing Aaron, and Ninety Schillings and El Commodore rounded out the field. The final time was 1.36:54 over the “good” surface.
 
 
Today’s win was the son of Rock Hard Ten’s first since capturing the G3 Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park in March 2012 over Data Link and Little Mike. With a confidence boosting win under his belt, it is likely that the next time Doubles Partner enters the starting gate, he will do so in graded stakes company. He consistently runs well even when he does not win, so look for this one to continue to make some noise in the big turf races as we enter the second half of the year, particularly in races 8 – 8.5 furlongs long. 

 

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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.