Golden Lad shines in Mountainview Handicap

Golden Lad shines in Mountainview Handicap
Photo: Averie Levanti

When the Pimlico Special came up tough, the $200,000 Mountainview Handicap at Penn National became a popular landing spot for entrants scratched from the Pimlico Special. Both Kid Cruz and Albano were scratched from the Pimlico Special in favor of this spot, but in the end, the Mountainview Handicap came up just as tough. Looking for an easier spot did not work out for either Kid Cruz or Albano as Golden Lad brought his A+ game and put on a show.

Breaking from Post 8 with Javier Castellano in the irons, Golden Lad broke sharply and immediately moved inward to grab a nice, ground-saving rail spot. He then settled into second, just to the inside of longshot Very Lucky. Albano and East Hall followed in behind those two with the rest of the field strung out behind them.

Racing on nearly even terms, Very Lucky and Golden Lad clicked off strong fractions of :23.13, :47.05 and 1:11.44. As the duo rounded the far turn and hit the top of the stretch, Very Lucky valiantly tried to keep things interesting, but Golden Lad shook off that foe and opened up on the field. With the win never in doubt in the stretch, it became a race for the minor placings as Golden Lad continued to pull away from his rivals. At the wire, Golden Lad was a comfortable 5 lengths ahead of the runner-up and stopped the clock for the 1 1/8 mile race in 1:49.95.

Kid Cruz, who did not have the best of beginnings, circled the field and closed from dead last after having spotted the leaders more than a dozen lengths to get up for second. Nowalking came through on the inside to take over third, and pace-setting Very Lucky hung on to save fourth.

East Hall faded slightly to finish fifth and was followed in order by Edge of Reality, Albano, Farhaan, Street Babe, Cousin Stephen and Golden Glint.

Winning rider Javier Castellano had been concerned about his trip aboard Golden Lad but acknowledged that everything ended up working out in their favor. "I was concerned a little bit with the horse right next to me tightening me all the way in the race. But my horse did so well today. He didn’t mind another horse right next to him. To be honest, I didn’t expect to be on the lead, but he broke so well at the gate," Castellano explained. "I used my own judgment and took it from there. I didn’t want to get into a duel because it’s a mile and an eighth. It’s not a short race. But, fortunately, the horse ran so well. The way he traveled today, he traveled so good. He just felt like he wanted to go, and when I asked he responded. I could feel the acceleration. He reacted nice and smooth and picked it up very well."

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As the 9-5 favorite, Golden Lad paid $5.80/$3.60/$3.40. Kid Cruz, off 6-1 odds, returned $5.00/$3.80. Fifteen-to-one longshot Nowalking returned $7.60 for the show. The $2 exacta paid $39.00, the $0.50 trifecta returned $81.90 and the $0.10 superfecta was worth $203.94.

By Medaglia d’Oro and out of the Seeking the Gold mare Broadway Gold, Golden Lad is a homebred for E. Paul Robsham Stables and is trained by Todd Pletcher. The 5-year old bay is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner and grade 1 placed R Gypsy Gold and multiple graded stakes winner and Kentucky Oaks runner-up Broadway’s Alibi. Since beginning his career nearly two years ago to the day, Golden Lad has put together a 14: 7-2-0 record for purse earnings of $466,220. Prior wins include the Essex Handicap and the G3 Razorback Handicap.

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, which led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few 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 befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.

Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation covering 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. A move North to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the From Coast to Coast blog for HRN. 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.

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