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Breeders' Cup 2017
HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Little Mike scores big win in Joe Hirsch

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Little Mike has not looked the same this year as he did during his championship quality 2012 season. He completely floundered in Dubai and still could not find the winner’s circle once he returned to the United States following his disappointing trip to the Middle East. In fact, in his four starts this year, he never even hit the board. But when it mattered most, Little Mike found his way back to the winner’s circle in a most dramatic fashion.
Going into today’s Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes, all eyes were on the coupled Ramsey entry, particularly the quickly rising Big Blue Kitten. With the Ramsey rabbit Joes Blazing Aaron, speedy King Kreesa, and Little Mike all in the race, the race was supposed to set up so that the other two Ramsey horses would benefit from a lively pace. As it turned out, the pace went according to plan, but it was at the wire where things deviated from the script.
As intended, Joes Blazing Aaron went straight to the lead and set a fairly quick pace for the mile and a half affair. King Kreesa was also forwardly placed early on, as was Imagining. It was Little Mike who broke script, settling just off the leaders rather than competing for the early lead. Relaxed early on and content to let others do the dirty work, rather than fade from contention as he did in this race last year, Little Mike struck the lead in the turn. He went clear early in the stretch, but the quickly closing Ramsey duo of Real Solution and Big Blue Kitten were not going to let him win easily.
Moving together from the back of the field, Real Solution took the overland route while Big Blue Kitten threaded his way through traffic on the inside. Real Solution got to Little Mike first on the outside, but the defending Breeders’ Cup champion turned him away. On the inside, Big Blue Kitten looked to be finishing best of all having finally gotten through on the rail, but Little Mike managed to get his nose on the wire first despite Big Blue Kitten passing him in the next stride.
Passed over by bettors in favor of the formidable Ramsey entries, Little Mike paid $16.80/$5.90/$4.70 and completed the mile and half in 2.25 flat. Big Blue Kitten finished just a nose behind Little Mike followed by stablemate Real Solution. Slumber, Twilight Eclipse, Imagining, King Kreesa, Nutello, and Joes Blazing Aaron rounded out the order of finish.
Jockey Mike Smith’s ability to get Little Mike to relax during the early stages of the race earned the defending champ a fees paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Turf and the opportunity to defend his title. He is the last contender to earn a fees paid berth as the Joe Hirsch was the last “Win and You’re In” event for the Turf. If all goes according to plan, he will again face Real Solution and Big Blue Kitten at Santa Anita along with Ordak Dan, Gold Ship, Novellist, The Fugue, and Vagabond Shoes. 


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Older Comments about Little Mike scores big win in Joe Hirsch...

zXSwordXz--Nice meeting you at BEL yesterday!
It will be interesting to see how RD does if she goes head to head with Beholder. Hopefully it is a good race.
That should be a Royal Delta not the gibberish I wrote
Also I have always liked the Princess, especially after she won me some money in the KY Oaks. I have never been a a Dreaming of Julia, Tean Paulineetc. Fan. Have always felt they were overrated. So was glad to see her win. Though I believe Roual a Delta was using that race as a bit of a tune up and after she stumbled out of the gate, I couldn't see POS losing.
Tmallios. A very good day of racing. Sorry about Orb, but he needs to be turned out and brought into training next year. In the hunter jumper world, a horse that just goes through the motions is called "sour" which is what Orb is unless there is a physical problem.
You are right Buck,i am sure though they know how to count to 10 million.Did you enjoy the races yesterday.I saw good ole Dinny.You would of enjoyed it Laz,in the restaurant.They had on display all of the trophys that were handed out yesterday.
Bp.... LOL!
Laz. Tmallios. SS. I think you guys are giving them too much credit. Do you really think they could find a dictionary, let alone use it?
Laz,please use the correct terminology.They are braindead gutless cowards. With all the shit they got in the media this week.They still come out with no emotion.The worst culprit is the Golly Gee QB we have,who is the major under achiever.
Laz! :X lol
Silence, to a man they don't know what it is. I hear that they're going to look in the dictionary at half time.
In the words of Chris Griffin on Family Guy- Whuuuuuuuuuuuuuut?
That is why i tell my friends when we go to the track,never bring your kids.If you want them to see the horses,i will take them to the Barn area.I have nothing against parents bringing kids to the track.But if the parents are like my friends who just want to gamble.i tell them keep them away.
@Tom..that is great advice. I believe gambling would never be my thing. I think it was hard wire in me not to gamble, uncles and dad never encourage me.
it seems that sooner or later they all lose. Take nothing away from the Princess though,she looked her in the eye and went by her.The scary thing for me as i have sated before.How good is the Princess going to be at the age of 4 & 5. If healthy, i think she will shatter records.
Mott did say after the race that he had won more Breeders' Cups by losing the Beldame than by winning it.
You may be right,similar to what Wilkes said last year after the Classic win, He said that no disrespect for the JCGC and to the winners.But that was not the race we were pointing at to win. Jhn Oxley and J.Ward made the same type statement with Monarchos,they were not looking to empty the tank in the Wood Memorial.They had bigger fish to fry.That is why i still hope thatMott and connections go after the boys in the classic.Regardless of the result. I still feel that she is the best horse right now,male or female.
To me, it really seemed to be an indifferent ride from Smith. It almost like he was riding her like he was trying to keep something in the tank. "If she wins, that's great, but if she doesn't win, then this wasn't the goal anyway." With that being said, it takes absolutely nothing away from Princess of Sylmar's win because I have seen Royal Delta destroy fields while not being pushed at all.
No , i was not trying to use it as an excuse. Honestly the best possible result came in for me.But i was curious,what was your opinion of Smittys ride yesterday.I thought he rode her like a yoyo.I do not know if it was because of the poor start or he saw the rail filly go.He seemed indecissive.He engaged her,then dropped back while racing wide .At tha point,i thought he should of dropped down to the rail and take his shot turning for home.He went after her through a quick 6f . In the meantime Javier just sat back and enjoyed the show in front of him.I am not saying this was the reason and i am not taking anything away from the Princess. But bottom line,everyone knew it was a 2 horse race.For some reason,Mikey decide to race a 3rd. horse. He had tactical position on the Princess,she had to come to him.He should of sat,when he saw Javie coming.That is when he should of sent her.

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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.

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