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HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Sweet Lulu aces stern "Test"

West Coast invader Sweet Lulu shipped into the Spa from California and schooled her East Coast competition. Despite today’s race being her first on traditional dirt, first stakes race, and first race outside California, Sweet Lulu ran like she was right at home and not even a speed duel or a furious stretch drive effort from the runner-up could stop her win streak.
Straight out of the gate for the G1 Test Stakes, Sweet Lulu and Baby J immediately hooked up on the front end. The two fleet fillies threw down the gauntlet and blitzed through scorching fractions of 22:28 for the opening quarter and 44:95 for the half. As the field turned for home, Baby J folded and Wildcat Lily, who had patiently tracked the dueling leaders, took up where Baby J left off and tried her best to run down Sweet Lulu.
Wildcat Lily drew on even terms with her Californian rival, but Sweet Lulu channeled her inner Gandalf, looked Wildcat Lily in the eye and told her, “You shall not pass!” Wildcat Lily did manage to briefly head her rival, but Sweet Lulu’s will to win saved the day, helping the filly get her head back in front. Despite the speed duel which would have sapped a less courageous filly, Sweet Lulu still had enough tenacity to turn back the Prioress runner-up’s bid.
My Happy Face settled toward the back of the field and launched her bid in the turn. Even though she was floated 7 wide coming out of the turn, she closed smartly to finish just a neck behind Wildcat Lily, who was a head behind Sweet Lulu. So Many Ways, Lighthouse Bay, Irish Lute, I’m Mom’s Favorite, and Baby J completed the order of finish.
After the grueling early pace, Sweet Lulu, under pressure from Wildcat Lily and My Happy Face, came home in 38:50 to complete the 7 furlong race. With the winner’s $300,000 share of the half a million purse, Sweet Lulu more than tripled her career earnings and proved that she was well worth her yearling purchase price of $270,000 for owner Steve Beneto. She also justified trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s decision to dive straight into Grade 1 company with the talented filly despite her having never faced that caliber of competition before today.
Though Sweet Lulu had never raced on dirt prior to today, she was not completely inexperienced over the surface. As a two-year old, the Mr. Greeley filly trained at Pleasanton. Hollendorfer said that she liked it and when he asked jockey Julien Leparoux about a potential surface switch following the filly’s optional claiming victory last out, Leparoux replied affirmatively, stating that he thought she would handle the dirt better. Her gutsy win today proved them both right.
Hollendorfer stated after the race that the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint was obviously a race he would take a look at but that he hadn’t made any long-range plans for his newly minted Grade 1 winner.


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Older Comments about Sweet Lulu aces stern "Test"...

And to think, this Hollendorfer filly won there. Amazing.
Synthetic courese at the spa. EVERYTHING there is traditional and that why top rate
I didn't know that Saratoga had a synthetic course.
speaking of Groupie Doll, based on the stats of her work, it looked REALLY good.
I certainly wouldn't leave Groupie Doll out of that discussion, Ronald. It is a bit disappointing that Kauai Katie won't be back until next year, however. Baby J is good, but I think she's more effective at 6 panels. Wildcat Lily has been surprisingly good despite having come from Calder. She's a tough filly and not to be discounted.
How do after the fact speed racing numbers help when you are handicapping? They are not there then.
We will have a rematch in breeders cup sprint filly and mares, wildcat lily vs sweet lulu, two best sprinter right now in the united states
A 91 BSF for Sweet Lulu in the Test.
Maybe one day, Mary!
You should totally write Thoroughbred racing books, Ashley. I loved this re-telling of a thrilling Test, with the best ending!

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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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