Race of the Week 2017
HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Tapiture noses out Candy Boy in thrilling West Virginia Derby

Tapiture beats Candy Boy in 2014 West Va. Derby.
Photo: Coady Photography


With nowhere to go on the inside or in between foes, Tapiture shifted to the outside of the track, regathered his momentum and got his nose down on the wire in the final strides in a thrilling renewal of the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer.


Under the expert piloting of jockey Rosie Napravnik, Tapiture settled in fifth, just behind the early pace set by Vicar's In Trouble. As the field entered the clubhouse turn, Tapiture had to steady slightly off the heels of Only I Know. The splits were moderate, the opening quarter going up in :23.39 and the first half in :47.23. Despite Only I Know, For Goodness Sake, Key for Success and Candy Boy trading running positions in the first flight, there was no huge change in the running order until the field made their way into the far turn.


With Vicar's In Trouble still showing the way into the far turn, Tapiture advanced up the inside and Candy Boy swung up on the outside, preparing to be set down for the stretch drive. Wheeling for home, Vicar's In Trouble shifted toward the rail after running in about the 3 path for the entirety of the race, effectively shutting off any continuing move up the inside by Tapiture. 


Undaunted, Napravnik asked Tapiture to swing to the outside of both Candy Boy and "Vicar." Inside the final 70 yards, Candy Boy gained the advantage over pacesetting Vicar's In Trouble, but Tapiture was coming strong despite having altered course at the top of the lane. With the wire looming, Tapiture got up in the final couple of strides to hand Candy Boy a heartbreaking nose loss at the last minute. The final time for the 9 furlong affair was 1:50.66.


Vicar's In Trouble saved the show, and Classic Giacnroll closed for fourth after getting off to an awkward start. The order of finish was completed by For Goodness Sake, Divine View, Key for Success and Only I Know.


Sent off as the 9-5 second choice, Tapiture paid $5.60/$2.60/$2.20 for the win. Morning line and post time favorite Candy Boy returned $2.60/$2.20 off 8-5 odds, and Vicar's In Trouble third place finish was worth $2.80. The $2 exacta paid $13.60, the $2 trifecta returned $36.80, and the $1 superfecta was worth $84.70.


By Tapit and out of the Olympio mare Free Spin, Tapiture is a homebred for Winchell Thoroughbreds and is trained by Steven Asmussen. Those same connections also manage Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable. Today's victory improved Tapiture's career tally to 10: 4-2-2, and the $456,750 winner's share of the $750,000 WV Derby purse bumped the chestnut over the $1 million mark to $1,014,060. He previously won the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club as a juvenile before taking the G3 Southwest and the G3 Matt Winn earlier this year.


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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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