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

Tom's Tribute collects Eddie Read victory

Tom's Tribute Eddie Read 615 X 400
Photo: Benoit Photo
Devoid of the West Coast’s turf heavyweights, the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes was anyone’s game. It looked like a good spot for Summer Front to collect that elusive grade 1 victory he has been chasing for 3 years or an excellent spot for Unbridled Command to get back on track after being absent from the starting gate for more than a year. Instead it was upstart Tom’s Tribute that collected the victory.
Quick out of the gate, Tom’s Tribute immediately strode to the front of the field but settled in nicely behind Horizontalyspeakin when it became clear that rival wanted the lead. Comfortably tucked in on the rail, Tom’s Tribute tracked the leader through fractions of 23:84 and 46:95. It was a rail trip for all as the compact field of six raced single file through a good portion of the race with all content with their position.
In the far turn, Tom’s Tribute finally made a move after Horizontalyspeakin and collared that rival at the top of the lane. Winning jockey Mike Smith stated, “He really relaxed today. That’s the key with this horse. It was nice having that pace up front. We sat in right behind him (early leader Horizontalyspeakin) and were real comfortable. Because he was so relaxed, when it came time he had lots. He won like he wanted to.”
While Tom’s Tribute was pulling away from the early leader, to his outside, Summer Front was determinedly charging after him, but his best fell short yet again as Smith confidently urged his charge forward to the wire, winning by a length in a half in a final time of 1.46:01 for the nine furlong affair.
“He ran a good race. The winner gets all the credit. I was closer than I wanted to be, but that’s not an excuse,” jockey Joe Bravo, who piloted Summer Front to his runner-up effort, said about the duo’s trip following the race.
Spring Up closed from second last to get up for third. The order of finish was completed by pacesetter Horizontalyspeakin, Unbridled Command and Cogito.
Sent off at odds of 2-1, Tom’s Tribute paid $6.60/$3.20/$2.80. Runner up Summer Front returned $2.40/$2.20, and third place finisher Spring Up paid $3.80. The $1 exacta was worth $5.70, the $1 trifecta paid $16.00, and the $1 superfecta returned $38.10.
Winning trainer Jim Cassidy was happy with his charge’s effort in his first grade 1 victory. “It was a beautiful ride. I think I’ll vote for Mike Smith for the Hall of Fame next year. You’ve got to get this horse to relax, that’s the key, and today Mike got him to relax and (Tom’s Tribute) was the most professional of any race he’s run,” he exclaimed.
As to the newly minted grade 1 winner’s next race, Cassidy stated, “We had originally planned on the Del Mar Mile and not this race, but then I changed my mind. I don’t know what’s next but we’ll be thinking about the Breeders’ Cup.”
By Lion Heart, and out of the El Prado mare Halloween Fun, Tom’s Tribute visited the auction ring twice. As a yearling, he sold for $60,000 to Purpoodock Bloodstock at the Keeneland 2011 September Yearling Sale. His stock greatly increased in a short time as Marilyn Braly purchased him for $310,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company 2012 Selected Two-Year Olds in Training Sale. With today’s win, the chestnut colt improved his record to 12: 5-3-1 for total purse earnings of $442,880. 


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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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