Race of the Week 2017
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From Coast to Coast

Wildcat Red wins a slugfest in Fountain of Youth

A new rivalry is emerging in South Florida between General a Rod and Wildcat Red. The last time the two colts met, Wildcat Red lost a close decision to the Maker trainee in the Gulfstream Park Derby on New Year’s Day. In the interim, General a Rod trained up to today’s G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes while Wildcat Red picked apart a field of eight rivals in the G3 Hutcheson Stakes on February 1. Today marked the second time the two colts have faced each other, and they wasted no time in taking it to one another straight out of the gate.
Breaking from adjacent posts 4 and 5, Wildcat Red and General a Rod shot straight to the front and quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field. Posting splits of 23:03 and 46:25, the duo raced in tandem. At the quarter mile call, Wildcat Red had the lead by a neck. By the half mile call, General a Rod had gained the lead by a quarter length. By the three-quarter mile call, however, Wildcat Red had regained the lead and refused to concede it from there on out.
Running what appeared to be a completely different race behind the dueling leaders, C. Zee and Medal Count were duking it out in the third and fourth positions. Betting favorite, Top Billing languished in his usual spot at the rear of the field, and third betting choice Commissioner took up position in mid-field. As the field approached the far turn, Top Billing and jockey Joel Rosario launched their bid up the rail, slowly followed by long shot East Hall.
Exiting the turn, Wildcat Red and General a Rod continued on for home, and Top Billing wheeled out of the turn in third, switching to the outside to continue his bid to catch the leaders. Hitting the three-quarter call in 1.10:13, the leading duo continued on strong, maintaining their advantage to the wire. Try as Top Billing might, he could only pull within 2 lengths of the first and second place finishers. It was a photo for the top spot, with Wildcat Red turning the tables on General a Rod to get the win by a scant head.
Despite the narrow margin of victory and race long duel, jockey Luis Saez, who was aboard Wildcat Red for the first time, was confident in his mount. “At the top of the stretch, I knew I was going to win the race, because my horse, all the time he tries so hard. When we came into the stretch, he fight, and he never let the other horse pass him. He’s a great horse,” Saez stated. “(At the wire) I wasn’t sure, but I thought I got the win,” he then admitted.
As the 9-2 fourth betting choice, Wildcat Red returned $11.00/$5.00/$3.40 for a $2 wager. He completed and the mile and a sixteenth race in 1.41:85. Third betting choice General a Rod paid $4.60/$3.20, and favored Top Billing returned $2.60 for getting up for the show. East Hall closed from the back of the field to round out the superfecta. As a Road to the 2014 Kentucky Derby championship race, Wildcat Red received 50 points for the win, General a Rod received 20 points for the place, Top Billing received 10 points for the place, and East Hall was awarded 5 points for finishing 4th.
The $2 exacta was worth $46.20, the $1 trifecta paid $72.60, and the $1 superfecta returned $906.60. The order of finish was completed by Medal Count, Commissioner, Our Caravan, We Miss Artie, Best Plan Yet, C. Zee, Almost Famous, and Hesinfront.
Trainer Jose Garoffalo was rightfully triumphant about his colt’s victory, “We proved that we were right, that the horse could get the distance. I thought (General a Rod) was the horse to beat and the race was a copy of the last race, the Gulfstream Park Derby, but this time I got lucky and beat him.”
In regards to Wildcat Red being sent so early, Garoffalo explained, “Javier knows my horse, that’s why he went after him very early. When my horse feels another horse alongside, he runs harder. Now we can think seriously about the (Kentucky) Derby. He never quits and he likes that—to feel the horse next to him.” So long as Wildcat Red comes out of the Fountain of Youth in good order, the G1 Florida Derby on March 29 will be the next step. From there, if all goes according to plan, Garoffalo plans to take Wildcat Red straight to Churchill Downs to prepare for the Kentucky Derby.
Garoffalo purchased Wildcat Red at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company 2013 June Two-year olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale for $30,000 on behalf of Honors Stable Corp. A son of D’wildcat out of the Miner’s Mark mare Racene, Wildcat Red has paid dividends on his initial purchase price, winning purses worth a total of $490,850. He improved his overall career record to 6: 4-2-0 with today’s victory. 


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Older Comments about Wildcat Red wins a slugfest in Fountain of Youth...

Most of the writers have labeled Wildcat Red as only a fast sprinter due to his sire's bloodline. However,his dam Racene, is out of Miner's Mark who was by Mr. Prospector and the undefeated champion and blue hen Personal Ensign. Miner's Mark won the 1 1/4 mile Jockey Club Gold Cup which is a Grade 1 stakes. Personal Ensign was undefeated in 16 races. War Emblem is the son of Miner's Mark full brother, Our Emblem. Wildcat Red has a very classy female family. And although, his sire is from top class sprinters they are a very classy group as well.
East Hall was definitely impressive, made a Top Billing-esque move, just waited a bit too long. GP Derby proved very key in this race, but I don't like the top two going much longer.
Both Top Billing and East Hall were impressive in closing from last and second last to run 3rd and 4th.
ill take top bnilling out of any of those three yr olds top two are sprinters they wont be anywhere near the finish in the derby
101 BSF for Wildcat Red
Exciting race!
Exciting race!
I think Skid sums it up pretty well, but I think TB is more than *good enough*. Time will tell.
Great race. This will probably be the farthest that Wildcat wins at; General A Rod may have a future in early May. Top Billing was good enough. Still early but he looks like the real deal. Commisioner was disappointing.
Now you can think about the Kentucky Derby ? Why ? Because your horse got 1 1/16th ? Get 1 1/8th and then tell me he is Derby ready.
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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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