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FAVORED TOM’S TRIBUTE HANDY 2 ¼ LENGTH WINNER OF $70,000 UNIFORMITY STAKES, CASSIDY SOPHOMORE TO POINT TO GRADE I HOLLYWOOD DERBY ON DEC. 1
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 20, 2013)—The heavy even money favorite in a field of six, Tom’s Tribute, with Mike Smith up, overhauled pacesetting Rosengold inside the eighth pole to win Sunday’s $70,000 Uniformity Stakes for 3-year-olds by 2 ¼ lengths, getting about 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in 1:12.14.
An impressive allowance winner going one mile on turf Sept. 29, Tom’s Tribute, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Lion Heart, was trying the hill for the first time in his sixth career start for trainer Jim Cassidy.
“I had no concerns whatsoever about his ability to handle the dirt crossing or anything else coming down the hill,” said Cassidy. “He was a little keen early. He got into the race a little earlier than I expected, but Mike got him settled down right away. He’s an easy horse to ride, you can kinda put him anyplace.
“I’m leaning towards running him in the Hollywood Derby (Grade I, Dec. 1) next. We were thinking about the Twilight Derby here (Grade II, Nov. 1), but it’s a little quick. Mrs. Braly (owner, Marily) is a great person and she wanted to name this horse for Tom (late husband). A lotta times, when you name horses for someone, it doesn’t work out, but this horse is special.”
Solidly backed throughout the betting, Tom’s Tribute paid $4.00, $2.80 and $2.40.
“This horse just keeps getting better with each and every race,” said Smith, who is now a perfect three for three on Tom’s Tribute. “I was a little concerned about the hill, just because we have to cross the dirt. Sometimes he jumps a little. He looks around a lot of times, but he was professional crossing the dirt so I was very proud of him.”
Owned by the Braly Family Trust, Tom’s Tribute picked up $43,260 for the win, hiking his earnings to $138,980 and improving his record to three wins and two seconds from six starts.
Rosengold, the 9-2 second choice in the race with Martin Garcia, finished a half length in front of Appealing Tale and paid $4.00 and $3.00.
Appealing Tale, with Edwin Maldonado up, was next to last early towards the rail, moved into contention going to the quarter pole and shifted out three-deep for the drive to finish three quarters of length in front of Procurement and Gary Stevens.
Off at 9-2, Appealing Tale paid $3.00 to show.
Live racing will resume at Santa Anita on Thursday, with first post time at 1 p.m.