Tom’s Ready Proves He’s a Sprinting Force in Woody Stephens

OK, so it’s fair to say GMB Racing’s Tom’s Ready wasn’t quite ready for the Kentucky Derby (GI) five weeks ago, but the Dallas Stewart-trained son of More Than Ready was way more than ready for the $500,000 Woody Stephens Stakes (GII) on the Belmont Stakes undercard Saturday.
The field turns for home in the 2016 Woody Stephens on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

The field turns for home in the 2016 Woody Stephens on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

Under jockey Joel Rosario for the first time the bay colt rallied from dead last early, weaved his way through tiring rivals on the far turn, successfully navigated a sharp left-turn in mid-stretch and easily drew away to victory by 1 1/4 lengths over a field of 11 other sophomore rivals. The colt, who earned his first career stakes victory in the Woody Stephens, stopped the clock in 1:21.38 for the seven-furlong distance.

“I could see they were drifting out, so I kind of took a position to get inside, because at that time I didn’t want to stop the momentum,” Rosario said. “He was coming and running really hard at the end. I just didn’t want to stop him.”

At odds of more than 7-1, Tom’s Ready paid $17.20, $9.20 and $6.30. Runner-up Fish Trappe Road capped off the $421 exacta and was good for $20.60 and $11.80 at odds of 25-1, while fellow longshot Star Hill paid $7.40 when he crossed the finish line another half-length back at odds of 15-1. The trifecta paid $3,350.

Tom's Ready rallies to win the Woody Stephens.

Tom’s Ready rallies to win the 2016 Woody Stephens.

Favored Sharp Azteca, Dig Deep, Tale of S’avall, Seymourdini, Counterforce, Awesome Gent, Mrazek, Justin Squared and Imperial Hint completed the order of finish after I Will Score was Scratched.

“I thought he’d be laying fourth or fifth and make that punch, but obviously he likes this one-turn stuff, laying back and moving strong like this,” Stewart said. “I think we’ll keep him at one turn. He won’t run a lot more. He’s run hard all year. I’m going to freshen him up and point him to maybe the King’s Bishop at Saratoga and then the Breeders’ Cup (Sprint).”

Pennsylvania-bred Tom’s Ready was purchased by his current owner for $145,000 as a Fasig-Tipton select yearling in 2014.

Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters, Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager. She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several race horse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull as her favorite horse of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, three Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.