Tom’s Ready alters course, mows down rivals in Woody Stevens

Profile Picture: James Scully

June 11th, 2016

Tom’s Ready was forced to alter course, dramatically maneuvering his way between rivals in the stretch drive, and utilized a lethal late kick to win going away by 1 ¼ lengths in Saturday’s $500,000 Woody Stephens (G2) at Belmont Park. With Joel Rosario up, the Dallas Stewart-trained colt registered his first stakes victory while cutting back to 7-furlongs off a 12th in the Kentucky Derby.

Owned by Tom & Gayle Benson, Tom’s Ready recorded his only previous win at the same distance, breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs last September. He posted runner-up finishes in the TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) and Lecomte (G3) earlier this season but wasn’t a significant factor either time.

The dark bay son of More Than Ready showed up with his best on Saturday, trailing in last during the early stages before beginning to pick off rivals on the far turn. Justin Squared established a rapid tempo in :21.77 and :44.40, and the forwardly-placed Fish Trappe Road took the lead in upper stretch when the pacesetter retreated.

Fish Trappe Road gamely persevered for runner-up honors at 25-1 odds, but he was no match late for Tom’s Ready, the 7-1 fifth choice among 12 runners.

The winner stopped the teletimer in 1:21.38 and has now earned $577,220 from an 11-2-4-0 scorecard.

Star Hill came next in third at 15-1 and 3-1 favorite Sharp Azteca wound up fourth.

Bred in Pennsylvania by Blackstone Farm LLC, Tom’s Ready is out of the Broad Brush mare Goodbye Stranger and was purchased for $145,000 at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August sale.

Tom’s Ready photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese Photography