Charlottesville’s Ed and Pat Schuler Celebrate Stakes Win

In August, Charlottesville-based Ed and Pat Schuler celebrated their first Saratoga win with So Lonesome, a 2-year-old son of Awesome Again. Now, a few months later, they are celebrating the gelding’s first stakes win in the Virgo Libra Stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday.

The Virgo Libra represented a number of firsts for the $55,000 Saratoga Preferred purchase. So Lonesome stretched out to a mile and ran over the weeds for the first time in the $100,000 contest. After breaking his maiden over 6 ½ furlongs on the main track at Saratoga, So Lonesome ran second in allowance company at Belmont (6 furlongs on the dirt) and made his stakes debut over 7 furlongs in the Bertram Bongard in October, where he ran third.

Virginia-owned So Lonesome dominated in the Virgo Libra Stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday.

Virginia-owned So Lonesome dominated in the Virgo Libra Stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday.

Pat Schuler had her misgivings about trying So Lonesome on the turf in the Virgo Libra.

“(Trainer) Tom (Bush) had wanted to work him on the grass at Belmont and they shut down the grass track, and I said, ‘Do you think we can still run him on the grass?’ and he said, ‘I think he can do it,’” Schuler said. “I still had misgivings, but he did it!”

Despite running rank early and a wide trip, So Lonesome whipped up from a posterior position in the field and nailed the victory by a head in the final strides of the race. The final time was 1:39.08. So Lonesome came back looking barely-tested.

Schuler laughed, “Tom said, ‘He couldn’t have blown out a match.’ He was not the least bit tired!”

Schuler credits the added distance to So Lonesome’s stakes success.

“When I talked to Tom, he said, ‘I think the horse can run on the grass, he can run on the poly, he can run on the dirt – I think this horse can run on anything,’” Schuler said. “The whole thing with him is getting him to go longer.”

So Lonesome will ship down to Palm Meadows with Bush’s string for the winter, where he will get a month or so off to rest and work through a growth spurt. Bush and the Schulers will evaluate the next steps in 2014.

“Tom told me he’s extremely athletic and he’s really excited about him,” Schuler said. “When the trainer gets excited it makes you feel a little good!”

Virginia-owned So Lonesome dominated in the Virgo Libra Stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday.

Virginia-owned So Lonesome dominated in the Virgo Libra Stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday.