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Breeders' Cup 2017
HRN Original Blog:
Bay Area Backstretch

Tamarando from last to first in the El Camino Real Derby

Tamarando El Camino Real 615 X 400
Photo: Don August


When Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer learned his local star Exit Stage Left would miss the Grade 3, $200,000 El Camino Real Derby with an injury, he promptly went to his also eligible list and pulled up a substitute to line up in the eight horse field.

Tamarando turned out to be quite a choice.

Using his patented lane running style, the son of Bertrando circled the field from last under all-time wins leader Russell Baze, and got up in the final strides for a half-length win over Dance With Fate and jockey Aaron Gryder. The post- time favorite, Enterprising with jockey Gary Stevens up, finished third in the 1 1/8 mile contest.

Tamarando receives 10 points in the race for the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

“That’s an excellent substitute,” said Baze after winning his fourth El Camino Derby in the past 6 years. “He’s a very quality individual. There’s going to be a lot of good things coming from this colt. He’s got a lot of talent.”

Tamarando, who won the Del Mar Futurity as a two year old last year, had previously run all his races in southern California. His prior two races was a runner up performance to California Chrome in the Cal Cup Derby and a third place effort in the CashCall Futurity, where he finished behind stablemate Shared Belief and runner up Candy Boy. Both of those two have gotten a lot of Kentucky Derby press as of late.

But back to the El Camino.

Tamarando figured to have the best late kick in a field full of mid pack runners and closers. All that was lacking was some speed to set it up. That role was played by I’ll Wrap It Up but the fractions of 24.4 and 49.3 didn’t  favor the closer as much as it was suppose to help Dance With Fate and Enterprising, who stalked the leader down the backside. When they approached the top of the stretch, those two went on with it as Gryder put away Stevens and Enterprising, only to fall victim to the late kick of the winner.

“We had a great trip,” Stevens said. “ When we hit the quarter pole I was sensing Aaron had the best of me and I was wondering where Tamarando was, I knew he was going to come running. My horse didn’t pick up for me like I thought he was going to. No excuses.”

Despite the pedestrian pace, Baze had no trouble picking up the leaders when he asked.

“I would have liked to seen a little more pace ,” Baze said. “But when you have bunch of horses going a 1 1/8 mile for the first time you aren’t going to get a lot of pace. Going into the turn I was able to get to the outside and away he went. He made a nice long move. Jerry put me on a good one.”

Hollendorfer liked what he saw but was non committal about what was next for his star.

“ I don't think anybody knew what to expect in the race. With not a lot of speed in there it becomes a rider's race. Russell thought he was in the right spot and evidently he was," Hollendorfer said. "There are a lot of races coming up for three year-olds and a lot of money to run for. We are grateful to have a good one.” 



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Older Comments about Tamarando from last to first in the El Camino Real Derby...

In reading various news reports this A.M., I see that Tamarando's BSF for this race was 91 per DRF. https://twitter.com/DRFByronKing
solid run but not the best competition...I just don't see him being a solid contender for the Run for the Roses.
The El Camino Jerry Stakes.
Okay,then i can see your point. Personally i do not think he is good enough to beat the big boys.This is not a bash,i like him alot. Just some of the others are more talented.Iam sure i might be wrong,but i truly think this guys future is very bright. He is basiccally and rightfully so,commited to the upcoming Triple Crown Races.Hopefully he can get lucky and get a piece in one of those races. His time will come when all of the commitments are put to bed.Then Hollendorfer can pick his spots and do some damage.But just to give a barometer of his ability. This is not trashing any of the East Coast contingent,including my guy Almost Famous.The last 2 speed figures Tammie has run,make him faster than any of the East Coast horse. My issue with him is that he has been running these numbers for 4 months. Fast ,but no development. If a horse cannot go forward on his speed(regardless if they win or not) then those races become major efforts. Something you want your horse to keep away from. When they start over exerting,that is when bad things happen.
i agree tom i just want him to run here close to me so i can see him in person. turfway would be an identical easy spot like yesterday
I disagree Buzz,this guy has shown to be an honest and hard knocking horse who shows up every race. Regardless if Dirt or Poly he seems to run the same Speed Figure. My comment to them would be keep running him on the dirt until he shows you he cannot be competetive. The only difference so far is that when he ran on the dirt against the Chrome. He might of ran against the best 3yo in America. Yesterday he faced basic Allowance Horses who were given an opportunity to run in a Stakes race by name only. I would run him in the Santa Anita Derby,why start shipping him all over the Country. He is an off the pace runner,there seem to be plenty of pace horses on the Wrong Coast ,that can give him an ideal scenerio to compete.All i would ecer care about and do.As long as you are competetive with the Competition going into a race. The rest is left in the hands of the Track Gods.
i look for this guy to stay on polytrack in either the lanes end stakes at Turfway or the Bluegrass or lexington at keeneland
Wow, this was actually an exciting edition of the race! Thanks for posting the video link here.
Tamarando is one honest hombre!
  • vegasjim1952 · Brian this colt is as honest as they come and the distance will be no problem. The 20 horse field with his style will be the only problem but...anything can happen. · 1344 days ago

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Meet Don August

I have been involved in horse racing, from a fan to sportswriter, for the past 30 years. The first time my dad took me to the track, I picked a horse named "Black Tornado" and when he won, I was hooked.  From then on, I spent weekends and occasional school days at the race track, and my enjoyment of the sport led me to try my hand at being a jockey agent, which i did for 3 years. When that didn't work out as I had hoped, I concentrated on my writing career by covering big races and doing summer fair handicapping, off and on, for the Contra Costa Times.

Today, I stay involved in the sport by being part of a group that currently owns two horses stabled at Golden Gate Fields. As all owners, we have dreams of someday having that special horse.  Besides writing about horse racing I enjoy covering many sports and have had the honor of meeting and writing about some incredible athletes.

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