Quite a nice last-to-first rally by Tamarando ($6.60) to win Saturday’s El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate, thereby earning ten points for a race to be run on a different surface. If I really cared, I might question why they therefore don’t give out Derby points for grass races, but why bother? Here’s a look.
What was particularly noteworthy about the effort by Tamarando was the slow pace that he overcame to do so….not to mention the fact that he circled the field widest of all and was at least five wide turning for home.
As you can see from his past performance lines, his prior winning efforts were aided, at least in part, by quick early paces, with a triple digit pace figure for at least the first call. In each of the highlighted cases, note that his raw final time figure – the last number in the fractions/pace figure line (blue arrows) – was downgraded to calculate his TFUS speed figure because of the advantageous pace scenario.
That was hardly the case in the El Camino. I’ll Wrap It Up, after an opening quarter of 24.40, was allowed to leisurely proceed to the half in 49.73, a second quarter of 25.33. From there, he picked up the pace with a 24.25 split to the 3/8ths pole before starting to fade. Dance With Fate took over and hit the eighth pole in a split of 24.06. The final furlong, as Tamarando edged away, was accomplished in 13.19. That’s not bad, but our adjusted fractions paint a more formidable picture, with a final furlong in real racehorse time of 12.30.
These splits translated into a far more moderate pace figure line of 90-88-83-85. And to illustrate what Tamarando had to overcome, note that, in this case, his raw final time was upgraded, and significantly; a seven point bump.
Add in the ample ground loss – I might ask why don’t all racetracks have Trakus, but why bother? – and it adds up to what was quite a fine Derby prep race – better, in my opinion, than that of Monday’s Southwest, even though Tapiture earned a higher figure (99). More on the Southwest tomorrow.
Tamarando, seeking to become the first Derby winner for his trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, is a son of the champion handicap horse Bertrando, out of a stakes-placed Dehere mare. For those who care about such things, his Dosage Index sits right on what is considered the Derby borderline at 4.0. His catalog page paints a mixed picture. Though his stakes-winnings siblings did so at sprint distances, Tamarando interestingly descends from the female family of Event of the Year (whose second dam is the third dam of Tamarando), a one-time Derby aspirant for Hollendorfer – he also won the El Camino – whose hopes were ended by injury. Event of the Year went on to have a successful four-year old campaign that included victory in the mile and an eighth Strub Stakes, and a half-length defeat to Free House in an exciting edition of the mile and a quarter Santa Anita Handicap in 1999. That race is worth taking a look back at.