09/05/2013 2:27PM

Del Mar Futurity winner Tamarando headed for Frontrunner

Benoit & Associates
Tamarando, winning the Del Mar Futurity, will give 1 1/16 miles a try in the Frontrunner at Santa Anita.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – If six furlongs was too short and seven furlongs better, might 1 1/16 miles be better still? That’s what trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and owner Larry Williams are going to find out with Tamarando, who won the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity on Wednesday and will be pointed to the Grade 1, $250,000 Frontrunner Stakes at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita on Sept. 28.

Hollendorfer said Thursday that Tamarando “came out of the race really good,” and that the most likely plan was to stretch him out around two turns for the Frontrunner, which is the major Southern California prep for the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, also 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita.

Tamarando, a son of Bertrando – who won the Del Mar Futurity in 1991 – has now won his last two starts after beginning his career with two losses. In his three prior starts, he had never raced farther than 5 1/2 furlongs, all against California-breds. Hollendorfer convinced Williams, who also bred Tamarando, that it was worth bypassing the six-furlong I’m Smokin Stakes for Cal-breds here on Monday to go seven furlongs against open company in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.

“He was a little skeptical, but we were looking for the extra distance,” Hollendorfer said.

As a result, Williams was rewarded with his first graded stakes victory, and Hollendorfer, a Racing Hall of Famer, got his first win in the Del Mar Futurity.

Tamarando was ninth of 11 runners after a half-mile under Julien Leparoux, then stormed down the center of the track and held safe an unlucky Dance With Fate to win by a half-length, with Can the Man another half-length back in third. Alberts Hope, the lukewarm 7-2 favorite, finished fourth, suffering the first loss of his career.

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“I was a little disappointed he was that far back, but apparently that’s the way he wants to run,” Hollendorfer said. “We liked the horse going seven furlongs. We were thinking of the Cal-bred, but decided to go for the big money.”

First prize was $180,000.

Tamarando benefited by being one of the most-experienced horses in the race. Only Alpine Luck and California Chrome had run more times. Five of the 11 starters had run twice, and Can the Man had one start.
“I don’t think it hurt him,” Hollendorfer said. “We wanted to win first time out, but he didn’t and he learned a lot.”

Tamarando was fourth in his debut at Betfair Hollywood Park going five furlongs on June 30, then was a late-running second against maidens in another five-furlong race here on July 21 over a track that favored speed. He broke through the maiden ranks on Aug. 18, going 5 1/2 furlongs, with another late-running performance.

Dance With Fate, who finished second, was caught in traffic behind horses on the far turn, then finished well once he got outside and clear.

Can the Man, who had run just once, betrayed his inexperience. Racing on the inside, he ducked in near where the temporary rail extends from the seven-furlong chute, and momentarily lost his momentum.