11/27/2015 4:39PM

Go for Wand distance no problem for Taris

Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
With Joel Rosario aboard, Taris wins the one-mile Go for Wand on Friday.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The connections of the multiple-graded-stakes-winning sprinter Taris want to stretch her out in distance next year. Friday, they found out that it might not be too far-fetched an idea as Taris scored a 2 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3, $300,000 Go for Wand going a mile at Aqueduct.

With Joel Rosario subbing for Gary Stevens - who had flown cross-country to ride the filly only to take off because of illness - Taris relaxed behind a moderate pace, carried her main rival Mei Ling out a few paths in upper stretch, and drew clear to win convincingly.

Mei Ling, who was three wide down the backstretch and carried out farther in the stretch, got second by three-quarters of a length over the pace-setting Spelling Again. Kiss to Remember, America, Willet, and Playful Love completed the order of finish.

Taris, a daughter of Flatter owned by the Coolmore connections of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Susan Magnier, covered the mile in 1:36.10 and returned $3.80 as the 4-5 favorite.

The win was the sixth from 10 career starts for Taris, but first beyond seven furlongs.

Trainer Simon Callaghan, who watched the race from Southern California, was happy with the way Taris relaxed behind Spelling Again early through a modest quarter- and half-mile in 23.80 and 47.49 seconds.

“She relaxed really nicely off not particularly quick fractions, which opens up big possibilities for the future so we can stretch out this filly,” Callaghan said by phone. “Perfect ride.”

Stevens was scheduled to ride Taris, and arrivde in New York following a red-eye flight early Friday morning. Once at Aqueduct, Stevens said that after sitting in the sauna and drinking a cup of coffee he began to feel light-headed. Stevens went to first-aid and found his blood pressure was a bit high, and he decided not to ride.

Stevens said he didn’t feel good enough “to risk riding this mare.”

Rosario said he could have put Taris on the lead, but felt that Luis Saez, on Spelling Again, was intent on being in front.

“The horse on the inside looked like she wanted the lead," Rosario said. "I thought if we go with her we’re going to be going way too fast, so I tried to sit a little bit behind, sit off the pace."

Rosario allowed Taris to drift out turning for home, and though he did float Mei Ling out, the two never brushed.

“She looked like she was really happy in the middle of the track, so I just let her be,” Rosario said.

Callaghan said that Taris would return to Southern California and point for two-turn races at Santa Anita such as the Grade 2 Santa Maria at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 13 and the Grade 1 Santa Margarita at 1 1/8 miles on March 19.