02/15/2014 10:16PM

Golden Gate Fields: Tamarando storms from last to capture El Camino Real Derby


ALBANY, Calif. -- Tamarando was content to sit last through the first six furlongs, but then unleashed a strong closing run to score a solid victory in the Grade 3, $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday.

Tamarando, winner of last year's Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity, was not exactly a last-minute replacement for his unbeaten stablemate Exit Stage Left, who suffered a tendon injury one week earlier.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

"We had talked about running him anyway," said winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who had given Tamarando, a son of  Bertrando, a strong five-furlong work after his second-place finish in the Jan. 25 Cal Cup Derby at Santa Anita. Hollendorfer said that owner-breeders Larry and Marianne Williams did not want to run at Santa Anita again because the track does not play well to Tamarando's late-closing style.

Tamarando ($6.60) was last in the field of eight but sat closer to the lead than he had in recent starts. He was five lengths behind pacesetting I'll Wrap It Up's opening quarter and half-mile fractions of 24.40 and 49.73 seconds.

"Really, when we looked at the race on paper, I told [jockey] Russell (Baze), I thought there was no speed, but somebody would inherit it. I thought we'd be closer."

"He was laying closer than normal for him and doing it within himself," said Baze. "I had to ask him to start moving at the three-eighths pole because I knew they had a lot of horse in front of us."

I'll Wrap It Up, who faded to last, was still in front at the quarter pole but was about to be gobbled up by favored Enterprising and Dance With Fate. Tamarando was still last, but Baze had him in gear as he eased him five wide and in the clear.

Dance With Fate, who had his head in front at the eighth pole, and Enterprising went right past I'll Wrap It Up, but Tamarando had them in his sights.

Enterprising was the first to falter in the lane, and Dance With Fate dug in trying to hold off Tamarando. But Tamarando, who beat him in the Del Mar Futurity and finished third to his second in the Grade 1 Front Runner, continued relentlessly to the wire, pulling even and then beginning to inch clear.

"About the quarter pole, I saw Russell moving and thought we had a chance, but it still takes an awful lot to run them down," said Hollendorfer. "Russell did a good job timing it right."

Baze said the win didn't come easily.

"My horse was running pretty good, but that horse on the lead [Dance With Fate] wasn't coming back. He ran all the way to the wire. It took a good horse to run him down, and this is a good horse."

Aaron Gryder said that Dance With Fate was interested in going on early.

"If I could have gotten him to save a little more energy early on, I think we may have had a different story at the end."

Gary Stevens said that approaching the quarter pole he sensed Dance With Fate was going better than Enterprising.

"I saw Tamarando's shadow coming, and it turned into a good horse race between them,” said Stevens, who finished 2 1/4 lengths behind Dance With Fate. Puppy Manners finished fourth another length back.

The victory was the fifth for the Baze-Hollendorfer duo in the El Camino. It was Hollendorfer's sixth victory and the ninth for Baze, who has won seven of the previous 10 runnings of the race.

The victory, worth $120,000, was the fourth in 10 starts for Tamarando, who finished off the board only once, in his debut. He has earned $625,120 and earned 10 points toward qualification for the Kentucky Derby field.



Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Great race! He's a contender alright. Congrats to Tamarando and all the connections.
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Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
I thought Dance With Fate was the winner at the eighth pole. But here comes Russell pushing on Tamerando. Gryder stuck (fatal error) with his left hand on Dance With Fate and was out ridden by the old man the last 100 yards.. Baze is amazing..
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
The post did him in. Russel didn't out ride him. He got caught three wide the entire race. Gryder did nothing wrong. Dance with Fate was best. Just unfortunate.
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
Baze outrode him.
ML NJ More than 1 year ago
Hey! Here's an article that I can read for free about a racetrack I've never been to and don't care much about. Thanks DRF! It won't be long before I just give up looking here altogether.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
ITA. It's no longer a go to site first for me either.
Anna Montanucci More than 1 year ago
Tamarando may not win the Kentucky Derby, but he's the kind of horse this sport needs more of-- hard-trying and tough and hits the board every time. I'd love to own him and I know he has made his owners very happy.
Glenn Canady More than 1 year ago
can the horse run on dirt. And what will be his next race.. Not the Santa Anita Derby he does not like Santa Anita I hear. So will it be Blue Grass or the Wood? Maybe the Arkansas Derby?
george cernansky More than 1 year ago
They already said he is going to the Spiral at Turfway. Huge purse and more Derby points.
Gene More than 1 year ago
The Cash Call has proven out to be the fast, strong race it appeared to be at the time. With that being said, like mosy synthetic races, this was a slow, phony, visually unimpressive race. The winner is a hard knocking Cal-bred and the runner-up is a moderate at best type. Some idiot on Twitter claimed the runner-up would win the Blue Grass, but that is a loud mouth neophyte giving an opinion no one cares to hear.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Moderate at best? Dance With Fate has a huge shot to win wherever they decide to run him. This is a very talented horse, who can run on any surface. You don't need to be a genius to know who was best in The El Camino Real.
Jeffrey Morer More than 1 year ago
Dance with Fate won the Blue Grass...duhhh
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I didn't think much of Tamarando or his DM Futurity win at the time, but this little Cal bred has already accomplished more than I ever thought he would. I still am not sure he wants 10 furlongs or if he is as good on dirt as he is on synth, but it is all kinda gravy. As for this race, Tamarando was clearly best. He had no pace to run at, went 5 wide, and had to run down Dance with Fate who got a perfect trip and was finishing well himself. It took an 11 and 2 final eighth. And this is further evidence that the Cash Call Futurity was a very key race and that Shared Belief deserved the accolades he received.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Thats how you win at Golden Gate. Rally wide. He wasn't best. He was just fortunate. Dance With Fate had the worst journey you can get at GG was hung out 3 wide the entire trip. Exactly where you don't want to be at Golden Gate. The fractions were honest to how the track was playing. Tamarando got a set up.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I may have overstated it when I wrote that Tamarando was much the best. But I don't think Dance with Fate was best. Whatever advantage Tamarando had with the track profile was counterbalanced by the pace advantage Dance with Fate had. DwF was able to sit out in the clear and stalk a very soft pace. And while I will give credit to DwF for being 3 wide on both turns, I fail to see how Tamarando being 4 wide on the far turn is somehow better than being 3 wide. So, DwF was disadvantaged vis a vis the horses he was stalking because he had a wider trip, but somehow there is a path on the track at which point being wide becomes a benefit? Tamarando was fortunate in that he benefitted from a surface that favors horses rallying wide but DwF's wide journey constituted a bad trip?
Aaron McCullough More than 1 year ago
I noticed the final eighth time too and was pretty impressed. Is that usual for Golden Gate, given the early fractions?
GuyFleegman1 More than 1 year ago
Nice win for R Baze...be great for him to ride this horse in the KY Derby...he deserves a shot on the big stage....Tamarando is Legit.