02/17/2011 5:31PM

Tamtastic tries to go a little bit longer in Jim's Orbit


Tamtastic’s big sister, Taptam, is a two-turn whiz and that should bode well for him Saturday night when he makes his first start at a mile in the $100,000 Jim’s Orbit division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park.

The race is one of two restricted stakes on the card. The $100,000 Two Altazano for 3-year-old fillies at a mile is also part of the Stallion Stakes series. It drew a field of seven, led by Patty’s Pride.

Tamtastic, who has run second in three sprint stakes, will be looking for his first stakes win in the Jim’s Orbit. He comes into the race off a runner-up finish to Aces N Kings in the $50,000 Groovy at seven furlongs at Sam Houston on Jan. 22.

“My belief is that seven-eighths is a very demanding race,” said Bret Calhoun, who trains Tamtastic for Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch. “I truly believe a horse that runs good at seven-eighths will go a mile. I don’t feel it will be a problem. As a young horse, we always thought he’d stretch out. We’ve always thought the two-turns would be fine.”

Calhoun noted Tamtastic gets pedigree support for the added distance. The horse’s half-sister is Taptam, who picked up her fifth two-turn stakes win last month in the $100,000 Star of Texas at Sam Houston. She, too, is owned by Sanders and Hirsch and trained by Calhoun and will also be in action on Saturday, in the $100,000 Bayakoa at Oaklawn.

“We know the family, and obviously on the bottom side, Taptam, she definitely wants the distance,” said Calhoun.

Tamtastic is by Early Flyer, and Calhoun said he believes the top side of the horse’s pedigree will also support him at a mile Saturday.
As for concerns, Calhoun noted Tamtastic will be breaking from the widest post, gate 10.

“I think he can overcome it,” he said.

The chief threat could be Hidden Recipe, who was fourth in the Groovy. He, too, will be making his first start at two turns. Hidden Recipe is by Touch Tone, winner of the Iowa Derby at 1 1/16 miles in 2001.

◗ Patty’s Pride missed by a nose in the $50,000 Bara Lass at seven furlongs at Sam Houston. She now moves back to two turns, and has run second in two stakes at a mile, the Donnie Wilhite at Louisiana Downs and the La Senorita at Retama.