DEL MAR FUTURITY | PURSE: $300,000 | 2-YEAR-OLDS | GRADE 1 | 7 FURLONGS
California-bred Tamarando rallied from well off the pace to capture the Del Mar Futurity for 2-year-olds on the Polytrack at Del Mar Sept. 4.
Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer and ridden by Julien Leparoux for owners Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams, Tamarando broke his maiden at Del Mar last time out in his third start. Tamarando out-closed Dance With Fate, who rallied to his outside, and defeated him by a half-length.
"We loved this horse at seven furlongs," Hollendorfer said. "I was thinking about running in the Cal-bred race [I'm Smokin Stakes, Sept. 2 at six furlongs] but we decided to go for the big moment. I guess I'm glad we did now. I've never won this race before, so it's a special moment and a special horse."
Front-running Can the Man was third, a half-length behind Dance With Fate, with favored Alberts Hope fourth. The final time for the seven furlongs was 1:23.07.
Tamarando, by Bertrando out of the Dehere mare Tamarack Bay, was bred by his owners, who live in Boise, Idaho.
The Futurity, which attracted a field of 11, was a scramble from the outset as four or five of the starters bid for the lead from the gate. When things settled, it was Alpine Luck, Rum Point, Indexical, and Can the Man through an opening quarter-mile in :22.60.
Can the Man, with Martin Garcia riding, protected his inside position to engage Indexical and Mario Gutierrez as the others dropped back through a half-mile in :45.14. They exchanged bobs through six furlongs in 1:09.88 before Can the Man opened up by a few lengths turning for home.
The early pace took its toll on the leader, however. Tamarando and Dance With Fate (Rafael Bejarano) were widest of all, and they swooped by to make it a two-horse race approaching the wire.
"Jerry just told me to ride it as it came up, to get a spot and see what happens," Leparoux said. "From the outside post, I knew I was going to probably wind up going wide, but that was OK. He's the kind of horse who wants to run from the back, so that's what we were ready to do. I felt I could move well with him at any point. He just felt strong. He's a handy horse. And I think the farther the better with him. Definitely the farther the better."
Tamarando paid $17.80, $7.60, and $4.10. Dance With Fate returned $5.60 and $4.60, while Can the Man paid $4.80. The exacta paid $130.60 and the trifecta $774.20.
Alberts Hope, winner of the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar in his second start, was looking to take his record to three-for-three in the Futurity, but he had too much ground to cover late in the race after a slow start.
Tamarando, ridden by Leparoux in all of his races so far, finished fourth in his debut at Betfair Hollywood Park and second at Del Mar in his next start. He broke his maiden at 5 ¼ furlongs versus fellow state-breds Aug. 18 racing mostly on the lead.
"I don't think it [two races of experience] hurt him," Hollendorfer said. "We wanted to win first time out but we didn't do that. He came back and won second time and now this, so he looks like a pretty good candidate to do something next year. I was a little disappointed that he was as far back early as he was, but apparently that's the way he wants to run."
The first-place check of $180,000 in the Del Mar Futurity boosted Tamarando's earnings to $243,120.