RAFAEL BEJARANO, TARA’S TANGO, WINNER: “The blinkers made a big difference today, they helped me a lot from the gate. I was able to put my horse into position right away. I waited for the opportunity and when we got to the stretch, she gave me a big turn of foot and I knew I could beat the favorite.”
GARY STEVENS, TARIS, SECOND: “I was really happy with the race. She settled nicely for me and I was surprised when Tara’s Tango ran by me. When I turned into the stretch, she switched over to her right lead and she kicked. As you could see I was giving her a nice hand ride and when I saw that grey head come up I said, ‘really?!’
“It’s funny because it felt like 1:48 and change; it didn’t feel like 1:50.00. I thought it was nice. She had such a good kick and she did kick, I just got outrun on the day, period.”
JERRY HOLLENDORFER, TARA’S TANGO, WINNER: On her wearing blinkers for the first time: “When (Martin) won on her last time (in the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes on Feb. 13), he said she was running in spots and suggested the blinkers. They’re just small ones, but they helped. It was an exciting race and I’m very proud to get the Grade I for the owner (Stonestreet Stables). She got a good trip and showed a lot of heart running down the favorite.”
Noted that Rafael Bejarano picked up the mount since Garcia committed to ride Cupid for Bob Baffert in today’s $900,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, which he won, Hollendorfer said: “I’m glad for both of them. It worked out well, a win/win situation.”
BARBARA BANKE, OWNER/BREEDER OF TARA’S TANGO, WINNER: “We’ve always known she had a lot of ability, from when she won her first start at Del Mar (in July, 2014). Today, we knew she could get the distance and she just keeps trying and she never stops. This is very special; I’ve got my son, Christopher, and my nephew, Nick, here, and it’s been great.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Farm in Lexington, Ky.