The TAM Stakes (Grade 3)- $175.000 Purse
TAM- For Four Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Turf
February 8, 2020
A field of ten will head to the starting gate for a smaller Grade 3 that is run at TAM on Saturday. It is the 16th running of the TAM Stakes, which sends older horses 8.5 furlongs on the grass. The race first appeared on the calendar as an ungraded event, and received its Grade 3 designation for the first time in 2011. Last year, Xmas Snow made its way to TAM and covered the turf to get the win for Maxmillion Farm. He’ll have one horse in this field as he looks to defend that title. Dynark Stables is the only trainer to win this race more then once and there are a few big names who have not yet made an appearance on the list of past winners. Time now to take a look at our field for this race!
#1- Thanks For Nothing (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J R Leparoux)- The veteran gelding makes his 18th career start and hopes that it will result in his fifth win. He does not have a lot of graded experience, and the ones that he has tried has likely left his trainer saying his name in his head for other reasons. Comes off a win in a $32.000 claimer, but has rarely followed up a win with a good race. Hard to be excited over him.
#2- Cherra Grans (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by D E Centeno)- He was exciting to watch for most of last year, with his best races actually being a pair he finished second in, narrowly winning both the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes and the Grade 1 WO Mile. He fizzled a bit after that, and would be a non factor in the BC Mile. That is still the last time we saw him, so we’ll have to note that the layoff now exceeds 90 days. Can he bounce back? It will be interesting to watch.
#3- Digital Fraud (Nakamura Stables, ridden by A T Gryder)- A very consistent horse that is good for getting some form of the purse for his trainer, so he is anything but what his name declares. He’s been on good form lately, too, and won his last start, a $75.000 ungraded stake. He does not have a ton of graded experience, but he is not a rookie at this level, either. Still looking for his signature win and hopes to get it here. I think he might.
#4- Solow (Chili King Stables, ridden by G Boulanger)- The six year old Rene gelding goes to the starting gate for the 36th time, hoping to win just his second race in his last 14 starts. He has been a lot better in terms of hitting the board, however, over that span. While his glory days are well behind him, there is nothing about this race that suggests he is over his head, so you can’t rule him out.
#5- Welcome To My World (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by G Saez)- The majority of us would love to be a part of Maxmillion’s world when it comes to running on the turf and Welcome To My World his another strong weapon he has in his arsenal. He has not raced all that much, but makes the most of it when he does. A winner of two out of his last three, and the race he didn’t win, the Grade 3 Smith Handicap, resulted in a 100 SRF. He’s used to racing much longer so G Saez will need to make sure he is ready for the finish line to show up when it does.
#6- Kray Kray Kray (Blushing Meadows, ridden by J C Ferrer)- As of press time, it has been a struggle this year for Blushing Meadows, who is winless in his first 20 starts. For a trainer of his caliber, that gets your attention right away. Only has been in the money in seven of them, too. Kray Kray Kray hopes to fix that, and comes off back to back fourth place finishes. The trainer is due, but hard to pick the cold hand.
#7- The Silver Scot (Our Athletes, ridden by P Lopez)- Hey, is that the great Eva The Diva I see in his bloodlines? For me, Eva The Diva was a great, because it didn’t matter what her form was going into a race I covered, she ended up winning. Based on that, I should pick The Silver Scot by default. He has a lot of experience running here at TAM, mostly in FL-bred but has lately been finishing second more then he’s winning. Needs something to get him over that hump. Maybe my covering of this race is what it takes.
#8- Equivocal (Smokey Stover, ridden by A A Gallardo)- Ironically, we go from a horse with it in his blood to always win when I covered their race, to a horse that has stiffed me on multiple occasions when I have picked him. I think I declared in a recap of his that I would never pick him again. If I didn’t write it, I was thinking it. Equivocal, you have failed me too many times. Sorry, Smokey! Definitely not an Eva The Diva. Certainly a good horse, and overall he is consistent and plenty to like. That’s why I have picked him before!
#9- Revolutionary Cat (LionKing Stables, ridden by C J Lanerie)- Alright, back to looking at a horse normally again. What immediately stands out about Revolutionary Cat is the layoff, as he has not raced since the end of September. I find it interesting that Maxmillion Farm picked him up in October, held him for three months, then sold him last week. He’s a turf horse, and Max is the turf master. Something amiss? His form was great, but it’s been a while.
#10- Homme de Guerre (John Henry, ridden by M Tunon)- Finally, on the outside, John Henry brings us a four year old gelding that is looking to win his fifth race in his 13th start. That’s a pretty good clip, and overall he is good about hitting the board. His last race was not an example of that, however, as he was fifth in the Grade 2 San Gabriel at SA last month with a flat looking effort. Based on that field, I would have expected better, so maybe there is a reason for that and we can throw that out. Worked nicely out west right before heading here.
Prediction: 3-7-5-8 (Fine, have to throw Equivocal in there, he’s not that bad, really).