Taris looks for successful stretchout in Go for Wand

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

November 24th, 2015

Taris proved to be one of the leading female sprinters in the country with a fine third-place effort in last month's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). On Friday, the four-year-old daughter of Flatter will attempt to stretch her speed over a mile in the $300,000 Go for Wand H. (G3) at Aqueduct.

Taris broke her maiden over the inner track at Aqueduct in December 2013 and the following year won two stakes, including the Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland. She's made four previous starts for current trainer Simon Callaghan, finishing second in the La Brea (G1), first in the Rancho Bernardo H. (G3) at Del Mar, and third in the L.A. Woman (G3) and Breeders' Cup, the latter behind Wavell Avenue and La Verdad.

"She came out of the Breeders' Cup really well," Callaghan said. "She's had a pretty light campaign this year, and we felt this race was a good opportunity to stretch her out. She's been relaxing really well in her training, and her pedigree suggests she should stretch out."

The only time Taris previously tried a distance beyond seven furlongs, she faded to fifth after setting a moderate pace while favored in the 1 1/16-mile Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn last year.

Also exiting the Filly & Mare Sprint is Kiss to Remember, who finished ninth in the Keeneland feature. The multiple stakes winner placed in the Ballerina (G1) and Princess Rooney (G2) earlier this year.

America and Spelling Again both enter the Go for Wand off recent graded stakes triumphs. America snapped a long streak of disappointing efforts with a wire-to-wire win in the Turnback the Alarm H. (G3) on Belmont's closing weekend. The Bobby Flay-owned filly won three straight over the Big A's two dirt courses last fall and winter, including the $100,000 Affectionately.

Spelling Again, claimed for $40,000 in May, won for the third time in five attempts for her new connections when taking the one-mile Chilukki (G2) at Churchill Downs by 4 1/2 lengths on November 7.

Willet nearly won the Go for Wand three years ago, but the New York-bred veteran's best days might be behind her. The field is rounded out by the Todd Pletcher-trained Mei Ling, an overnight stakes winner at Monmouth in September, and the Graham Motion-trained Playful Love, a recent first-level allowance winner at Penn National.

(Benoit Photos)