Taris wins Aqueduct's Go For Wand Handicap - Sports Illustrated

Taris wins Aqueduct's Go For Wand Handicap

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NEW YORK (AP) Taris proved added distance was no obstacle, winning the $300,000 Go For Wand Handicap for fillies and mares by 2 1/2 lengths Friday at Aqueduct.

The 4-year-old was had already demonstrated her talent in shorter races. She was third in her previous start, the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at seven furlongs last month.

The Go For Wand was a stretch out to a mile for a runner who was 5-1-2 in eight races at shorter distances.

She handled the added furlong in style, sitting second in the early stages before swinging wide in the lane to prevail as the 4-5 favorite.

Joel Rosario was the substitute jockey for trainer Simon Callaghan. Gary Stevens had flown in from California but was too ill to ride.

Rosario scrambled to do his homework.

''I watched replays and all that, so I was very confident,'' Rosario said. ''I watched her last time when she ran in the Breeders' Cup. She's a nice horse.''

Callaghan, who watched the race in California, was happy the late rider switch went smoothly.

''Gary was dehydrated and we ended up with Joel who is also a terrific rider,'' Callaghan said by phone. ''I was pleased with his performance.''

The time was 1:36.10 on the fast track.

Taris paid $3.80, $2.90 and $2.40. Mei Ling was second, returning $7.40 and $4.50. Spelling Again paid $3.50 to show.

It capped a big day for Rosario who also won the $147,000 King's Swan Stakes for 2-year-olds aboard 21-1 shot Jan's Reserve.

It was the second straight win for the colt trained by Michael Dilger.