Tam Lin Dominates Kelso Handicap

Kelso is probably one of the most legendary horses in the horse racing industry. Winning the Horse of the Year Eclipse Award no less than five times is testament to his greatness as a racehorse, and it is for this reason that the Kelso Handicap, or Kelso Breeder’s Cup Handicap, was named in his honor. Run annually at Belmont Park Racecourse, this Grade 2 event is a preparation event for the upcoming Breeder’s Cup Mile. On Sunday, 28 September 2008, six contenders entered the starting gates to take on the $250 000 Kelso Handicap for three year old horses and over.

Tam Lin was sired by Selkirk and is out of the mare La Nuit Rose. He spent most of his horse racing career in England before being moved to the United States, and the stable of trainer Saeed Sin Suroor. Some of his more spectacular victories abroad include the Grade 3 Totesport.com Winter Hill Stakes, while under the guidance of Michael Stoute. After moving to Saeed Sin Suroor, he has enjoyed success in the Poker Handicap which was held at Belmont Park Racecourse and in the Scottish Monk Stakes, but gave a slightly disappointing performance in the Play the King Stakes. In the Kelso Breeder’s Cup Handicap however, Tam Lin was set on redeeming himself.

The beautiful five year old, ridden by Javier Castellano, was locked in battle from the beginning of the race with Forefathers and jockey Kent Desormeaux. Stalingrad, Giant Wrecker and Media Play were also adding pressure, but as they neared the lane, Castellano asked Tam Lin for a little more effort and got it by an explosive Tam Lin taking off and beating the rest of the field by more than four lengths. Stalingrad had to be happy with a second place and in third was Operation Red Dawn. They were followed home by Forefathers, Giant Wrecker and Media Play. Castellano commented after the race that Tam Lin was not the easiest horse to ride, and that the two of them merely get along. On Sunday Tam Lin was relaxed and comfortable, and showed vast improvement since being under the care of Saeed Sin Suroor. Tam Lin has now earned $406 818, in sixteen career starts and with the enthusiasm and visible progress he is showing, there is probably more to come from this amazing horse.

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