Jim Tafel Looks Back on Family's Derby Win Cumming, Georgia, May 8, 2007, Jim Tafel has had the opportunity to look back on the family's Kentucky Derby win on Saturday with home-bred three-year old Colt Street Sense. The race team...
Jim Tafel Looks Back on Family's Derby Win Cumming, Georgia, May 8, 2007, Jim Tafel has had the opportunity to look back on the family's Kentucky Derby win on Saturday with home-bred three-year old Colt Street Sense. The race team owner is able to draw many synergies between his sportscar racing and the preparation it takes to win the biggest prize in horse racing.
"I learned a lot from my Dad all weekend," said Jim. "How he handled himself in the press conference and at the various parties and functions, I was in awe. I was really there to help him. I was purely in a support roll. My enjoyment came from watching his dream come true in front of nearly 200,000 fans. When the horse was in 19th, I said oh my God we're in second to the last place. I was just hoping he wouldn't get blocked in, that was my moment of uh-oh."
"I have taken away a lot from the weekend. The way the horse was prepared, jockey Calvin Borel and Carl Nafzger had Street Sense at the top of his game when he needed to be and the race just fell into place for us. Calvin and Carl had the perfect plan for the race and it all played out perfectly. The team around the horse has really taken a measured approach of preparation and taking care of the equipment, similar to what we do in car racing. You have to have four wheels and motor to make the next race, think long term."
"Much like in car racing, the team prepares the car, the drivers prepare themselves and work with the crew to get the best possible car for the race. And then you need some things to go your way."
"Like my Dad is working with his team at the highest form of horse racing, we are trying to take the same method in our car racing. Tony Dowe is my Carl Nafzger and I have some of the best drivers, jockeys, in Robin Liddell, Wolf Henzler and Dominik Farnbacher taking the reins of the cars as well as myself."
"Again like my Father, I have some up-and-comers in the barn. We have Eric Lux, Andrews Davis and Nathan Swartzbaugh in Grand-Am as part of our development team."
Street Sense will take to the gate on May 19, for the second leg of the Triple Crown in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore. The American Le Mans Series team of Jim Tafel will take the track on May 19 at Miller Motorsport Park in Salt Lake City. The Tafel Racing Grand-Am GT team will also race on Saturday, May 19 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, California.