James Tafel aims for Kentucky Derby win

Four Wheels or Four Legs - Tafel Family Racing Cumming, Georgia, May 3,, 2007 -- James Tafel and Jim Tafel share an urge for competition, but take very different mounts to get to the finish line. James Tafel, father, is a renowned thoroughbred...

Four Wheels or Four Legs - Tafel Family Racing

Cumming, Georgia, May 3,, 2007 -- James Tafel and Jim Tafel share an urge for competition, but take very different mounts to get to the finish line.

James Tafel, father, is a renowned thoroughbred horse breeder with a goal to win the Kentucky Derby. Jim Tafel, son, is a budding race car driver and team owner with a dream to one-day win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

James owns three-year-old colt Street Sense who is currently one of three favorites at 8 to 1 going into the Kentucky Derby. On Nov. 4, 2006, Street Sense won the most important race for 2-year-old colts in the United States, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, at Churchill Downs. That day he was a 15-to-1 long shot ridden by Calvin Borel. He powered away approaching the stretch and earned a record-setting ten-length win in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Street Sense went on to win the Tampa Derby last month and will compete this weekend in the Toyota Blue Grass at Keeneland, his final prep race before the derby.

"My son and I have taken different roads to express our competitive personalities," James Tafel said. "Horse racing is sport that has always intrigued me, the grace, speed and ability of the these animals is very much like a high-performance sportscar. Instead of oil and gas, it is oates and hay."

Son Jim will climb into his mount, the Tafel Racing Porsche 997 RSR, at Long Beach. Jim and his team will compete in the third round of the American Le Mans Series. As the team owner and driver, Jim is intimately involved in the development, management and driving duties associated with owning a professional road racing team.

"Competition is bred in both of us," Jim Tafel explained. "My Dad's horses are not unlike my racecars. They both require careful preparation by a team of professionals to be able to perform at their peak come race day. There are many variables in each - the track, other competitors, weather, etc. I have tried to run my race team like he manages his horses, by providing the proper resources and hiring the best help possible."

The synergies do not end at hooves and slicks. The team colors for Tafel Racing on the pavement are blue, yellow and white. The silks for jockey Calvin Borel are also blue, yellow and white.

The Kentucky Derby will run on Saturday, May 5 at approximately 5:30 EDT.

-credit: tafel racing

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Series ALMS , Grand-Am
Drivers Jim Tafel