Abel Tasman and jockey Joe Talamo (in Clearsky Farms' silks) winning the Starlet Stakes

Abel Tasman and jockey Joe Talamo (in Clearsky Farms' silks) winning the Starlet Stakes

Benoit Photo

Abel Tasman Moved to Baffert After Silks Mix-Up

Simon Callaghan says move was made because filly mistakenly carried wrong silks.

China Horse Club and Clearsky Farms' Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) contender Abel Tasman has been moved from trainer Simon Callaghan to the barn of Bob Baffert, Callaghan said March 9.

The reason for the switch, according to Callaghan, is because the Quality Road  filly did not wear China Horse Club silks for her 2017 debut in the March 4 Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3), when she took a run at current Oaks favorite Unique Bella and came in second.

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China Horse Club bought a 50% interest in the filly from Clearsky, who bred her, after her victory in the Dec. 10 Starlet Stakes (G1).

BALAN: Abel Tasman Upsets American Gal in Starlet

Callaghan said he was instructed to have jockey Joe Talamo wear the China Horse Club silks in the Santa Ysabel and got confirmation that the Santa Anita Park jockeys' room had a set, but Talamo emerged with Clearsky silks March 4.

"The jockeys' room said they had the China Horse Club silks," Callaghan said. "Joe came out with the wrong silks, and we sent him back to get the right ones, but they couldn't find them.

"The filly ran a great race. It's just really sad they've taken these drastic steps and couldn't accept my apology for a mistake that was out of my control. It's tough for everyone—me, my staff, the groom. It's as if our hard work was all for nothing."

Representatives from China Horse Club and Clearsky Farms were not immediately available for comment.