The 11-10 chalk to improve on his runner-up effort behind undefeated ‘TDN Rising Star’ McCraken (Ghostzapper) in the GIII Sam F. Davis S. Feb. 11, Tapwrit raced through the field for the GII Tampa Bay Derby field like the proverbial hot knife through butter and rolled home an impressive 4 1/2-length winner.
Positioned slightly worse than centerfield as State of Honor set a searching pace up front, the $1.2-million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase took flight entering the second turn and the race was over, for all intents and purposes. He slingshot his way past rivals nearing the entrance to the lane and cruised home to win for fun.
Tapwrit’s final time of 1:42.36 is a new stakes record for the Tampa Bay Derby, bettering the mark of 1:42.82 set last year by Destin (Giant’s Causeway).
“We were looking for a big effort from him,” trainer Todd Pletcher said from south Florida via telephone. “And this was everything we could hope for. He won pretty convincingly, and we’re very pleased.”
Aron Wellman, president of co-owner Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, added, “He just exploded. That was what we were hoping for, and he delivered.”
A maiden winner at second asking and first time long at Gulfstream West Nov. 6, the gray saw most of a five-length lead evaporate in the final furlong when annexing the Pulpit S. in the Gulfstream slop Dec. 10. The recipient of an inside trip in the Davis, he was never all that far from the front and rallied, but was no match for McCraken.
Tapwrit’s Tampa Bay Derby victory was the fourth in the last five runnings of the race for Pletcher.
“When I asked him between the half-mile and 3/8 poles, he let me know he was going to win the race right away,” said jockey Jose Ortiz. “He’s really scary, and I think he is going to keep improving.”
Tapwrit’s dam Appealing Zophie, heroine of the 2006 GI Spinaway S. at Saratoga, has also produced a colt by Candy Ride (Arg) in 2015 and a colt by Speightstown in 2016. She was bred back to Tiznow. Appealing Zophie brought $1.1 million from Len Riggio’s My Meadowview Farm at the 2007 FTKNOV sale.
Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs
LAMBHOLM SOUTH TAMPA BAY DERBY-GII, $350,000, TAM, 3-11, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:42.36, ft.
1–@TAPWRIT, 116, c, 3, by Tapit
1st Dam: Appealing Zophie (GISW, $497,898),
by Successful Appeal
2nd Dam: Zophie, by Hawkster
3rd Dam: Sodeo Sodeo, by Seattle Slew
($1,200,000 Ylg ’15 FTSAUG). O-Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse
Thoroughbred Partners & Robert V. LaPenta; B-My
Meadowview LLC (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Jose L. Ortiz.
$210,000. Lifetime Record: 5-3-1-0, $313,902. Werk Nick
Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–State of Honor, 116, c, 3, To Honor and Serve–State Cup, by
Elusive Quality. O-Conrad Farms; B-Manfred & Penny Conrad
(ON); T-Mark E. Casse. $70,000.3–Wild Shot, 118, c, 3, Trappe Shot–Ranter, by Storm Cat.
O/B-Calumet Farm (KY); T-George R. Arnold, II. $35,000.Margins: 4HF, 1HF, HF. Odds: 1.10, 9.40, 5.80.
Also Ran: No Dozing, Beasley, Basha, Tale of Silence, Sonic Mule, Zion Valley, The Money Monster.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.