'TDN Rising Star' Tapit Trice (Tapit), a latest seventh to Mage (Good Magic) in the GI Kentucky Derby May 6, went five furlongs in 1:00.22 over a fast Belmont main track Friday morning in his penultimate work ahead of the GI Belmont S. at Big Sandy June 10. He galloped out three-quarters of a mile in a strong 1:12.60 and was up seven furlongs in 1:25.
“Super breeze, big gallop out,” trainer Todd Pletcher said following the work. “He seems to really like the main track here. I'm very, very happy with the way he's been training. He hasn't missed a beat since the Derby. He's settled in well. He's been galloping over the main track. He had a breeze last week [half-mile in :49.04 May 19] and a more serious breeze today. It was a major piece of work today, we'll come back for a maintenance- type breeze next week. We always thought the mile and a half would suit him.”
A win would make Tapit Trice the fifth son of Tapit to take the Belmont, adding to the previous successes of Tonalist (2014), Creator (2016), Tapwrit (2017) and Essential Quality (2021). Pletcher likes the colt's chances of seeing out the 12 furlongs.
“He's out of a Dunkirk (Unbridled's Song) mare who I trained and ran second [to Summer Bird] in the  Belmont. From a pedigree standpoint, you would think he's capable,” Pletcher said. “He's got that big, long galloping stride. I think the main thing is making sure that he gets into that comfortable rhythm and doesn't give himself too much to do early on. The Belmont is not necessarily a closer's race, but it seems like he's really coming up to it the right way.”
Would-be Derby favorite and 'TDN Rising Star' Forte (Violence) and Kingsbarns (Uncle Mo) were scheduled to breeze Friday, but the former will now work Saturday morning at 8:45. Pletcher was unsure when Kingsbarns would return to the tab.
“He's got a little bit of a bellyache today, so we weren't able to breeze him,” Pletcher said of Kingsbarns.
At Gulfstream Park Friday morning, trainer Antonio Sano sent out Il Miracolo (Gun Runner) for a five-furlong move over a sloppy main track that was clocked in 1:01.06.
“He had a very good work. He leaves for Belmont next Saturday,” Sano said. “It's a very strong race and the horse is a little green right now, but I hope he can run well and run a strong race.”
Sixth and well-beaten behind Forte in the GII Fountain of Youth S. and again in the GI Curlin Florida Derby, Il Miracolo was the wire-to-wire winner of a one-mile allowance/optional claimer at Gulfstream May 11.
G1 Blue Grass winner TAPIT TRICE (outside) breezing for the G1 Belmont Stakes pic.twitter.com/C0JGigYH4n
— Ryan Martin (@RyanMartinNYRA) May 26, 2023
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