TAX (g, Arch–Toll, by Giant’s Causeway)
O-R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Lynch, Hugh and Corms Racing Stable. B-Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider (KY). T-Danny Gargan. Lifetime Record: GSW, 5-2-2-1, $326,300.
Last Start: 2nd, GII Wood Memorial S., AQU, Apr. 6
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 52.
Tax is aiming to carve out a reputation as the $50,000 maiden-claimer who got away. He’s run third, first, then second in a trio of graded New York stakes since being claimed at the end of the Keeneland fall meet, and as an Arch gelding out of a Giant’s Causeway mare, it was evident that he had no problems distance-wise in back-to-back nine-furlong tries. In the Wood Memorial, Tax muscled his way to a contending position from the one hole despite traffic to his outside that resulted in a disqualification, and he settled well on the backstretch run behind daylight-margin duelers. Tax got first run on the wilting pacemakers, then fought on resolutely while pinned on the inside with the assertive Tacitus bearing down on him. This gelding’s ability to consistently attain a prime stalking position will likely serve him well in the cavalry charge that comprises the crucial first turn of the Derby.