When you have a hand in raising a horse you know could be something special, it's a vindicating experience to see that horse live up to his potential. Grade 1 Belmont Stakes winner TAPWRIT was a nice looking horse from day one. Tagged to make his sales debut in the Saratoga Select Sale at Fasig Tipton, the big grey did not disappoint, dropping the hammer at $1.2 million for the partnership of Eclipse Thoroughbreds, Bridlewood Farm and Robert LaPenta.
As excited as we were for his racing debut, as we all know, these horses can be humbling. Tapwrit finished a disappointing 10th in his maiden special weight debut at Saratoga. According to trainer Todd Pletcher and Eclipse manager Aaron Wellman, it was time to take off the kid gloves. That decision proved to be a good one as Tapwrit showed some competitive spirit and the talent we all thought he had winning his next start by a length at Gulfstream. A few starts later he won the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby by 4 1/2 lengths, solidifying his spot in the starting gates of the Kentucky Derby.
Forced in to tight quarters at the break by eventual Belmont Stakes rival Irish War Cry in the Derby, the big grey colt kept trying but was able to finish only 6th behind Always Dreaming after his troubled trip on a wet track. His connections regrouped and pointed Tapwrit to the Belmont Stakes.
Five weeks of rest proved to be just the ticket and Tapwrit ran down Irish War Cry in the stretch, winning The Test of Champions by two lengths, vindicating that $1.2 million purchase price for his owners, and making all of us at Denali Stud very proud.
"Tired but good" was the official declaration of how Tapwrit was feeling after his victory in the final leg of the Triple Crown. With a Classic win now added to his resume, Pletcher has mentioned a possible next start in some of the usual summer targets such as the July 29 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2), the July 30 Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1), and the Aug. 26 Travers Stakes (G1). Wherever he ends up, you can be sure we'll all be watching and rooting for him.
After Denali-Raised Sales Grad Animal Kingdom's win in the 2011 Kentucky Derby and Tapwrit's win in the Belmont, we just need a Preakness winner to complete our own Denali Stud Triple Crown. Only a matter of time...
Be sure to stop by and see us at this year's Saratoga Select yearling sale, where we will be offering Tapwrit's half brother by Speightstown. Out of Grade 1 winning Successful Appeal mare Appealing Zophie, a member of the Denali Stud broodmare band, we think this bay colt will generate some excitement and attention, especially after big brother's recent pedigree update. Come get yourself one of our #saturdayafternoonhorses !! We'll see you there!