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Friday, June 16, 2017
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Tapwrit is on the Derby Trail with a victory in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby
Monday, March 13, 2017

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 (Tapit) raced through the field of the GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby like the proverbial hot knife through butter and rolled home an impressive 4 1/2-length winner. "We were looking for a big effort from him,” trainer Todd Pletcher said from Gulfstream via telephone. “And this was everything we could hope for. He won pretty convincingly, and we're very pleased.”

 Positioned slightly worse than centerfield as State of Honor (To Honor and Serve) 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)

“He just exploded,” Aron Wellman, president of co-owner Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, said. “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.”

 

 

 

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