TAPIT’s Tapit Trice caught the eye late in Saturday’s Tampa Bay Derby (G3) when the colt roared up the outside of the field to win the race by two lengths.
Making his fourth career start in the race, the big gray broke last in the 1 1/16 mile race and had to settle for a spot in last by a few lengths early on. Jockey Luis Saez quicky hustled the colt to make sure he was with the rest of the field going into the first turn with Tapit Trice having a few horses beat down the backstretch.
Saez spent much of the backstretch convincing the colt to pick up the pace but in the stretch he still had plenty of work to do with over half the field left to conquer if he wanted to win.
It was as the field entered the final furlong that Tapit Trice clicked into top gear and before the rest of the field could blink, he’d flown past them to take over the lead. By the time he hit the line, he had two lengths on the field to show why bettors had sent him off as the heavy favorite in the race.
#6 Tapit Trice (1/2) comes from out of it to take the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on the Road to the #KyDerby with @luissaezpty up for @PletcherRacing.
The #TwinSpiresReplay 🎥 pic.twitter.com/G12LNgkgV8
— TwinSpires Racing 🏇 (@TwinSpires) March 11, 2023
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Tapit Trice races for Whisper Hill Farm and breeder Gainesway Stable with Gainesway buying back into the colt after Whisper Hill purchased him for $1.3 million at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
The TAPIT 3-year-old is now the winner of his last three starts with his only loss coming on debut when he was third. He earned 50 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby with this victory, putting him in the top five on the leaderboard.
Named a TDN Rising Star in his eight length Allowance Optional Claiming victory last month, Tapit Trice is out of a stakes winning half-sister to champion Jaywalk and the 10 time winner Nice Guys Finish. His dam had a TAPIT filly in 2021 and again in 2022.
This is the second Road to the Kentucky Derby winner for TAPIT in as many weeks with Congruent winning the John Battaglia last Saturday.