TAPWRIT’s Victory Formation joined the Kentucky Derby trail on Sunday with a three-length victory in the Listed Smarty Jones Stakes, earning 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby to put him in sixth position on the leaderboard.
It was the third win in three starts for the undefeated son of Belmont Stakes (G1) winner TAPWRIT, who was stretching out to one mile for the first time in his stakes debut.
Victory Formation went straight to the lead when hustled out of the gate by Flavien Prat before taking a comfortable lead as he cruised on the front end. Prat never had to ask for his full potential, only tapping him once in the stretch before riding him out to the line.
#8 VICTORY FORMATION ($3.20) wins the SMARTY JONES STAKES! The 3 year old colt by TAPWRIT (@Gainesway) remains undefeated and earns 10 points in the KENTUCKY DERBY standings. Flavien Prat was aboard for @bradcoxracing who finished 1-2. Congrats to all the connections! pic.twitter.com/8PbtgD9UES
— TVG (@TVG) January 1, 2023
Trained by Brad Cox, the TAPWRIT colt was a $340,000 2-year-old purchase by racing owners Spendthrift Farm and Frank Fletcher Racing Operations last year. The Smarty Jones Stakes victory takes Victory Formation’s earnings to $282,285.
Bred by Gainesway, Victory Formation is a half-brother to Grade 1-placed Bellamore and to the dam of stakes winner Sienna with all three of the runners out of Smart N Soft winning at least one race. Smart N Soft is out of Grade 2 winner Softly, who is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Coragil Cat and to the dam of Grade 2 winner Conquest Big E.
Smart N Soft has a KARAKONTIE 2-year-old filly who sold for $130,000 at the Keeneland September Sale last year.
TAPWRIT is the sire of 15 winners with 54% of his runners hitting the board at least once in their careers, led by two stakes performers.