Tapwrit Part of Stakes-Record Races over Weekend
Racing continues coast to coast, and while many fans focus on the Kentucky Derby trail and Triple Crown races, there are plenty of exciting and meaningful races with more stakes records being set last weekend.
Tapwrit (6/5, pictured) wowed fans in the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2), showing his Triple Crown potential as he gathered up his competitors on the far turn and galloped home an easy 4 ½ length winner for jockey Jose Ortiz. The gray son of Tapit covered 1 1/16 miles in a record time of 1:42.36 to break the stakes race record set by Destin last year.
Also at Tampa Bay Downs, Stanford (2/5) led from the start to win Saturday’s $100,000 Challenger, covering 1 1/16 miles in a track-record time of 1:41.75 with John Velazquez riding home the winner by 3 ¼ lengths.
A third record nearly fell at Tampa Bay Saturday when new York-bred Fifty Five (4/1) came rallying from the back of the pack to roll past the leaders in the deep stretch and win the $200,000 Grade III Florida Oaks by a neck over the odds-on favorite, La Coronel.
In Saturday’s turf sprint at Gulfstream, Pay any Price (5/1) led from the start in the $75,000 Silks Run Stakes and got home by 3 1/4 lengths in front of odds-on favorite Power Alert. The 7-year-old Pay Any Price set a turf course-record time of 53.61 seconds over 5 furlongs.
And the sad news of the racing weekend happened in the other Road to the Roses qualifying race when one of the top Kentucky Derby favorites, Mastery, sustained a fracture of his left front leg following his victory in the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes. Jockey Mike Smith unsaddled Mastery shortly after his 6 ½-length win, and the Candy Ride colt was loaded into an ambulance.
Trainer Bob Baffert said, “You see what he did today was just incredible and puts him as the best 3-year-old in the nation.”
Unfortunately, we won’t see Mastery on the Triple Crown trail following the injury and surgery.