Probably Won't Follow Destin Route
By Dick Downey
Photo by SV Photography
Soon after winning the Tampa Bay Derby, Tapwrit was shipped back to his Palm Beach Downs base in Delray Beach and ate well, according to Todd Pletcher.
“He was bright and alert and seemed very happy and very pleased with himself,” said Pletcher.
Pletcher watched the race from south Florida and said he spoke briefly with Tapwrit’s owners about the next step en route to the Kentucky Derby, but no decisions were made.
“I think at this point, everything is in play,” Pletcher said. “We all decided to see how he comes back and let him guide us in the right direction. Most likely we’re looking at another prep race, but we’ll take a little time to decide which one it is.”
Last year, Destin won Tampa Bay Derby and trained up to the Kentucky Derby. He finished sixth and went on lose by only a nose to Creator in the Belmont Stakes. Pletcher said he expects Destin to return to training soon.
“It just depends on the horse, and Tapwrit is getting better with each race," Pletcher said. "He’s still learning how to compete and how to win, and the experience of a mile-and-an-eighth race might give him a better chance moving forward. We’ll see how he bounces out of it and see how he trains and evaluate our options."
Pletcher said Jose Ortiz was probably pleasantly surprised at how quickly Tapwrit ran to the lead.
“We wanted to give him an opportunity to put in a good sustained run, and he made the lead so quickly. It was a big effort and I think he is a horse that keeps improving with every race. It gets tougher every time and things can change in a hurry, but we’re really pleased with him," Pletcher said.
After earning 50 points for his victory Saturday, Tapwrit now has 54 and is second on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby" leaderboard. He trails only Gunnevera, who has 64 points.
The second and third-place finishers, State of Honor and Wild Shot, improved their positions, with State of Honor earning 20 points to vault to 10th place with 22. Wild Shot collected 10 points and sits 14th with 17 points.
McCraken is tied for 11th with 20 points. The Ian Wilkes-trainee put in a workout on Saturday, 12 days after being sidelined by a mild ankle strain that forced his withdrawal from the Tampa Bay Derby. He breezed four furlongs in 50.20 at Palm Meadows.
With content from Tampa Bay Downs release