Tapiture's big move in the Churchill Downs stretch carried the 2-year-old Tapit colt to the winner's circle in Saturday's $175,200 Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) to put the Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred on the 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) trail.
Tapiture is one of six 2-year-old stakes horse by his sire, who is one of only two sires standing in Kentucky in the top 10 on both the General and 2-year-old Sire lists. Tapit will stand the 2014 season at Gainesway Farm for $150,000 stands and nurses.
After breaking smartly from post five in the field of nine, Tapiture found himself in tight quarters on the first turn. Deftly guided for clear running by his rider Rafael Santana, Jr., Tapiture moved into striking position mid-way down the backstretch. Santana put away the pacesetter Laddie Boy on the turn to easily move to the lead, then drew away in the stretch for a commanding 4 1/4-length win (VIDEO
Tapiture completed the 1 1/16-mile distance over a fast track in 1:43.51.
“We had planned on running him in a maiden race at the beginning of the meet as a prep for this,” said trainer Steve Asmussen. “It didn’t go as planned, but he came out of it good, trained really well and just stayed the course. It’s awfully fun to have another nice homebred for the Winchells.”
Asked about where the chestnut colt would begin his 3-year-ol campaign, Asmussen said,“He goes to the Fair Grounds from here.”
The victory improved Tapiture's career record to 1-1-2 in four races and the winner’s purse of $104,279 boosted his overall earnings to $140,838.
Tapiture also earned 10 points on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby,” the points-based system that will determine the eligibility of horses to compete in the 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) on Saturday, May 3.
Winchell bred Tapiture from the excellent broodmare Free Spin. From six foals to race, she has two stakes winners, both by Tapit, in addition to Tapiture: Remit, a two-time stakes winner of $257,556, and Retap, a stakes winner at two who earned $230,152.