If Thursday’s $400,000 FanDuel Tapit Stakes are any indication, Kentucky Downs are in for a terrific encounter. The Tapit, at one mile and 70 meters, is reserved for horses that have not earned a participation in 2022. But that does not mean that the horses are not accomplished.
The 15 horses entered Saturday for the Tapit include last year’s Grade 1 Keeneland Turf Mile winners (In Love, which won a division of the Tapit in the previous race); Grade 2 Santa Anita Mathis Mile Winner (Law Professor); $750,000 Big Ass Fans Dueling Grounds Derby (Accredit, making first start in a year); and Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks (Like the King).
Brazil’s In Love, who drew at 12, is coached by Paulo Lobo for owner Bonne Chance Farm, who also teamed up to win the $1m Calumet Turf Cup (G2) last year at Kentucky Downs with Imperador. In Love finished a respectable seventh, beaten a total of 3 1/2 lengths, at last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Mile in Del Mar. He finished eighth in his two starts this year, both Tier 1 races .
Also in the Carpet:
- Megacity finished first in the Texas Turf Classic in its last start, but was disqualified to take second place behind stablemate Field Pass
- Peace Achieved, trying to regain his form which saw him win the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile and Keeneland’s Grade 3 Bourbon in 2019
- 2020 Tapit winner Ramsey Solution, who made his only start this year
- Allowance winner Woodbine Souper Dormy, in his first stakes since finishing a tight third at 47-1 in the Kentucky Downs’ 2019 Franklin-Simpson
- 11-time winner and tier-placed Shadow Sphinx made his first start for California coach Kristin Mulhall after being claimed for $50,000. The 7-year-old Shadow Sphinx would be in his first stakes on his 29th start and after winning $341,152.
Twelve horses can start in the Tapit, with Spanish Kingdom, Bakers Bay and Newsworthy on the list also eligible and requiring no-shows by 9 a.m. CT on race day to run.
The Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund accounts for $200,000 of the purse, for which only registered Kentucky horses are eligible.
Eight of the 10 races are Thursday’s card drew at least 12 horses.