Eleventh as the favorite in the Churchill Downs Stakes Presented by Ford (G1) May 1, Live Oak Plantation’s Tap It to Win looks to rebound beneath the Twin Spires in the $150,000 Aristides Stakes at Churchill Downs May 29.
Run at six furlongs, the Aristides is one of seven stakes events on the 11-race Stephen Foster Preview Day program. The Aristides goes as the 10th race at 5:26 p.m. ET.
Tap It to Win is one of two horses in the Aristides that last raced in the Churchill Downs on Derby Day, the other being Tamaroak Partners’ Bango , who weakened to sixth after holding a one-length lead in midstretch. The latter didn’t switch leads down the stretch.
Tap It to Win faltered before the stretch after part of the early mix for a half-mile. A 4-year-old Tapit ridgling, Tap It to Win sometimes readily tires. Four times in his 11-race career he has lost by 14 lengths or more.
The Mark Casse trainee also has four victories, one of which was the NYRABETS Sprint Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs earlier this year. He was also twice graded placed as a 3-year-old, running second in last year’s H. Allen Jerkens Stakes Presented by Runhappy (G1) and third in the Pat Day Mile Stakes presented by LG&E and KU (G2).
Leading rider Tyler Gaffalione has the mount from post 10.
Tap It to Win is 0-0-1 in three local starts compared to the Greg Foley-trained Bango, who is 4-1-1 in seven main track races.
Other top horses entered in the Aristides include Johnny Evans and Terry Eoff’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) fourth-place finisher Empire of Gold , and Willis Horton’s four-time winner and near millionaire Long Range Toddy , 16th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) in 2019.
Empire of Gold, trained by Eoff, ran third behind C Z Rocket and Whitmore in the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) in his seasonal debut at Oaklawn Park April 10 before an allowance optional claiming victory there April 30.
Set Piece wins the Opening Verse Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs
The Saturday card at Churchill Downs is completed by the Douglas Park Overnight Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf. There, Juddmonte’s Set Piece seeks a repeat stakes victory after taking the Opening Verse Overnight Stakes at Churchill April 29.
The Douglas Park could propel starters into the $300,000 Wise Dan Stakes (G2T) June 26. It is the nightcap, race 11, at 5:58 p.m. ET.
Set Piece, a 5-year-old gelded son of Dansili , is 4-for-8 since imported to the United States from overseas and moved into the barn of trainer Brad Cox. Two of Set Piece’s victories came over the local turf course, including his stateside debut last June.
Florent Geroux has the mount from post 8.
Steve Goldfine, Kari Provost, and Jeff Zlonis’ Gray’s Fable , trained by Roger Attfield, is among his principal challengers. Third in the Opening Verse, he was previously a front-running two-length winner of the Kitten’s Joy Appleton Stakes (G3T) at Gulfstream Park March 27 in his first start of the year. The 6-year-old Gio Ponti gelding breaks from the outside post in the field of nine.
Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 29, 2021, Race 10
- 4 yo’s & up
- 5:26 PM (local)
Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 29, 2021, Race 11
- 1 1/16m
- 4 yo’s & up
- 5:58 PM (local)