Kentucky Derby hopeful Tapwrit launched a powerful move approaching the far turn and went on to a 4 1/2-length victory in the Grade II $350,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday.
Tapwrit, trained by Todd Pletcher, covered the 1 1/16-mile distance in a stakes record 1 minute, 42.36 seconds, bettering the mark set by Destin in 2016. In an earlier race, 5-year-old Stanford set the track record at the distance, winning the Challenger Stakes in 1:41.75.
State of Honor was second, 4 1/2 lengths behind Tapwrit, and Wild Shot was third. Tapwrit went off as the heavy favorite and paid $4.20 to win. The victory was Tapwrit’s third in five starts and increased his career earnings to $313,902.
In the Grade III Florida Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, Fifty Five set a course record with a time of 1:41.60 in the 1 1/16 mile race.
San Felipe Stakes: In Arcadia, Calif., Mastery won the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes by 6 3/4 lengths, but the colt sustained a fracture in his leg after the finish, ending his Kentucky Derby hopes. Trainer Bob Baffert said Mastery has a condylar fracture, the most common seen in thoroughbreds. The colt will undergo surgery Monday with screws inserted in his left front ankle. Baffert said he will not know until after the surgery whether the injury is career-ending.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Mastery led all the way and ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.28 at Santa Anita. The 4-5 favorite paid $3.60, $2.40 and $2.10.
Santa Anita Handicap: Shaman Ghost beat Midnight Storm by three-quarters of a length to win the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap. Ridden by Javier Castellano, Shaman Ghost ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.57 and paid $4.60, $2.60 and $2.40 as the 6-5 favorite. Owner Frank Stronach was on hand to see his 5-year-old horse win a big race at Santa Anita, which Stronach also owns.