Under Rafael Hernandez, Tap It to Win, trained by Mark Casse for Live Oak Plantation, burst out of the gate and immediately seized control of the 1 1/16-mile main track race for three-year-olds and up.
Mighty Heart, Canada’s reigning Horse of the Year, was settled into second by Daisuke Fukumoto, as the field was led through early splits of :25.70 and :49.05.
As the field rounded the turn for home, Mighty Heart was called upon for his best run as Tap It to Win, the 9-2 third choice, was still running comfortably and confidently through three-quarters in 1:12.96.
Ahead by two lengths at Robert Geller’s stretch call, Tap It to Win crossed the wire a 1 ¾-length winner in a time of 1:43.79. Mighty Heart was second and Special Forces took third.
It was first graded stakes triumph for the homebred, who was making his first start on the Toronto oval Tapeta.
Hernandez, who followed the pre-race instructions to perfection, felt confident at every step of the Seagram Cup.
“They told me, ‘Raffi, just got to the lead. Do your thing there. Put him on the lead and the rest is up to the horse.’ When I looked back turning for home, I said, ‘If they have something, they have to run faster than me because I still have plenty.”
He paid $11.40 for the win.
Tap It to Win finished second in his career bow in July 2019 at Woodbine, breaking his maiden the next time out at Saratoga.
He kicked-off his 2021 campaign with a win in the NYRABETS Sprint Stakes at Tampa Bay Down on March 28, and arrived at the Seagram Cup off a seventh-place finish in the Grade 2 (turf) Connaught Cup on July 18 at Woodbine.
Now a five-time winner from 14 starts, Tap It to Win is out of stakes-winning Medaglia d’Oro broodmare Onepointhreekarats.
Not So Quiet Speaks Volumes Again in Vice Regent
TORONTO, September 11, 2021 – Not So Quiet, with Rafael Hernandez aboard, rallied along the rail to notch his second straight Vice Regent Stakes score, Saturday at Woodbine.
The six-year-old son of Silent Name (JPN), bred and owned by Heste Sport Inc., came into the $150,000 five-furlong Inner Turf race off a third-place effort in the Grade 3 Vigil Stakes on August 1 at Woodbine.
Sent off as the 7-5 choice, Not So Quiet, trained by Mark Casse, was shuffled back at the outset, and sat sixth as longshots Rockcrest and Alacritous took the field through an opening quarter-mile timed in :21.72.
Rockcrest, longest shot on the board at 44-1, was still calling the shots as the field straightened for home, while Hernandez looked for room to take aim at the leader, eventually finding a seam along the inside.
At the wire, Not So Quiet was a 1 ½-length winner, with a game Rockcrest taking second, 1 ½-lengths ahead of City Boy.
“The plan was to be close to the pace because with five-eighths you have to be on the engine,” said Hernandez, who teamed with Casse earlier on the card to take the Seagram Cup aboard Tap It to Win. “But the horse next to me, the seven (City Boy) in the gate, he was acting a little weird and then my horse started to get nervous. They opened the gate and he came out a little bit slowly from what we wanted to do, but we came up with Plan B, and then everything came out good.”
The final time over firm going was :56.25.
“He’s great,” said Hernandez. “He’s a racehorse anywhere you want to put him. You ask him what to do and he’ll do it.”
It was a return to winning form for Not So Quiet, who rhymed off two straight scores to complete his 2020 campaign, taking the Vice Regent on October 4 and Overskate Stakes on October 31.
The gelding, who broke his maiden first time out on July 18, 2018, now sports a mark of 7-0-2 from 15 starts.
Not So Quiet paid $5 for today’s win.
Woodbine Press Release
PHOTOS BY MICHAEL BURNS