Tapit Trice to Head to Churchill Downs Next Sunday

April 9, 2023

Tapit Trice after his determined victory in the Toyota Blue Grass (JennyPhoto/Past The Wire)

Keeneland Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky.— Whisper Hill Farm and Gainesway Stable’s Tapit Trice, gritty winner of Saturday’s $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1), will head to Churchill Downs next Sunday for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Amelia Green, who is overseeing Pletcher’s Keeneland string, said Tapit Trice would be joined at Churchill the following day by Pletcher’s two other Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Woodford Reserve hopefuls, Eclipse Award winner Forte, owned by Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, and Spendthrift Farm’s Kingsbarns, who will be shipping next Sunday from Palm Beach Downs in South Florida.

Pletcher, who won his record fourth Toyota Blue Grass on Saturday, plans to stay in Louisville through the Derby after all his Derby runners arrive next week.

Tapit Trice prevailed Saturday by a neck over Westerberg Limited, Mrs. John Magnier, Jonathan Poulin, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor’s Verifying.

“He ran great,” said Blake Cox, assistant to his father, Brad, of Verifying’s first start in six weeks. “He’s very good this morning and will head to Churchill on Monday.”

Rodeo Creek Racing’s Blazing Sevens, who secured a Derby berth by finishing third in the Toyota Blue Grass for trainer Chad Brown, likely will stay at Keeneland for a couple weeks.

“We may do like we did with (Toyota Blue Grass winner) Zandon last year and have a work here and then ship to Churchill,” said Baldo Hernandez, assistant to Brown.

R. T. Racing Stable and Cypress Creek Equine’s Sun Thunder, who finished fourth in the Toyota Blue Grass, returned to Churchill Saturday night.

Trainer Kenny McPeek said plans for the Kentucky Derby are undecided. Sun Thunder has compiled 54 points on the Road to the Derby and has secured a spot in the starting gate should his connections decide to run.

Andrew and Rania Warren’s Raise Cain rallied to finish fifth, a neck behind Sun Thunder.

“We will train up to the Derby at Keeneland and most likely will give the Derby a shot,” trainer Ben Colebrook said of Raise Cain, who has secured a spot in the Derby starting gate.

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