(Tapit Trice / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the NYRA Media Team / Ryan Martin:

Whisper Hill Farm and Gainesway Stable’s Tapit Trice returned to the work tab for the first time since finishing third in the June 10 Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, breezing a half-mile over the Belmont Park training track on Friday.

Guided through the move by exercise rider Fernando Rivera, Tapit Trice completed his four-furlong work in 49.90 seconds over the fast track. The sophomore Tapit gray was seventh in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on May 6 at Churchill Downs prior to his Belmont Stakes run and captured the Grade 1 Blue Grass on April 8 at Keeneland. Both the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell on July 22 at Monmouth Park and the Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy the following Saturday at Saratoga Race Course are likely next-out landing points for Tapit Trice, according to Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. 

“Both are in play,” Pletcher said. “He had a nice easy breeze by himself this morning. He seemed happy and moving well.”

Pletcher added that Eclipse Award-winning stablemate Forte, who finished second in the Belmont Stakes, could have his first breeze following the ‘Test of the Champion’ next Friday. 

Pletcher sent Bass Stable’s homebred Grade 1 winner Annapolis and LSU Stables’ graded stakes-placed Far Bridge to the inner turf on Friday morning. The pair went a half-mile in company in 49.86 seconds in preparation for their next respective outings. 

Far Bridge, a troubled second in the Grade 2 Pennine Ridge on June 3 at Belmont, is on target for the Grade 1, $750,000 Belmont Derby Invitational going 1 1/4 miles on July 8. 

Annapolis will point for the Grade 3, $175,000 Kelso on July 15 at Saratoga before a potential start in the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap on August 12 at the Spa. Both are one-mile turf events. 

“Both went great. They were head and head the whole way and looked comfortable,” Pletcher said. 

Pletcher added that Spendthrift Farm’s Major Dude, a last-out winner of the Grade 2 Penn Mile on June 2 at Penn National, is likely for either the Belmont Derby or the Grade 3, $250,000 Manila going one mile at Belmont on the day prior. 

The son of Bolt d’Oro is a three-time graded stakes winner, having captured the Grade 2 Pilgrim in October at Belmont at the Big A and the Grade 3 Kitten’s Joy on February 4 at Gulfstream Park. Through a consistent 10-4-2-2 record, he has banked $714,895. 

Pletcher also reported that 2021 New York Horse of the Year Americanrevolution will likely not make his 5-year-old debut until Saratoga. The son of Constitution has not raced since finishing second to Olympiad in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup in September at the Spa.

Owned by CHC Inc. and WinStar Farm, Americanrevoution has breezed consistently through the month of June, and went five furlongs in 1:02.01 on Thursday over the Belmont training track.

“He breezed his first five-eighths yesterday so we’ve got a little more work to do,” Pletcher said. “We’ll resurface at Saratoga somewhere.”

Pletcher also stated that Repole Stable’s New York-bred Gambling Girl, a late closing second in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on May 5 at Churchill Downs, is targeting the Grade 1, $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 22 at Saratoga. 

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Selenaia could target G3 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Oaks Invitational; Canterbury stakes heroes all possible for Spa outings

Trainer Jonathan Thomas is getting in a Saratoga state of mind with newly crowned graded stakes victress Selenaia, who could target the Grade 3, $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Oaks Invitational going 1 3/16 miles on August 4. 

Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Madaket Stables, the Irish-bred daughter of Sea the Moon captured the Grade 3 Honeymoon going nine furlongs on June 10 at Santa Anita, where she defeated a field that included graded stakes winners Paris Secret and Comanche Country by 3 1/4 lengths. A three-time winner over as many tracks, Selenaia broke her maiden at second asking in September at the Meadowlands before making her sophomore debut off an eight-month layoff in a Horseshoe Indianapolis allowance event. 

“We’re taking a very strong look at a race like a Saratoga Oaks for her,” Thomas said. “There were some real accomplished horses in that race. We went out there as much for timing and the distance going a mile and an eighth we thought would really flatter her. We were thinking we were taking a live filly out there and I was pleased with what we saw.”

Selenaia was bought at the 2021 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale for $121,281 and is out of the unraced Declaration of War mare Dettoria – a half-sister to stakes-winning turf stayer Lady of Kyushu. 

On Wednesday evening, Thomas had three winners on Canterbury Park’s Northern Stars Turf Festival with High Front [Dark Star Turf Sprint], Fuerteventura [Brooks Fields Mile] and Regal Realm [Lady Canterbury], all piloted by Florent Geroux and entered their respective efforts off a win. 

Thomas said that Saratoga engagements are in the cards for all three horses. 

“Saratoga is always a major stop on our tour so to speak,” Thomas said. “Any one of the three or all three could show up there. It’s a different move going from Canterbury to Saratoga, but for sure they could be there.”

Augustin Stables’ High Front could be a candidate for the August 5 Grade 3, $300,000 Troy. The 4-year-old son of Summer Front earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure for his deep-closing triumph in the Dark Star, arriving off a narrow triumph against winners on May 19 at Churchill Downs. 

“We really wanted him to drop out and get a chance to run,” Thomas said. “He’s been involved fairly early in a lot of his starts, so it was nice to see another dimension there. It gives him more of a weapon in those turf sprints.”

Robert V. LaPenta and Brereton Jones’ Fuerteventura dead heated for second with graded stakes winner Celestial City in last year’s Grade 3 Saranac at the Spa, which was won by eventual Grade 1-winner Annapolis. The 4-year-old son of Summer Front also earned a 90 Beyer for his win, which was his second stakes win after capturing last year’s Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park. 

“He dead-heated that day behind Annapolis who’s gone on to become a top tier horse,” said Thomas. “He’s kept good form and he’s been a really consistent horse in the spots we’ve picked out for him. I’d say a lower level stake wouldn’t be out of line for him at all. Saratoga could be on the horizon for him, but we’ll see.”

Thomas said Augustin Stables’ Regal Realm will likely remain at distances no longer than a flat mile for the time being. She earned an 89 Beyer after defeating multiple Minnesota-bred stakes winner Midnight Current by one length in the Lady Canterbury. 

“She can be a very generous filly in that if you involve her too early, she can give you more than you need,” Thomas said. “We were a little worried about getting caught up in a speed duel. I thought Florent did a super job of giving her an opportunity to rate and it worked out very well. She showed a great turn of foot. Anything over a mile might be too far for her, so I’ll have to sit down and look at the stakes schedule.” 

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Harrodsburg possible for G3 Dwyer after G1 Woody Stephens scratch; Law Professor gets summer freshening

Trainer Rob Atras reported all is well with impressive maiden-winner Harrodsburg after the bay gelding was a late scratch from the Grade 1 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun on June 10 at Belmont Park. The son of Constitution got loose in the paddock before being collared and walked back to the barn.

Harrodsburg, a 2 1/4-length winner of his debut sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs in March, arrived at the Woody Stephens from a nose defeat to Listentoyourheart in a May 6 allowance at Belmont, which garnered a 99 Beyer Speed Figure. The Twin Creeks Racing Stable homebred is out of the graded stakes-placed Exchange Rate mare Gracer and is a half-brother to stakes-winner Rome. 

Atras said he will consider the Grade 3, $200,000 Dwyer, a one-mile test for sophomores on July 1 at Belmont, for Harrodsburg’s next start. 

“It’s possible he could go there, but we’re still deciding,” said Atras. “We’ve got to make a decision on what we’ll do next.” 

Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s graded stakes-winner Law Professor, last seen finishing a distant sixth in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special on May 19, will receive some time off this summer with an eye towards a fall campaign. The dark bay Constitution gelding posted two open-lengths stakes victories this year for Atras in the Queens County and Excelsior at Aqueduct Racetrack and finished third in the Grade 3 Razorback at Oaklawn Park. 

“We sent him to the owner’s farm for a break – he’s been going all winter,” said Atras. “He didn’t run his best race at Pimlico and had some nerves in the paddock. He was a little flat that day. We’ll point him to come back in the late summer or early fall.” 

Atras added it is possible Law Professor could make his return at Kentucky Downs, where he won the restricted Tapit in September. 

“It’s been mentioned,” said Atras. “He did so well on the grass there, so that’s definitely a possibility.”