Two siblings of Tapit, the nation’s top American-based sire, are at the Fair Grounds, turning heads this week with impressive work.
Untapable, a four-time Grade I winner, finished a half mile in 51:80, less than one second faster than Tapiture, a four-time graded stakes winner (52:20).
So will the Winchell Thoroughbreds duo hit the Gentilly track for a weekend of races?
Trainer Steve Asmussen could not be reached Wednesday afternoon for comment, but the throughbreds’ first work of the season on Monday morning showed that wherever they continue their careers will likely mark another “fantastic” chapter in their race history, borrowing the word Asmussen used to describe their work this week.
Untapable was victorious in the Grade I $2,000,000 Breeder’s Cup Distaff. Meanwhile, Tapiture finished second in the Grade I $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
Now-retired jockey Rosie Napravnik rode Untapable to a win in the 2014 Kentucky Oaks. Tapiture, though, had to rebound from a disappointing 15th-place finish at the 2014 Kentucky Derby to win another two graded stakes. In 2014, Tapit, a 13-year-old stallion, clinched the single-season earnings record for a North American-based stallion with Untapable’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff win in late October. Thanks to Untapable, one of Tapit’s progeny, the elder thoroughbred is demanding stud fees of $300,00, according to the Lexington-Herald Leader.
Also back at the Fair Grounds is Departing, a three-time graded stakes winner, hoping to recover from November’s seventh-place finish in the Grade I $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.
Departing finished 2014 with one win, dating to April, but the product of War Front placed another three times during the season.
Graham gets his shot
Napravnik ended her career with four consecutive season jockey titles at the Fair Grounds, besting runner-up James Graham for the past three years.
Now that she has retired, Graham has another shot at taking over the track. Graham ($1,422,210) leads all jockeys at the Fair Grounds with 64 wins in 286 starts (win percentage of 22 percent). Miguel Mena ($1,422,210) is second with 43 wins in a track-leading 289 starts.
Randy Romero’s 181 wins in 1983-84 marks the track’s single-season record.