Trainer Brad Cox revealed in a June 1 National Thoroughbred Racing Association conference call that in addition to Belmont Stakes (G1) contenders Angel of Empire and Hit Show, he would also be saddling Tapit Shoes in the final leg of the Triple Crown.
"Tapit Shoes was second in the Bath House Row (Stakes) at Oaklawn (Park) last time out and we decided the horse deserved a shot in the Belmont," Cox said in the media call.
Jose Ortiz will ride.
Owned in partnership by Spendthrift Farm, Steve Landers Racing, Martin Schwartz, Michael Dubb, Ten Strike Racing, Jim Bakke, Titletown Racing, Kueber Racing, Big Easy Racing, Winners Win, and Michael Caruso, Tapit Shoes will be making his graded stakes debut in the June 10 Belmont. The 3-year-old son of Tapit broke his maiden impressively last December at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots before running fourth and third in allowance-level events in his next two outings. He then performed admirably in his first stakes effort when just missing to Preakness Stakes (G1) fourth-place finisher Red Route One in the April 22 Bath House Row.
Cox said that Tapit Shoes is scheduled to breeze June 3 at Churchill Downs before shipping up to Belmont Park on Monday. Angel of Empire (third in the Kentucky Derby-G1) and Hit Show (fifth in the Kentucky Derby) are also expected to breeze this weekend at the Louisville oval prior to their Monday departure.