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Tapit Trice Makes Racing Return in Blame Stakes

The son of Tapit was last seen finishing third in the Aug. 26 Travers Stakes (G1).

Tapit Trice (left) wins the 2023 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland

Tapit Trice (left) wins the 2023 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland

Anne M. Eberhardt

Grade 1 winner Tapit Trice returns to racing action June 1 as he faces 10 competitors in the $275,000 Blame Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, a local prep for the $1 million Stephen Foster Stakes (G1) June 29.

Tapit Trice quickly rose through the 3-year-old ranks in 2023 with wins in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) and Blue Grass Stakes (G1) before tussling with the division's best for the remainder of his season. After finishing seventh as the second choice in the Kentucky Derby (G1), the Tapit  colt would place third in both the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers Stakes (G1).

Taking time off following the Travers, the Todd Pletcher trainee reemerges for his 4-year-old unveiling off a nine-month layoff. A $1.3 million purchase from the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Tapit Trice has nearly earned back his purchase price, earning $1,213,650 for owners Whisper Hill Farm and Gainesway Stable.

"Like many Tapits, I think he'll only improve with age," Pletcher assistant Stu Hampton said. "We've seen him more focused in the mornings now as a 4-year-old, and he's been very sharp the last few days with the cooler weather. He's done really well here at Churchill, and we're very happy with his preparation off the layoff."

Pletcher also sends to the gate Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables' grade 1-placed Dreamlike. On April 19, the 4-year-old Gun Runner  colt returned from his five-month layoff following an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Park with a neck defeat to reopposing Cagliostro at Keeneland in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race.

"He's a horse that will sometimes save himself in the mornings during his works," Hampton said of Dreamlike. "However, last week we've seen him be more aggressive in his training and put in a really solid half-mile in preparation for this race."

Video: Race 8 (ALW) at KEE on 4/19/24

The victory in Cagliostro's 4-year-old debut was his first since breaking his maiden 15 months prior, but hopes have always been high for the son of Upstart , who picked up a pair of graded placings in the summer.

In the Blame Stakes, Cagliostro will make his first start in the silks of Wathnan Racing but remains in the care of trainer Cherie DeVaux.

Also in the Field

  • Brad Cox and Godolphin seek a piece of the action with Highland Falls, a developing homebred son of Curlin  who sports a fourth in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) and second in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in his last two starts.
  • Kentucky Derby- and Kentucky Oaks (G1)-winning trainer Kenny McPeek will seek to keep his hot spring meet going as he saddles grade 1 winner Classic Causeway and R. T. Racing Stable's Frosted Departure, who has won each of his last two starts, both of which came at 1 1/16 miles.
  • BBN Racing's 2023 Clark Stakes (G2) winner Trademark looks to get back on track following a disappointing 10th in the Jan. 27 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) at Gulfstream Park and a seventh in his return effort over a sloppy Churchill Downs track in the Alysheba Stakes (G2) May 3.

The Blame is race 10 with post time of 5:27 p.m. ET.

Entries: Blame S. (G3)

Churchill Downs, Saturday, June 1, 2024, Race 10

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $275,000
  • 4 yo's & up
  • 5:27 PM (local)
11Frosted Departure (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJulien R. Leparoux118Kenneth G. McPeek15/1
22Highland Falls (KY)Florent Geroux118Brad H. Cox5/2
33War Campaign (KY)Tyler Gaffalione118Philip A. Sims9/2
44Uncle Jake (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoel Rosario118Carlo Vaccarezza30/1
55Tapit Trice (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat118Todd A. Pletcher3/1
66Dreamlike (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateIrad Ortiz, Jr.118Todd A. Pletcher4/1
77Classic Causeway (KY)Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.118Kenneth G. McPeek30/1
88Last Samurai (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCristian A. Torres118Eddie Milligan, Jr.20/1
99Cagliostro (FL)Jose L. Ortiz118Cherie DeVaux6/1
1010Five Star General (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCorey J. Lanerie118Grant T. Forster30/1
1111Trademark (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMartin Garcia123Victoria H. Oliver12/1