Tapwrit and Mastery Win Derby Preps

Tapwrit on Track but Mastery Injured in Win and Off Kentucky Derby Trail

Mastery remained undefeated Saturday at Santa Anita, going wire-to-wire as the 4-5 favorite to win the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes (G2) by 6 ¾ lengths in his 3-year old debut. His trainer Bob Baffert was especially high on him and indicated where he thought his 3-year-old stood on the Kentucky Derby trail and Triple Crown races.

Mastery handily winning the San Felipe

“You see what he did today was just incredible and puts him as the best 3-year-old in the nation.”

Mastery ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.28 and paid $3.60 to win, $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show. Iliad paid $3.40 and $2.60. Term Of Art returned $5.40.

But following the race, terrible and tragic news hit horse racing hard. Mastery suffered a condylar fracture of his left front leg. The injury will require surgery and rules him out of the Triple Crown. An announcement following surgery and the insertion of two screws will be made on whether the injury is career-ending.

“All of a sudden he just kind of picked his back leg up,” Smith said. “To be honest at that point I didn’t know what it was. You can never really tell until you get off the horse. After a minute or so of walking he put it down and he was fine.”

Mastery walked onto the van that is used to take injured horses off the track. The injury may have not only ended his racing career, but took away one of the clear favorites for the Kentucky Derby.

The galloping gray Tapwrit used a giant burst to overtake the leaders and take the Tampa Bay Derby

On the other coast, another favorite took an impressive step forward on the Derby trail. Tapwrit (6/5) wowed over 10,000 fans at Tampa Bay Downs, unleashing a powerful move on the far turn and cruising home in stakes-record time to win Saturday’s $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2).

The Tapit colt drove home a 4 1/2-lengths winner. State of Honor was second, followed by Wild Shot, No Dozing and Beasley. Tapwrit ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.36, breaking the stakes record of 1:42.82 set by Destin last year. His time also was faster than McCraken’s time of 1:42.45 set in winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes, where Tapwrit finished second.

Tapwrit paid $4.20, $3.20 and $2.80 and now has two wins and two seconds for trainer Todd Pletcher, who won the race a record fifth time.

“When I asked him between the half-mile and three-eighths poles, he let me know he was going to win the race right away,” jockey Jose Ortiz said. “He’s really scary and I think he’s going to keep improving.”

Pletcher added, “We were looking for a big effort from him and this was everything we could hope for.”


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