Triple Tap, American Pharoah’s Half Brother, Wins Debut Impressively For Baffert

Can Bob Baffert do it again?  High expectations naturally follow a man that has saddled six Kentucky Derby winners and two Triple Crown Champions.  On Saturday at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., the white-haired wonder unveiled a 3-year-old half brother to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, and the result certainly validated his post time odds of 1-5 as he accelerated impressively the final eighth of a mile to register a 4 ¼-length win while getting seven furlongs in 1:23.12.

By top sire Tapit out of Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman, Triple Tap was head and head with early leader Eyes Open around the turn and easily gained the advantage at the top of the stretch.  With Prat employing just one backhanded tap of the stick to his right shoulder, Triple Tap appeared to level in the final furlong in an effort that evoked memories of Baffert’s 2018 Triple Crown Champ, Justify, who made his rollicking seven furlong debut on Feb. 18, 2018 at the same distance.

Perhaps equally as important as the way he handled the seven furlongs, was the fact he galloped out far in front of the field, approximately 80 yards in front of his competition at the seven furlong pole.

“It went well and he rated kindly,” said Baffert.  “When Prat asked him to go, he took off.  He looked like he was in control of the race and Flavien worked him the other day for me and he really loved him. He usually doesn’t say too much.

“When he came back, he said it was nothing for him, he was just getting going here in the end, so that’s good sign.”

So, is the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby next on the agenda?

“It’s going to be a little difficult, the thing is, we don’t (want) to rush him, so we’re not even thinking about that right now…I want to get this race out of the way and then we’re gonna talk about it and figure out what we’re gonna do.

“He won nice, it looks like he can go two turns easily, I just like what I saw today.  I really didn’t want to go seven eighths with him.  The further the better with him…I gotta thank track management here for letting us run these great horses in short fields.”

Owned and bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Equine, Triple Tap paid $2.40 to win as his stablemate Barraza ran on for the place in a field of four sophomores.

“He broke well, we were right with the leader, which was good,” said Prat, fresh off of a remarkable six-win day on Friday.  “It felt like he was just starting to stretch his legs and he galloped out strong.”

Fractions on the race were 23.31, 46.63 and 1:10.97.

The post Triple Tap, American Pharoah’s Half Brother, Wins Debut Impressively For Baffert appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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