Taptowne Draws Rail in Well-Matched Razorback

Taptowne Draws Rail in Well-Matched Razorback
Photo: Coady Photography
Taptowne won the 2013 West Virginia Governor's Stakes.

Multiple stakes winner Taptowne, preparing for a likely start in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) in a month's time, was assigned co-top weight of 117 pounds for the $200,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) March 15 at Oaklawn Park.

Trained by Tim Glyshaw for owner Clovertowne Farm, Taptowne ran second by 5 3/4 lengths to Cyber Secret in last year's Oaklawn Handicap after easily winning an allowance/optional claiming race over the Hot Springs, Ark., track.

The 6-year-old son of Tapit   is making his first start of the year in the 1 1/16-mile Razorback. The gray gelding won the Swatara Stakes at Penn National Race Course in his most recent appearance Nov. 27. He has posted four workouts over the local oval, including a bullet five-furlong breeze in :59 flat Feb. 28. Norberto Arroyo picks up the mount on Taptowne, who drew the rail.

Seven Kentucky-bred older horses are entered in the Razorback, one of three graded stakes on Oaklawn's Rebel Stakes (gr. II) program. Post time for the Razorback, race 9 Saturday, is 5:27 p.m. CDT.

Also assigned 117 pounds is the comebacking Called to Serve, last seen being nosed out for second in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) just over a year ago. This will be just the second start for the 5-year-old son of Afleet Alex   since winning the Discovery Handicap (gr. III) and Broad Brush Stakes in back-to-back efforts in late 2012.

Owned by Marc C. Farrell and previously trained by Nick Canani, Called to Serve is now in the barn of Steve Asmussen. Based this winter at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Called to Serve has had one work over the local layout, breezing five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 March 8. Ricardo Santana Jr. has the mount from post 5.

Trainer Bob Baffert, who entered Hoppertunity in the Rebel, will also be represented in the Razorback by 4-year-old Govenor Charlie. Mike Pegram's Santa Anita Park-based son of Midnight Lute   has started once in 2014, finishing second to stablemate Shakin It Up in the Strub Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 18.

The dark bay colt won last year's Sunland Derby (gr. III) by five lengths but went to the sidelines for the remainder of the season after being distanced in the Preakness (gr. I). Mike Smith ships in from California to ride both of Baffert's entrants Saturday.

Right to Vote is two-for-two at Oaklawn this meet, most recently taking the listed Essex Handicap at the Razorback distance Feb. 15 by a half-length as a lukewarm favorite. Ron Moquette trains the 5-year-old Political Force gelding, who starts from gate 2 with Calvin Borel up.

Jim Tafel's Essex runner-up Street Spice also returns in this spot for trainer Greg Geier. A homebred 4-year-old gelding by Street Sense  , Street Spice rallied between horses last time but was out-kicked by Right to Vote in deep stretch. He seeks his first stakes win from post 3 with Alex Canchari back aboard.

Trainer Todd Pletcher ships in from Florida with E. Paul Robham Stables' homebred Golden Lad, who brings a three-race win streak from Gulfstream Park into his stakes debut. Jose Lezcano rides the 4-year-old Medaglia d'Oro   colt from post 4.

Rounding out a well-matched field is Jeffrey Bloom's multiple stakes winner Majestic City, who drew the far outside post for Southern California trainer Ron Ellis. Joel Rosario has the call on the 5-year-old son of City Zip  , fourth in the San Pasqual Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 11.

$200,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III, Race 9, 5:27 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Taptowne (KY), N Arroyo Jr., 117, T Glyshaw
2. Right to Vote (KY), C H Borel, 115, R Moquett
3. Street Spice (KY), A Canchari, 113, G Geier
4. Golden Lad (KY), J Lezcano, 115, T A Pletcher
5. Called to Serve (KY),  R Santana Jr., 117, S M Asmussen
6. Govenor Charlie (KY), M E Smith, 115, B Baffert
7. Majestic City (KY), J Rosario, 114, R W Ellis
 

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