Tap Day covered the 1 1/8 miles over a fast track in 1:48 4/5 and returned $9, $4.40 and $3.60 as the third choice in the field of eight. Alumni Hall, the 5-2 favorite, completed a $36 exacta and returned $3.20 and $2.80. Purge was another length and a quarter back in third, good for a $3.60 show mutuel.
"He had a lot of work to do at the eighth pole but he was ready," said winning trainer Mark Hennig. "Those were two very nice horses in front of him. He had an edge because he's run here before and he likes the track. We'll certainly take a look at it (the Breeders' Cup) and if the numbers warrant it, we'll put him in there."
After encountering trouble in the first turn when Eibar Coa lost his stirrup momentarily, Tap Day angled off the fence down the backstretch before powering past the leaders in the lane. "From the half-mile pole I had to ride him a little just so the leaders wouldn't get away from me," said Coa. "I was put in tight going into the first turn, but he was able to recover from that. Turning for home I knew I had the leaders. He was running on really well. His last three races have been tough and he's a really improving colt."Tap Day, a 4-year-old colt by Pleasant Tap from the Dayjur mare Day Mate, improved his record to 10-2-1 from 21 career starts and earnings of $717,187. Friday's victory was worth $300,000.
Request for Parole, Itsawonderfulife, Unforgettable Max, Ice Wynnd Fire and Royal Assault completed the order. Zoffinger scratched.(Chart, Equibase)