Tapit Shines in Laurel Park Work

Tapit worked in-between races Wednesday afternoon at Laurel Park, drilling seven-furlongs under jockey Ramon Dominguez in 1:29.70.

The pair worked in company with two other horses from trainer Michael Dickinson's stable, Royal Win and Silver Singer, who set slow fractions of :27 and :53 seconds for the opening two quarters. Dickinson instructed the riders of the other horses to leave a small gap at the head of the stretch and for Dominguez to barge his way through.

"He's only raced twice in his life and I didn't want to take him straight to a race without a little bit of practice," Dickinson said in a release from Laurel Park. "So today was a van ride, time in the receiving barn, important time in the paddock and then a nice workout. On the whole I think the breeze went pretty well. I was quite pleased as a whole with the work. I am really glad we came, it was a very necessary classroom exercise."

Tapit has not raced since an impressive 4 1/2-length score in the Nov. 15 Laurel Futurity (gr. III).

"I was very happy with him," remarked Dominguez, who was aboard for the Laurel Futurity victory and hopes to retain the mount. "The fractions were pretty slow for him and I had a handful of horse all the way around. Just like in his last race he did it very easy and galloped out great."

The son of Pulpit is expected to make his three-year old debut in the March 13 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park. In January he was shifted from his Tapeta Farm base in the Baltimore suburbs to Florida where Dickinson had planned to make the colt's first start of the season in the Feb. 15 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds. Tapit missed training due to a sore shin and inclement weather in Florida and returned home earlier this month.

"Back in January we were a week ahead of where we needed to be to peak on May 1, then we lost 19 days" the trainer said. "I think he is fit enough for the Florida Derby, but not fit enough to win."