Tapicat cruises in Florida Oaks

by | 02.02.2013 | 3:39pm

In the 30th running of the Grade III, $150,000 Florida Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, Besilu Stables' chestnut beauty Tapicat lived up to her 9-10 odds, taking the lead quickly after the start and winning virtually uncontested by two-and-three-quarter lengths from Kitten's Dumplings. Wave Theory was third and supplemental entry Rusty Slipper fourth.

This was the third running of the Florida Oaks on the turf, and Tapicat's time of 1:39.78 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was a stakes record and only .13 seconds off Legs Galore's previous track record of 1:39.65. Joel Rosario rode the winner, who won her third consecutive race on the turf and first in stakes company.

Tapicat, a daughter of Tapit-Zealous Cat, by Storm Cat, trained by Hall of Fame conditioner William Mott, was bred in Kentucky by Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Gainesway Thoroughbreds. Besilu Stables owner Benjamin Leon, best known as the owner of Royal Delta, purchased Tapicat as a 2011 Keeneland September yearling for $725,000.

First-place money of $60,000 raised her earnings to $118,100.
 
“We really love her. We look for excellent pedigree, conformation and racing ability, and she has all three,” Leon said. “We expected her to do well. She is an unbelievable filly.”
 
Mott said the race went mostly according to script. “On paper, it didn't appear there was a tremendous amount of early speed in the race, so the way it unfolded was not a surprise,” Mott said. “It looked like she did it the same way as in her maiden race and allowance company (both at Gulfstream). It looked easy for her. She has a tremendous amount of early speed and a nice stride, and she seems to be able to carry her speed, so that's a dangerous combination.
 
“She broke one step slow and took a little bump from a horse inside, but she was quickly able to regain her position and only needed three or four strides to get back in the race,” Mott said. “She's had three races this winter and I kind of planned on not running her right back. I supposed we will have to consider if we want to take a chance on the synthetic in the (Grade I) Ashland at Keeneland (April 6).”
 
Rosario's view was basically only of green grass ahead. “This is a very nice filly to be riding,” he said. “She broke well and took the lead comfortably, then she settled right down and I was able to get her to relax. I wanted to have enough for the stretch run and no one came after us.
 
“When we got into the stretch she was still going along well. She was looking around a little mid-stretch, just seeing where she was. We won with something left,” Rosario added.

First-place money of $60,000 raised her earnings to $118,100.

“We really love her. We look for excellent pedigree, conformation and racing ability, and she has all three,” Leon said. “We expected her to do well. She is an unbelievable filly.”

Mott said the race went mostly according to script. “On paper, it didn't appear there was a tremendous amount of early speed in the race, so the way it unfolded was not a surprise,” Mott said. “It looked like she did it the same way as in her maiden race and allowance company (both at Gulfstream). It looked easy for her. She has a tremendous amount of early speed and a nice stride, and she seems to be able to carry her speed, so that's a dangerous combination.

“She broke one step slow and took a little bump from a horse inside, but she was quickly able to regain her position and only needed three or four strides to get back in the race,” Mott said. “She's had three races this winter and I kind of planned on not running her right back. I supposed we will have to consider if we want to take a chance on the synthetic in the (Grade I) Ashland at Keeneland (April 6).”

Rosario's view was basically only of green grass ahead. “This is a very nice filly to be riding,” he said. “She broke well and took the lead comfortably, then she settled right down and I was able to get her to relax. I wanted to have enough for the stretch run and no one came after us.

“When we got into the stretch she was still going along well. She was looking around a little mid-stretch, just seeing where she was. We won with something left,” Rosario added.

Post-race quotes:

Winning trainer William Mott: “It looked like she did it the same way in her maiden race and allowance company, it looked easy for her. She has a tremendous amount of early speed and a nice stride. And she seems to be able to carry her speed, so that's a dangerous combination. She broke one step slow and took a little bump from a horse inside, but she was quickly able to regain her position and only needed three or four strides to get back in the race. She's had three races this winter and I kind of planned on not running her right back. I supposed we will have to consider if we want to take a chance on the synthetic in the Ashland at Keeneland.”

Winning owner Benjamin Leon of Besilu Stables: “We really love her. We look for excellent pedigree, conformation and racing ability, and she has all three. We expected her to do well. She is an unbelievable filly.”

Winning jockey Joel Rosario: “Yes, this is a very nice filly to be riding. She broke well and took the lead comfortably, she settled right down and I was able to get her to relax. I wanted to have enough for the stretch run and no one came after us. When we got into the stretch she was still going along well, she was looking around a little midstretch, just seeing where she was. We won with something left.”

Chart

NOTE: The times for the Oaks have been revised since this release was published. Read more here.

  • Riatea

    She was the star of the day at Tampa today.

  • Riatea

    She was the star of the day at Tampa today.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram