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DamAppealing Zophie
DamsireSuccessful Appeal
FoaledMarch 28, 2014
CountryUnited States
BreederMy Meadowview
OwnerBridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners & Robert LaPenta
TrainerTodd Pletcher
Record13: 4-1-1
Major wins
Pulpit Stakes (2016)
Tampa Bay Derby (2017)

Triple Crown Race wins:
Belmont Stakes (2017)

Tapwrit (foaled March 28, 2014) is a retired American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 2017 Belmont Stakes. He first attracted attention when he set a track record winning the Tampa Bay Derby, but disappointed in the Blue Grass Stakes and Kentucky Derby. Skipping the Preakness Stakes, he then became his sire Tapit's third winner of the Belmont Stakes in the previous four years. Retired in 2018, Tapwrit stands at Gainesway Farm for the 2019 season.


Tapwrit is a gray colt, a color he inherited from leading sire Tapit, whose other offspring include the 2014 and 2016 Belmont Stakes winners Tonalist and Creator, and 2015 Belmont Stakes runner-up Frosted. Tapwrit's dam is Appealing Zophie, a Grade I stakes winner by Successful Appeal.[2]

Tapwrit was bred by My Meadowview LLC, which is owned by the chairman of Barnes & Noble, Leonard Riggio. He was foaled at Three Chimneys Farm but was moved to Denali Stud with his dam.[3] From an early age, he stood out to his handlers at Denali Stud. "He was a big, strong baby, and conformation-wise he was always really good," said farm manager Gary Bush.[4] He was sold as a yearling at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton select yearling sale for $1.2 million to a large ownership group consisting of Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Robert LaPenta.[3][1]

Tapwrit is trained by Hall of Fame member Todd Pletcher.[1]

Racing career

2016: two-year-old season

Tapwrit made his first start on September 3, 2016 in a 6-furlong maiden special weight race at Saratoga Race Course. He chased the early pace but tired in the stretch to finish last.[5] His owners were disappointed. "I think the general consensus that day was a severe case of nausea to be honest," said Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbreds a few months later. "We had realistic expectations in terms of knowing that he probably wasn't the type of horse that was going to fire first time out. But to say that he would show as little as he did that day, I would be lying if I said we expected that – nor would we have ever run him had we expected that."[6]

Tapwrit made his next start on November 6 at Gulfstream Park West at a distance of one mile. He again stalked the pace then started closing ground on the turn. He dueled down the stretch with Commandeering and edged away near the wire to win by a length.[7]

Tapwrit made his final start of the year in the Pulpit Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The race is normally run on the turf, but Tapwrit was a "main track only" entry, meaning he would not have run if the race remained on the turf. When the race was switched to a sloppy dirt course after heavy rain, Tapwrit instead became the post time favorite. This time he raced closer to the early pace then started his move on the final turn. He opened up a five length lead in mid-stretch before a late run by Master Plan decreased his winning margin to a length.[8][9]

2017: three-year-old season

Tapwrit began his three-year-old campaign on February 11, 2017 in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Against a field of several leading early contenders for the Kentucky Derby, Tapwrit went off at odds of nearly 10-1. He once again stalked the early pace but was out-kicked in the stretch by McCraken, who went on the win by ​1 12 lengths with Tapwrit finishing in second.[10][11]

Tapwrit was next entered in the Tampa Bay Derby on March 11, a race Pletcher had won four of the past five years. Tapwrit was made the heavy favorite and justified his backers' confidence with a ​4 12 length win while setting a track record. "He broke well and got me into a good position going down the backside, and I knew I was loaded going to the three-eighths pole," said jockey Jose Ortiz. "I didn't want to get boxed in like I did last time, so I went to the outside, and he was much the best. When he made the lead, he pulled himself up a little bit, waiting for competition. He can go a mile and an eighth, a mile and a quarter. He did it pretty easily today. I think he’s going to get much better with each race."[12]

Tapwrit's next start was the Blue Grass Stakes on April 8, where he once again faced off with McCraken, who had missed the Tampa Bay Derby with an injury.[6] The two highly regarded colts were upset though by the lightly regarded Irap, who raced near the early pace and held off the rest of the field down the stretch. Tapwrit was never a factor in the race and finished fifth.[13]

In the 2017 Kentucky Derby on May 6, Tapwrit was dismissed at odds of 27-1 despite analysis that suggested his pedigree was well suited to the distance.[2] Tapwrit (in post position 16) got a poor start when Irish War Cry, in the 17th position, ducked to the inside at the start. Tapwrit was pushed over into McCraken, who then bumped into Classic Empire.[14] All four horses lost ground and were well back in the early running. With a quarter of a mile remaining, Tapwrit was still only in tenth place but started to close ground in the stretch, eventually finishing sixth.[15]

Pletcher did not run Tapwrit in the Preakness Stakes, instead giving the colt five weeks of rest before the 2017 Belmont Stakes on June 10. The Belmont was considered wide open after the winners of the Derby and Preakness bypassed the race, followed by the late withdrawal of two other leading contenders due to injuries.[16] In their absence, Tapwrit became the second favorite at odds of 5-1 behind Irish War Cry at 5-2. This time, Tapwrit broke well and settled a few lengths behind the early leaders. Turning into the stretch, he surged into second place and gradually closed ground on Irish War Cry. As the gap narrowed, Tapwrit started bearing out to the center of the track before Ortiz guided him back towards the rail. In the final strides, Tapwrit began to pull away and ultimately won by two lengths.[17][18]

It was Pletcher's third win in the Belmont Stakes in the last eleven years. "(Belmont Park is) our home base, and I think that’s always an advantage," Pletcher said. "We felt like with the five weeks in between (the Derby and Belmont), and with the way this horse had trained, he had a legitimate chance."[19]

It was the first win of a Triple Crown race for Ortiz, who regularly rides at Belmont Park. "It's an unbelievable feeling that I can't explain," he said. "The distance – I was sure he could handle it. It was a great training job by Todd. I always liked him and had a lot of faith in him. Today he showed up."[20]

Tapwrit was given a long layoff then returned in the Travers Stakes on August 26 at Saratoga, where he was installed as the morning line favorite in a highly competitive field.[21] He settled a few lengths off the early pace and was in good position entering the stretch but failed to close ground on the early leaders and finished fourth.[22] He emerged from the race with an injury to the frog of his right front hoof. "It happens on deep, sandy tracks," said Aron Wellman, president of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. "We see it with relative frequency. If anything, it gives us a little more appreciation for his effort in the Travers." Tapwrit was sent to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital for treatment.[23]

2018: four-year-old season

Tapwrit finally returned to racing on June 3, 2018 after a layoff of over 9 months. He was made the second favorite in a field of six in an allowance optional claiming race at Belmont Park at a distance of ​1 116 miles. At the start, Tapwrit hit the side of the gate, then moved into contention with Hoffenheim for the early lead. The two horses battled around the turn and down the stretch before being passed in deep stretch by Timeline. Tapwrit finished third, beaten by ​1 12 lengths.[24]

Tapwrit made three more starts in 2018, finishing fourth in the Whitney Stakes, fifth in the Suburban and eighth in the Woodward.[1]


Date Age Distance Race Grade Track Odds Field Finish Winning Time Winning
Jockey Ref
Sep 3, 2016 2 6 furlongs Maiden Special Weight Maiden Saratoga 5.20 10 10 1:11.21 (​18 34) lengths Javier Castellano [5]
Nov 6, 2016 2 1 mile Maiden Special Weight Maiden Gulfstream Park West 3.60 7 1 1:38.24 1 length Eddie Castro [7]
Dec 10, 2016 2 1 mile Pulpit Stakes Black type Gulfstream Park 1.50 7 1 1:37.65 1 length Eddie Castro [9]
Feb 11, 2017 3 1 116 miles Sam F. Davis Stakes III Tampa Bay Downs 9.80 9 2 1:42.45 (​1 12 lengths) Jose Ortiz [11]
Mar 11, 2017 3 1 116 miles Tampa Bay Derby II Tampa Bay Downs 1.10 10 1 1:42.36 4 12 lengths Jose Ortiz [25]
Apr 8, 2017 3 1 18 miles Blue Grass Stakes II Keeneland 2.20 7 5 1:50.39 (​11 12 lengths) Jose Ortiz [13]
May 6, 2017 3 1 14 miles Kentucky Derby I Churchill Downs 27.10 20 6 2:03.59 (​10 14 lengths) Jose Ortiz [15]
Jun 10, 2017 3 1 12 miles Belmont Stakes I Belmont Park 5.30 11 1 2:30.02 2 lengths Jose Ortiz [17]
Aug 26, 2017 3 1 14 miles Travers Stakes I Saratoga 6.00 12 4 2:01.19 (8 lengths) Jose Ortiz [26]
Jun 3, 2018 4 1 116 miles Allowance Optional Claiming Belmont Park 1.35 6 3 1:40.87 (​1 12 lengths) Jose Ortiz [24]
Jul 7, 2018 4 1 14 miles Suburban Stakes II Belmont Park 3.30 10 5 1:59.84 (​9 34 lengths) Jose Ortiz [27]
Aug 4, 2018 4 1 18 miles Whitney Stakes I Saratoga 8.10 8 4 1:49.62 (​10 14 lengths) John Velazquez [28]
Sep 1, 2018 4 1 18 miles Woodward Stakes I Saratoga 6.70 14 8 1:48.94 (​5 34 lengths) John Velazquez [29]

Stud career

Tapwrit was retired from racing in October 2018 and will stand at Gainesway Farm for the 2019 season.[30]


Pedigree of Tapwrit, gray or roan colt, foaled March 28, 2014[31]
gr. 2001
b. 1994
A. P. Indy
dkb/br. 1989
Seattle Slew
Weekend Surprise
b. 1989
Mr. Prospector
Tap Your Heels
gr. 1996
b. 1987
Gana Facil
Ruby Slippers
gr. 1982
Moon Glitter
Appealing Zophie
dkb/br. 2004
Successful Appeal
dkb/br. 1996
Valid Appeal
b. 1972
In Reality
Desert Trial
Successful Dancer
dkb/br. 1989
Fortunate Prospect
Debonair Dancer
dkb/br. 1995
dkb/br. 1986
Silver Hawk
Strait Lane
Sodeo Sodeo
dkb/br. 1989
Seattle Slew
Melody Tree (family: 19)

Tapwrit is inbred 4×4 to Seattle Slew, meaning Seattle Slew appears twice in the fourth generation of Tapwrit's pedigree.


  1. ^ a b c d "Tapwrit Profile". Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Pedigree stats suggest Tapwrit has stamina edge in Derby". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Tapit Colt Brings $1.2M at Fasig-Tipton". Retrieved 2017-06-23.
  4. ^ "Tales from the Crib: Tapwrit". Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Chart for Maiden Race, September 3". Equibase. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  6. ^ a b Wincze Hughes, Alicia. "Tapwrit Enters Blue Grass Looking Like a Million Bucks". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Chart for Maiden, November 6, 2016". Equibase. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  8. ^ Welsch, Mike. "Pletcher finds at least one Kentucky Derby prospect in Pulpit winner Tapwrit". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Chart for the Pulpit Stakes". Equibase. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  10. ^ "McCraken Too Good in Sam F. Davis". Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Chart for the Sam F. Davis". Equibase. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Tapwrit's win in Tampa Bay Derby sets stakes record". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Chart for the Blue Grass Stakes". Equibase. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  14. ^ Wolken, Dan. "Always Dreaming recovers well from Derby, heads to Preakness". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on May 8, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Chart of the Kentucky Derby". Equibase. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  16. ^ Greenberg, Neil. "Analysis | 2017 Belmont Stakes field, updated odds and picks: Epicharis scratched Saturday morning". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Chart of the Belmont Stakes" (PDF). Equibase. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  18. ^ "$1.2 Million Gamble Pays Off As Tapwrit Captures Belmont Stakes". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Tapwrit gives Pletcher third Belmont Stakes victory | Daily Racing Form". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  20. ^ Balan, Jeremy. "Tapwrit Wears Down Irish War Cry to Win Belmont Stakes". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  21. ^ Johnson, J. Keeler. "A Horse-by-Horse Analysis of the Travers Stakes". Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  22. ^ "West Coast is Best in Travers Stakes". Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Tapwrit to Rood & Riddle With Foot Injury". Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Chart for Belmont Race 8, June 3, 2018". Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  25. ^ "Chart for the Tampa Bay Derby". Equibase. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  26. ^ "Chart for the Travers Stakes". Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Chart of the Suburban Stakes". Equibase. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Chart of the Whitney Stakes". Equibase. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  29. ^ "Chart of the Woodward Stakes". Equibase. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  30. ^ "Belmont Stakes Winner Tapwrit Retired To Gainesway For 2019". Paulick Report. October 1, 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  31. ^ "Tapwrit Pedigree". Retrieved 13 September 2017.