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2014 Kentucky Derby Contenders: Tapiture Preview

Tapiture Kentucky DerbyTapiture is one of the toughest 2014 Kentucky Derby contenders to figure out but we’ll do our best to preview this 3-year-old now.

It’s tough to know what to expect out of a horse like Tapiture but one of the positives is that he’s among a small group of 2014 Kentucky Derby contenders with extensive race experience on the dirt at Churchill Downs.  After a failed attempt to break maiden at Saratoga, Tapiture took 3rd in the grade 3 Iroquois Stakes here at Churchill Downs.

After that Tapiture stayed on the dirt that is yearly the site of the Kentucky Derby and again failed to break maiden but then won the Kentucky Jockey Club next time out for his first career win.  Results have been mixed since then for Tapiture as he took 1st in the Southwest Stakes, 2nd in the Rebel Stakes, and 4th in the Arkansas Derby most recently.

Tapiture has taken out Ride On Curlin twice in recent races and both are expected to be among the 2014 Kentucky Derby entries.  That being said, Tapiture has also recently lost races against Danza and Hoppertunity who are also 2014 Kentucky Derby contenders so it is tough to know where this guy fits into the puzzle.

Other 2014 Kentucky Derby contenders we have previewed:

Wicked Strong
California Chrome
Wildcat Red
Vicar's In Trouble

All of the males on Tapiture’s sire’s side have ran in the Triple Crown races with Tapit taking 9th in the Kentucky Derby in 2004, Pulpit taking 4th in the Kentucky Derby in 1997, A.P. Indy winning the Belmont Stakes in 1992, and Seattle Slew of course winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, AND Belmont Stakes way back in 1977.  This bloodline has produced some strong Kentucky Derby contenders in recent years so the pedigree is there.

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The dam’s side for Tapiture is a little less sturdy but still not below par when compared to the rest of the 2014 Kentucky Derby contenders.  Tapiture is sired by Hard Spun who raced shorter distances on turf but her sire, Olympio, had some success on dirt while finishing 4th in the 1991 Preakness Stakes.  Olympio may have been stronger on turf but he also had a 2nd place dirt finish in the Super Derby so it doesn’t appear he’s opposed to the surface.

Tapiture’s times at 1 1/16 and 1 1/8 mile races don’t compare to that of 2014 Kentucky Derby race favorite California Chrome but that hardly eliminates a horse from winning this race with how many crazy scenarios there are that play out each year.  This is a solid horse that can go fast over the distance and with a bit of luck and suitable pace scenarios could very well find himself in front when the contenders cross the line of the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

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