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Churchill Downs Picks | Blame Stakes 2024
Tapit Trice (Carson Blevins/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Churchill Downs Picks | Blame Stakes 2024

Aaron previews the 2024 Blame Stakes (G3) from Churchill Downs, then gives his top win pick from Saturday’s feature horse race.

The 2023 Blue Grass Stakes (G1) champion Tapit Trice makes his long-awaited & slightly delayed 4-year-old debut, but can he overcome the long layoff?

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The press release:

Whisper Hill Farm and Gainesway Stable’s highly-regarded 4-year-old colt Tapit Trice, the winner of the 2023 Blue Grass (Grade I) and seventh-place finisher of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI), is set for his 4-year-old debut against 10 rivals that entered Saturday’s 5th running of the $275,000 Blame Stakes (GIII), the featured race on “Stephen Foster Preview Day” at Churchill Downs.

Run at 1 1/8 miles the Blame Stakes is the local prep for the June 29, $1 million Stephen Foster Stakes (GI). Along with the Blame, the stellar afternoon of racing will also feature the $275,000 Arlington (GIII), $275,000 Regret (GIII), $275,000 Shawnee (GIII), $275,000 Aristides (Listed) and $275,000 Audubon (Listed).

The Blame Stakes will go as Race 10 of 11 with a post time of 5:27 p.m. (all times Eastern), first post is 12:45 p.m.

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Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Tapit Trice has been away from the races since Aug. 26 when he finished third to Arcangelo and Disarm in the Travers (GI) at Saratoga. The striking gray son of Tapit has been based at Churchill Downs since late April as he continued his preparations for his seasonal bow.

Prior to the Travers, Tapit Trice bravely defeated Verifying in the Blue Grass to become one of the top contenders for Kentucky Derby 149. In the Derby, Tapit Trice had a tough journey to finish seventh as the slight 9-2 second choice in the wagering behind Angel of Empire.

Flavien Prat will unite with Tapit Trice in the Blame for the first time since he finished third in his career debut. The duo will break from post No. 5.

Other accomplished older horses that entered the Blame include Clark (GII) winner Trademark; Oaklawn Handicap (GII) runner-up Highland Falls and recent Ben Ali (GIII) runner-up War Campaign.

Here is the field for the Blame Stakes at Churchill Downs from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):

  1. Frosted Departure (Julien Leparoux, Kenny McPeek)
  2. Highland Falls (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox)
  3. War Campaign (Tyler Gaffalione, Phil Sims)
  4. Uncle Jake (Joel Rosario, Carlo Vaccarezza)
  5. Tapit Trice (Prat, Pletcher)
  6. Dreamlike (Irad Ortiz Jr., Pletcher)
  7. Classic Causeway (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek)
  8. Last Samurai (Cristian Torres, Eddie Milligan Jr.)
  9. Cagliostro (Jose Ortiz, Cherie DeVaux)
  10. Five Star General (Corey Lanerie, Grant Forster)
  11. Trademark (Martin Garcia, Vicki Oliver)