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Hightap pulls off in Dogwood

Hightap scooted home beneath Shaun Bridgmohan (EquiSport Photos)

Winchell Thoroughbreds and Gainesway Farm's HIGHTAP (Tapit) overtook the favored Luster (Touch Gold) in Saturday's $111,500 Dogwood S. (G3) at Churchill Downs and continued to draw off under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan to post a 3 1/4-length victory. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the gray three-year-old lass finished up a mile on the fast dirt in 1:35 3/5 to earn her first stakes score.

Affirmed Truth (Proudest Romeo) led the way on the rail down the backstretch under Calvin Borel, posting a quarter-mile split of :23, with Slides Choice (Devil His Due) and Lady's Laughter (Distorted Humor) dueling just to her outside. Suddenly, Borel began pulling Affirmed Truth up and the pair exited the race. The chestnut filly was vanned off the track.

That left the way clear for Lady's Laughter to grab the advantage through a half-mile in :45 4/5 and six furlongs in 1:10 2/5, but she soon found herself confronted by Luster. The favorite took over in the stretch with Hightap closely tracking to the outside. The eventual winner overhauled the public's choice and pulled off as the 6-1 third pick.

Hightap returned $14, $4.80 and $4 to her faithful backers while keying the $45.20 exacta, $311.20 trifecta and $3,199 superfecta (2-5-8-6). Luster easily held second by 2 1/2 lengths over Perfect For You (Giant's Causeway), paying $2.40 and $2.20 at 4-5, while show gave back $5.40 at 10-1. Slides Choice followed by another 3 1/4 lengths, and Lady's Laughter, Dave's Revenge (The Cliff's Edge), Walloon (Alphabet Soup) and Tweeter (Unbridled's Song) completed the order under the wire.

Hightap began her racing career at Fair Grounds in December, running second in her debut, before breaking through with a first win at the same venue on January 17. She added an allowance to her line next out, then shipped to Oaklawn Park to try her luck against stakes rivals in the Honeybee S. (G3). The gray miss ran seventh and last on that day, and returned here off the more than two-month break to earn her first black-type credit. With the winner's share, she's now banked $126,365 to go along with a 5-3-1-0 career mark.

"We expected her to run better than what she did and then we were surprised when she didn't," assistant trainer Scott Blasi said of her last-place in the Honeybee. "Usually when something like that happens, something wrong will show up. She had a hind foot bruise."

Bred in Kentucky by Springland Farm, Hightap is the first stakes winner, and starter, out of the Regal Classic mare Don'tellmichelle, who has also produced an unnamed yearling colt by Badge of Silver and a 2009 Corinthian colt. Don'tellmichelle is a daughter of L'insatiable (Caveat), making her a half-sister to 2000 Breeders' S. winner and 2001 Canadian International (Can-G1) third Lodge Hill (Cozzene). L'insatiable is herself a half-sibling to 1976 Canadian Horse of the Year and Queen's Plate scorer Norcliffe (Buckpasser). This is the same family as Argentinean champion and multiple Group 1 winner El Sultan (Morning Bob).


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