By Richard Rosenblatt
After a taxing few months, everything appears on go for the 4-year-old debut of Tax in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25.
While the 2019 Jim Dandy (G2) winner may be overlooked against the likely favorite, multiple Grade 1 winner Omaha Beach, and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Spun to Run, Tax is a veteran of the 2019 Triple Crown trail. The son of Arch won the Withers (G3), ran second to Tacitus in the Wood Memorial (G2), and then was 15th in the wacky Kentucky Derby (G1) and fourth in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
After the Jim Dandy win in Saratoga, where he defeated Preakness (G1) winner War of Will and Tacitus, Tax was a disappointing seventh in the Travers (G1). At that point, the gelding was shipped to Oklahoma and, according to trainer Danny Gargan, got sick after arriving, was scratched from the Oklahoma Derby (G3) back in September with a fever, and missed a “few key races.”
After a three-month layoff, he returned to Aqueduct and was second to Performer in the Discovery (G3) on Nov. 30. Gargan said he couldn’t be happier with the effort.
Tax has had two timed workouts so far at Palm Meadows Training Center in preparation for the 1 1/8-mile World Cup. He covered 4 furlongs in 48.95 seconds on Dec. 30, and then worked 4 furlongs in 47.60 on Jan. 9.
Trainer: Danny Gargan
Owners: R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch, Corms Racing Stable
Career record: 10-3-3-1
Career earnings: $828,300
Pedigree: Arch-Toll, by Giant’s Causeway
Running style: Stalker
“Gelding always tries hard, but this is asking too much.” — Ed McNamara
“Winner of 2019 Jim Dandy, but ran seventh in Travers and was second in G3 Discovery last time out … Seems like he’s in too deep in this kind of spot.” – Noel Michaels
Notes: This could be a winning distance for Tax: Of his five starts at PWC distance of 1 1/8 miles, he’s been on the board in all five – two wins,, two seconds and a third … Claimed for $50,000 out of maiden-breaking effort on Oct. 21 … bred in Kentucky by Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider … Dean and Patti Reeves (Reeves Thoroughbred Racing), along with Stronach Stable, owned 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man, who ran second in the 2012 Classic and wound up with more than $5.6 million in earnings.
|Diamond Oops||Diamond 100 Racing Club, Amy E. Dunne, D P Racing, Patrick Biancone Racing||Patrick Biancone|
|Higher Power||Hronis Racing||John Sadler|
|Math Wizard||John Fanelli, Khalid Mishref, Cash Is King, LC Racing, Collarmele Vitelli Stables, Ioannis Zoumas, Bassett Stables||Michael Maker|
|McKinzie||Karl Watson, Michael Pegram, Paul Weitman||Bob Baffert|
|Midcourt||CRK Stable||John Shirreffs|
|Mr Freeze||Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister||Dale Romans|
|Omaha Beach||Fox Hill Farms||Richard Mandella|
|Seeking the Soul||Charles Fipke||Dallas Stewart|
|Spun to Run||Robert Donaldson||Juan Carlos Guerrero|
|Tax||R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch, Corms Racing Stable||Danny Gargan|
|True Timber||Calumet Farm||Kiaran McLaughlin|
|War Story||Imaginary Stables, Glenn K. Ellis||Elizabeth Dobles|
|Mucho Gusto||Michael Lund Petersen||Bob Baffert|
|Magic Wand||Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Mr. M.J. Jooste||Aidan O’Brien|
|Tenfold||Winchell Thoroughbreds||Steve Asmussen|
|Bodexpress||Top Racing, Global Thoroughbreds, GDS Racing Stable||Gustavo Delgado|