09/04/2016 4:43PM

Tip Tap Tapizar responds to Lopez's patient ride in Sapling

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Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Tip Tap Tapizar, under Paco Lopez, defeats Holiday Bonus by a neck in the one-mile Sapling.

For the second consecutive race, Tip Tap Tapizar didn't have the easiest of trips. But Sunday in the one-mile Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park, he waited patiently for jockey Paco Lopez to give him his cue, and then rallied with purpose to outfinish Holiday Bonus for a neck victory.

In his prior effort, Tip Tap Tapizar was bumped hard by Recruiting Ready entering the far turn of the Saratoga Special. Tip Tap Tapizar in turn bumped with Sonic Mule - also in the Sapling - and was steadied and dropped back. Tip Tap Tapizar gathered himself after the bumping incident and then lodged a bid into the stretch before tiring to finish third, beaten 15 lengths. He was placed second after Recruiting Ready was disqualified.

In the $103,000 Sapling, 43-1 Gold Braid went to the lead. Sonic Mule moved up to press the pace from the outside nearing the backstretch, with Tip Tap Tapizar tucked in behind them in close quarters as Lopez took a rating hold. On the far turn, Holiday Bonus moved up to challenge three wide and Tip Tap Tapizar had to await room the from the quarter pole to the top of the stretch.

Sonic Mule came away with the lead entering the stretch but Holiday Bonus soon went by. Lopez took Tip Tap Tapizar outside horses at the top of the stretch and he battled with Holiday Bonus before proving best late.

"I took a hold of him early and let others go out to the front," Lopez said. "I ran into some traffic trouble down the backside, but nothing serious. When we turned for home I angled him out and he just took off."

Tip Tap Tapizar paid $5.40 as the favorite in the six-horse field. The early fractions were 24.04 seconds, 48.95, and 1:14.34. Tip Tap Tapizar completed the mile in 1:39.00.

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It was 3 1/4 lengths back from Holiday Bonus to Sonic Mule in third. Sonic Mule had previously finished fourth but was elevated to third in the Saratoga Special.

Steve Asmussen conditions Tip Tap Tapizar, and also trained his sire, Tapizar. Asmussen won the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile with Tapizar in 2012. Asmussen also won the Grade 2 San Fernando and Grade 3 Sham Stakes with the son of Tapit.

Tip Tap Tapizar, a Louisiana -bred, is now 2 for 4 for the Whispering Oaks Farm of Carol Castille, who bought him for $175,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale. Whispering Oaks Farm is located in Carencro, La.