Copper Tax wins fifth straight in James F. Lewis S. (G3)

Copper Bullet’s superlative 2-year-old colt Copper Tax won his fifth race in a row on Nov. 11 in the $100,000 James F. Lewis S. (G3). The bay colt is the first graded stakes winner for his sire and has not lost a race since getting beat by just a neck in his June 10 debut.

Since that loss, Copper Tax’s five wins, which include a victory in the Rocky Run S. at Delaware Park, have come by a combined 23 lengths. His exploits have helped put Copper Bullet in the top 10 on the 2023 First-Crop Sire list.

Copper Tax, who had been on or near the lead in all of his previous outings, was bumped soundly coming out of the gate on Saturday and found himself in last in the field of seven going down the backstretch. He edged a little closer around the turn, giving himself five lengths to make up at the top of the stretch. Despite considerable traffic issues, Copper Tax came between horses through a very narrow open with a sixteenth to run and timed his finish perfectly, winning by a neck in 1:11.30 on a fast track.

“We just wanted to test his speed because once we go long, we want to know he has it in him at the end,” owner Rose Petal’s Chris Loso said. “He threaded the needle, which was impressive.”

With five wins in six starts, Copper Tax has earned an even $250,000. The winner was bred in Kentucky by Lance Sullenberger. Copper Tax’s stakes-placed dam Wilhelmina was bred back to Copper Bullet for 2024.