Tapit. A name that is worth USD 300,000 for broodmare owners. Such is the stallion’s fee at Gainesway Farm for the last two seasons and it makes him the most expensive American stallion. The champion sire, the sire of eighty-two black-type winners (8%) whose progeny won USD 100 million dollars, has nothing to prove at stud and the only thing that is missing in his list of achievements is the victory of his progeny in the Kentucky Derby.
The U.S. champion sire in the last two years, Tapit, is fifteen this year, is of sound health and his hefty fee is not just an appreciation of his achievements but also an entry ticket to elite broodmare that should help him to achieve even more. His future is well-secured if the fate does not decide otherwise.
At fifteen, however, a stallion slowly enters a different league – the one of sires of sires. The trust in Tapit is, given the demand for his sons, high. According to the Reports of Mares Bred, published in November last year, Tapit covered 134 mares but his sons, of whom seventeen were at stud in North America last year, as you may remember from an older column on trends in the last year’s stud season, covered 1,093 mares and five of his sons covered 100+ mares. Although the sons of Storm Cat, A.P. Indy, Unbridled’s Song and Pulpit received more mares, each of these giants has more sons at stud than Tapit. The most successful of Tapit’s son, by mares covered, was the Gr.2 winner Honorable Dillon who covered 170 broodmares, a record in New York state.
The oldest sons of Tapit have progeny of racing age and it is from the perspective of their achievements that the few recent days were very interesting and represented a kind of breakthrough. On Saturday, the USD 500,000 Dwyer Stakes (Gr.3) were run at Belmont as a part of a huge meeting. The race was won by the runner-up from the June Woody Stephens Stakes (Gr.2) Fish Trappe Road. The colt comes from the first crop of the True North Handicap (Gr.2) winner, the runner-up in the Haskel Invitational Handicap (Gr.1) Trappe Shot, today a stallion at Claiborne Farm, and his victory is so far the biggest achievement of a Tapit’s grandson. Another of Trappe Shot’s son, My Man Sam, was also close to a black-type triumph, having finished second in the Gr.1 Blue Grass Stakes. He then went on to try the Kentucky Derby where he finished eleventh.
Fish Trape Road was the first American group winner by a son of Tapit, globally, however, this historical first belongs to another horse – Venezuela-bred La Gran Caridad, the daughter of Venezuela-bred Tapit’s son Diesel, who won the Clasico Manuel Fonseca (Gr. 3) this February. Diesel was imported to Venezuela in utero of his dam Broad Storm, purchased in foal to Tapit at 2006 Keeneland November Sale for USD 47,000. He then won three races in Venezuela outside the local black-type scene. La Gran Caridad is his only black-type progeny so far.
Besides the couple mentioned above, a black-type winner has been produced by one more Tapit’s son – the winner of the West Virginia Derby (Gr.2) Concord Point. Half-brother of this year’s winner of the Mother Goose Stakes (Gr.1) Off the Tracks has the second crop of three-year-olds on the racecourse this year and three black-type winners in these crops.
In early July, the ranks of Tapit’s sons – sires of black-type horses – were joined another stallion – the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Gr.1) 2012 Tapizar. The stallion who has been at stud at Gainesway Farm since 2013 and whose two-year-old daughter Tap It All was auctioned at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-Year-Olds in Training for USD 800,000, has the first crop of two-year-olds on the racecourse. So far, he has ten runners, four winners, including the colt Tip Tap Tapizar, who won easily a maiden race at Churchill Downs and then finished third on July 2 in the Bashford Manor Stakes (Gr.3).
It is very difficult to asses from these fragments how Tapit will fare as the sire of sires. But the very opportunity his sons get should be a guarantee that we will be meeting Tapit’s name in the pedigrees of black-type winners not just in the first but also in the second generation.