When a stallion has been the country’s leading sire for three years running, one expects certain things. For one, the highest stud fee around. Then, the best mares around. And it goes without saying that the combination gives you the highest proportion of premium sales yearlings around.
It also goes without saying that the stallion is Tapit.
The handsome gray son of leading sire Pulpit (by A.P. Indy) is out of the Unbridled mare Tap Your Heels, who also passed along her gray coat to her famous son. Tapit combines some of the greatest Thoroughbred lines, and the horse has parlayed his unique genetic heritage into a spectacular stud career.
After a freshman sire season that placed him atop the leader board with champion filly Stardom Bound, Tapit has never looked back.
The stallion’s consistency is exceptional, his percentages of stakes horses are very good, and the Tapits race effectively wherever they are called on. They perform early, show speed, train on, and stay a distance.
As a result, Tapit has sired three of the last four winners of the Belmont Stakes: Tonalist (2014), Creator (2016), and Tapwrit (2017). It took Horse of the Year American Pharoah and his Triple Crown triumph to prevent that being four in a row. Tapit’s son Frosted was second in the 2015 Belmont.
As a result of consistency and quality, Tapit commands an exceptional book of mares annually at Gainesway Farm, where he has stood since retirement.
At the 2017 Keeneland September sale, there are 23 Tapit yearlings consigned to Book 1 alone. There are 21 more in the rest of sale, with 18 of them in Book 2.
One of the nicest of the nice is Hip 69, a full sister to Grade 1 winner Cupid. The filly was bred by owners who “have a very large construction business in south Louisiana,” according to George Waggoner, who bred Yes It’s True, among other good horses. Waggoner said, “Pretty ‘n Smart has the prettiest Tapit filly I’ve seen. She is big, tall, stretchy, and muscular. Better than Cupid when he sold. She is purely outstanding, and I have no financial interest in her, other than the pride of seeing her raised on my farm.”
Waggoner owns a farm north of Lexington on Paris Pike where Tom Gentry bred and raised numerous top racers, and Gentry’s son Olin manages the bloodstock for the breeders of this filly. Waggoner said, “I told Olin that this filly would be the highest-priced Tapit filly out there. Maybe the highest-priced Tapit period.”
Those are great expectations, but Tapit is the sort of sire who generates the feeling that anything is possible. Often enough, Tapit delivers with stock that can make good on those high hopes, and for that, people will pay a premium.
Where else can you find an evolving store of hope that might make your dreams come true?
And with Tapit siblings to major performers like Honor Code, Commissioner, Mohaymen, New Year’s Day, and Sweet Lulu in the September sale, who’s to say how high they will take the lucky buyer.
[The preceding was written and published in PR Special at Keeneland September on the day of the first session. At that session, three Tapits sold for more than $2 million:
Hip 69 filly out of Pretty ‘n Smart, sold to M.V. Magnier $2.7 million
Hip 49 colt out of Miss Besilu, sold to Whisper Hill Farm LLC $2.6 million
Hip 105 colt out of Tiz Miz Sue, sold to Shadwell Estate Co. $2.5 million.]