A fixture on the U.S. racing scene since 1935, the Experimental Free Handicap is a weight-based assessment of the previous year’s juvenile runners. Gainesway’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile-winning Tapizar led all other first-crop sires with four youngsters among the rankings: two colts and two fillies. Sapling Stakes winner Tip Top Tapizar (106) and the Grade 3-placed Zartera (102) joined highly promising fillies Tap It All (107) and Lake Time (103).
Tapizar is an apple that certainly didn’t fall far from the tree as his three-time leading sire and fellow Gainesway stallion Tapit took top honors among all stallions on the Experimental Handicap with eight representatives. Among his filly representatives Pretty City Dancer and Sweet Loretta, who hit the wire together to take the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga, dead-heated once again, each assigned 118 pounds. Kentucky Juvenile Stakes winner Silvertoni (110), Tapped (107), and Dream Dancing (104) completed the list. Graded-placed Ticonderoga (113) topped Tapit’s male runners on the Experimental Handicap, joined by Big Gray Rocket (105) and Totality (102).
Gainesway’s other first-crop stallion of 2016, To Honor and Serve, made a strong showing, with three from his first runners earning their way on the list: Representing the multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire son of Bernardini were stakes-placed colts State of Honor (104) and Honor Thy Father (100) and debut-winning filly For Honor (101).