With three stakes winners over the weekend, and now a $2.5 million-dollar yearling at the Keeneland September Sale, Tapit continues to be a sire on fire.
Tapit’s 4-year-old colt Marconi romped in the inaugural $300,000 Grand Prix American Jockey Club Invitational at Belmont Park on Saturday. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Marconi broke poorly under Jose Lezcano in the 1 ½-mile marathon for 4-year-olds and upward, but quickly found his rhythm to take command through an opening quarter-mile in 25.23 seconds on the fast main track. Never threatened, Marconi drew off comfortably down the lane for a three-length win in a final time of 2:28.07.
Marconi has now won three-of-four starts at Belmont, including scores in the Flat Out and Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational at extended distances. Byron Hughes, assistant to Pletcher, said the talented grey has found his home in marathon events.
Bred in Kentucky by Brushwood Stable, Marconi banked $165,000 in victory while improving his record to 5-2-1 from 12 starts. He paid $4.90 for a $2 win ticket.
By Tapit, Marconi is out of the Ponche broodmare Ponche de Leona, who also produced 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man. He is owned by Bridlewood Stable, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor. He was purchased for $2 million from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2016.
Also on Saturday, Tapit’s son Rotation won the Grade 3 $300,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs for trainer Steve Asmussen. Rotation was fourth in the local prep, the Super Derby Prelude Stakes, after stumbling to his knees at the start and giving the rest of the field a 15-length headstart. The Super Derby was the second win for Rotation, who broke his maiden at Churchill Downs on the nightcap of the Kentucky Derby card. Out of Free Spin, by Olympio, Rotation is a Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred.
Tapit was also represented in the winner’s circle this weekend by Princesca Carolina, who took the Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs on Sunday for trainer Ken McPeek and Three Chimneys Farm. Out of Grade 1 winner Pure Clan, Princesca Carolina finished second last time out in the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington. The Dueling Grounds Oaks is her first stakes win.
Tapit took command of the Keeneland September Sale early on with a $2.5 million yearling out of Seeking Gabrielle, dam of Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. Consigned by Hinkle Farm, hip 75 was purchased by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin during the first session of yearling sales.
Tapit stands at Gainesway Farm for $225,000.