Tapit ranked leading stallion by stakes winners

Champion sire notched his 70th GSW in Silver Dust

Silver Dust becomes Tapit's 70th GSW in G3 Mineshaft Handicap
Lou Hodges photography

Tapit had a huge day on Feb. 16 when two of his offspring won back-to-back graded stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the first of which was milestone 70th graded stakes victor Silver Dust.

With these new impressive statistics, Tapit soars ahead of all 2019 North American stallions by black-type winners with nine to his credit. English Channel and Curlin are tied for second on that list with four graded stakes winners each in 2019.

Tapit’s first graded victor of the day was Tom Durant’s Silver Dust, who turned the tables on Harlan Punch when reversing the order of finish from last month’s Louisiana Stakes in the G3 Mineshaft Handicap.

Trained by Bret Calhoun, 5-year-old Silver Dust took the lead at the top of the lane and prevailed by 2¼ lengths over Harlan Punch. He stopped the clock in 1:45.46 for the 1 1/16-miles trip on the main track under jockey Jack Gilligan, who picked up his first career graded stakes victory.

The win was Silver Dust’s fourth in 19 career starts, and he earned $90,000 to boost his career bankroll to $354,607.

In the very next race, Pin Oak Stable’s Synchrony once again displayed his strong affinity for Fair Ground’s turf course in the G3 Fair Grounds Handicap, which he won for the second year in a row.

Guided by regular rider Joe Bravo, Synchrony displayed his typical front-running fashion, went six wide at the top of the stretch, and won the race by 1 ¼ lengths in a final time of 1:48.09. The Fair Grounds Handicap was Synchrony’s first start of 2019.

Trained by Michael Stidham, Synchrony is undefeated in four starts over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course.

“His works coming in were as good as I could ever want them to be,” Stidham said. “Schooling the last couple of days and coming into the paddock today, he was just so cool and so calm that I knew he was set up for a big one.”

Following the race, Stidham stated that Synchrony would attempt to defend another title next out in the G2 Muniz Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds on March 23. The long-term goal is the G1 Old Forester Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Last year, he finished a close third in the event which was contested over a yielding course.

“That would be our plan as long as the turf is firm,” Stidham said. “He’s a really good horse. He has shown it over and over again. I think he’s still got a Grade I sitting out there somewhere waiting for him.”

The Fair Grounds Handicap was Synchrony’s fifth graded stakes triumph. He earned $90,000 from the Fair Grounds Handicap win, which enhanced his lifetime earnings to $733,052.

A Kentucky homebred, Synchrony is out of the Forest Wildcat broodmare Brownie Points, who was a multiple stakes winner on dirt and turf.

Three-time leading stallion Tapit is the sire of 25 G1 stakes winners and 26 $1 million-plus yearlings. He stands for $225,000 at Gainesway.