Tapit's Daughter Unique Bella Named 2018 Champion Older Dirt Female

Mare is one of 25 G1 winners for three-time champion sire

Tapit’s daughter Unique Bella boosted her star status to new echelons when the gray mare received an Eclipse Award as 2018 champion older dirt female. Now a dual champion, Unique Bella was also named the nation’s top female sprinter in 2017.

Unique Bella’s 2018 season was cut short by an injury, but the 5-year-old mare still managed to post several impressive performances before her retiring at the end of the summer. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for Don Alberto Stable, she first scored a nine-length romp in the G2 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita Park, followed by a game runner up effort in the G1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park.

Unique Bella returned to her winning form in the G1 Beholder Mile Stakes at Santa Anita, and her sensational season was capped by a victory in the G1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar. With a career record of 9-2-0 from 12 starts, she had earnings of $1,272,400.

Bred in Pennsylvania by Brushwood Stable out of the grade 1-winning Unbridled’s Song mare Unrivaled Belle, Unique Bella was a $400,000 purchase by Don Alberto from Eaton Sales’ consignment to the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

“I think it’s a remarkable achievement to have won (grade 1 races) over (seven furlongs in 2017), a mile, and a mile and sixteenth,” Don Alberto’s Carlos Heller said in a statement when Unique Bella was retired. “Unique Bella has a very special place in our hearts and has brought so much joy to myself; my mother, Liliana; and the whole Don Alberto family. She blessed us with our first grade 1 win in the U.S., and we will be forever grateful for her and her time on the track.”

Unique Bella is one of 25 G1 winners sired by Tapit, among the world’s leading sires since 2014. Twenty-six of Tapit’s yearlings have brought $1 million or more at auction, and his runners have earned more than $136 million on the racetrack. Tapit stands for $225,000 at Gainesway.