It may be February, but with the first Kentucky Derby prep races under way, it’s not difficult to feel spring just around the corner. This year, Tapit’s influence can be felt stronger than ever, as he is directly responsible for not only a handful of the top points leaders for the Derby and Oaks, but also is the sire of sire, or broodmare sire, of many more of those contenders.
In the Kentucky Derby, Tapit himself has Enforceable, winner of the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes, currently sitting in second place on the Derby leaderboard with 13 points. Enforceable also ran third in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity Stakes at Keeneland last fall, and picked up a couple points for that effort. Tapit will have another opportunity with a Derby contender with Portos, who is entered in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes on Saturday, which offeres a point structure of 10-4-2-1.
Tapit’s son Constitution is off to a tremendous start at stud, and has three colts on the road to the Derby: Tiz the Law, Independence Hall, and Gouveneur Morris. Tiz the Law won the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont last October, and followed that up with a 3rd in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes; he will try to regain form this Saturday in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, which offers 10 qualifying points to the winner. Independence Hall broke onto the scene at Aqueduct with wins in the Grade 3 Nashua and Jerome Stakes, and is a perfect 3-for-3; look for him next in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay.
The leading broodmare sire of 2019, Tapit fittingly is the broodmare sire of four more potential contenders, including Anneau d’Or, Silver Prospector, and Dieu Du Vin. Anneau d’Or was a nose away from Grade 1 glory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and also finished 2nd in the G2 Los Alamitos Futurity. Silver Prospector won the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill over Tiz the Law. Dieu Du Vin won the first Japanese prep for the Kentucky Derby under Frankie Dettori, the Cattleya Sho, at Tokyo Racecourse, earning 10 points for the effort.
Tapit has three fillies pointing toward the Kentucky Oaks—Lake Avenue, Maedean, and Ursula. The Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes saw a Tapit exacta with Lake Avenue winning impressively over Maedean. Ursula picked up points toward the Oaks starting gate with a second place finish in the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds.
Champion 2-year-old Juvenile Filly British Idiom is by Tapit’s son, Flashback. The 2-time Grade 1 winner holds victories in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Portrait, by Tapit’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Tapizar, has picked up several points in her placings in the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes and Silverbulletday Stakes. Tapit sons Constitution and Tapiture also have potential Oaks contenders in Golden Principal and Gone Glimmering, who have acquired points along the way.
Tapit is the broodmare sire of Finite, another favorite for the Run for the Lillies, who has won four races in a row, including the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes, Rags to Riches, and Silverbulletday Stakes.
As Tapit’s bloodlines continue to be passed down over the generations, his quality and influence continues to thrive. The first weekend in May should surely be an exciting time for Tapit and his lineage.