Gainesway’s champion sire Tapit reached another milestone June 10 when his son Tapwrit won the 149th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. For the third time in four years, a son of Tapit has won the “Test of the Champion.”
In 2014 Tonalist dashed the Triple Crown dream of California Chrome and provided Tapit his first classic winner. Creator ruled in 2016 and wore the carnations in the Belmont winner’s circle while yet another son, the Japan-based Lani, finished third. And in 2015, the year of American Pharoah’s Triple Crown, Tapit’s son Frosted finished second.
Adding to the context is that this feat has been accomplished from just nine crops of runners. It also puts Tapit in some rather exalted company sire-wise. He joins the ranks of Australian (a leading 19th century sire), Fair Play (three-time leading sire of the 20th century), and Fair Play’s legendary son Man o’ War as stallions to have sired three winners of the Belmont Stakes. Only Lexington, who ruled the 19th century, has more: The 16-time leading sire provided four.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, who was also winning the Belmont Stakes for the third time, Tapwrit punctuated his biggest moment in the spotlight with a two-length victory for John and Leslie Malone’s Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Robert LaPenta.
Favored Irish War Cry set the tempo as Tapwrit, ridden by Jose Ortiz, stalked comfortably in third in the 11-horse field through the first half of the 12-furlong trip. With a quarter-mile remaining, Ortiz moved Tapwrit off the rail and took aim at the leader, wearing him down and pulling away to victory. Patch finished third.
My Meadowview bred Tapwrit in Kentucky from the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes winner Appealing Zophie (by Successful Appeal) and offered him at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale where the partnership purchased him for $1.2 million.
Inbred 4×4 Seattle Slew, Tapwrit joins 11 other of Tapit’s 97 stakes winners inbred to the 1977 Triple Crown champion, including fellow Grade 1 winners Constitution and Frosted.