It was another top year for TAPIT runners in 2021, culminating in Eclipse Award finalist spots being announced for sons Essential Quality and Flightline.
It is the second Eclipse Award nomination for 2020’s Champion 2-Year-Old Colt Essential Quality, who put together another top season in 2021 to be named a Champion 3-Year-Old finalist. The Godolphin homebred started his year with back-to-back wins in the Southwest Stakes (G3) and Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) before finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1).
His victory in the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) made history for TAPIT as only the second stallion to sire four Belmont Stakes winners – the other being the great Lexington in the 1800s. Essential Quality followed that up with a win in Saratoga’s Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) before earning his fourth career Grade 1 win in the Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1).
🏆 Belmont Stakes (G1)
2400m, 1.500.000 USD, for 3yo
— 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙𝙍𝙖𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙜 (@WorldRacing1) June 5, 2021
Essential Quality ended his career in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), where he finished third to wrap up an outstanding 3-year-old campaign.
While Essential Quality’s career was wrapping up, Champion Male Sprinter finalist Flightline was just getting started.
The TAPIT son has impressed in every public appearance, bringing $1 million as a yearling and then burning up the track for Hronis Racing, Siena Farm, Summer Wind Equine, West Point Thoroughbreds, and Woodford Racing.
That domination of the track started in his April debut with a 13 ¼ length drumming of a seven horse field to earn him Thoroughbred Daily News ‘Rising Star’ honors but that was just the beginning.
Flightline returned in September to win again by 12 ¾ lengths in what would be registered as the then-co-highest Beyer of the year at 114. The secret was out with Brisnet also giving him a 117 and Timeform rating him at 135 – just one point below Knicks Go. Flightline ended his year by becoming the 28th Grade 1 winner for TAPIT with another dominating 11 ½ length win in the Malibu Stakes (G1). He also made sure he stood alone at the top of the Beyer list – earning a 118.
🏆 RUNHAPPY Malibu Stakes (G1)
1400m , 300.000 USD, for 3yo
(Tapit – Feathered, by Indian Charlie)
J : Flavien Prat
T :John W. Sadler
O : Hronis Racing LLC, Siena Farm LLC, Summer Wind Equine and West Point Thoroughbreds
B : Summer Wind Equine pic.twitter.com/9KuBGFjGJt
— 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙𝙍𝙖𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙜 (@WorldRacing1) December 27, 2021
Already highly regarded by the racing industry, the victory secured Flightline his finalist spot in the Male Sprinter category with more yet to come. Connections have already said he will race on in 2022 with his first start likely coming in March or April.
This year’s Eclipse Award ceremony will be held on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. ET at Santa Anita Park.