(By Avalyn Hunter)
Stallions just don't have much better days than Tapit did Feb. 2, when three of his progeny rolled home in graded stakes at three different tracks and over two different surfaces. First, Tapicat sailed home in the Florida Oaks (gr. IIIT) at Tampa Bay Downs, stamping herself as a filly with a future on the grass. Then Flashback romped home in the Bob Lewis Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita, suggesting that the full brother to multiple grade I winner Zazu may be a legitimate candidate for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Finally, Honorable Dillon capped off the day with a game score in the Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
Tapit, of course, doesn't need much introduction. The leading freshman sire of 2008, the son of Pulpit and the Unbridled mare Tap Your Heels was fourth on last year's general sire list and currently occupies the top spot in this year's standings. He has yet to sire the winner of an American classic race, but that is about the only major hole remaining in his resume. He now has 23 graded/group winners to his credit, 10 at the grade I level, and with two grade-I winning sons (Hansen and Tapizar) standing their first seasons in Kentucky this year, he appears to have extended the Seattle Slew/A.P. Indy sire line for at least another generation.
Tapit is a member of the Foggy Note family and so is from the immediate family of the top sire Relaunch; champion sprinter Rubiano, a useful stallion; and the good regional sires Chimes Band and Glitterman. Another member of this family is 2009 champion 3-year-old male Summer Bird, who was sold to Japanese interests after standing just two seasons in Kentucky. His first foals will reach the races in 2014; by the time they complete their 3-year-old seasons in 2015, we will probably have a fairly good idea as to whether the members of his syndicate were smart to take the money while it was there or whether their move was sadly premature.