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Tapit Eyes Second-Crop Honors

We have mentioned previously in this column how strong the current second-crop sires look as a group. Indeed we probably haven't seen as strong a group of second-crop sires since 2001 when Maria's Mon beat out Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks,SRO) , Hennessy, Forest Wildcat, Smart Strike (TrueNicks,SRO) , and Petionville (TrueNicks,SRO) -- or maybe 2003 when Grand Slam (TrueNicks,SRO) outlasted Distorted Humor (TrueNicks,SRO) , Tale of the Cat (TrueNicks,SRO) , Elusive Quality (TrueNicks,SRO) , Awesome Again (TrueNicks,SRO), Wild Rush, and Indian Charlie (TrueNicks,SRO) to take the title.

I guess the point that we are trying to make is that it has been about six to eight years since we have had a crop of sires that look as though they are able to dominate the breeding population. This is not surprising as once stallions start to drop off the perch, commercially and in real life, the young bucks start to shine and we have had quite a few dominant stallions fade from the scene in recent years.

The battle for second-crop sire honors is really starting to heat up with Medaglia d'Oro (TrueNicks,SRO) out in front, slightly ahead of Birdstone (TrueNicks,SRO), with Speightstown (TrueNicks,SRO) , sire of 8 stakes winners this year, starting to make his move. A little further down the list, at least in earnings terms, is the Gainesway stallion Tapit (TrueNicks,SRO) , who continues to prove himself an outstanding stallion in not only North America but abroad.

Tapit and his stablemate Birdstone started their careers at modest fees but they have certainly done a good job in outshining some more commercial competition. Tapit of course started his career outstandingly well, siring champion Stardom Bound as well as the grade I winner Laragh in his first crop.

Depending on whether you use "black type" or "stakes" rules, Tapit has eight or nine stakes winners. (TrueNicks is calculated on International Cataloging standards rules, so we say eight and exclude As de Trebol who is black type-placed but won the Gran Criterium in Spain. At any rate, eight stakes winners from a crop of just on 100 foals is an outstanding effort. You can have a look at the pedigrees of these stakes winners, including As de Trebol, by clicking here.

While Stardom Bound and company may have failed to give Tapit a classic winner in North America, his latest stakes winner, the colt Testa Matta, has given him classic success with a runaway victory in Wednesday's Japan Dirt Derby at Ohi racetrack.

Testa Matta was rated A++ prior to the big win -- in fact, if you take a look at his pedigree here you will notice that his name does not appear in the list of best stakes winners bred on the cross. In other words, he was rated A++ prior to his own stakes win being included in the calculation. Testa Matta is out of a mare by the disappointing stallion Concern, a son of Gainesway's outstanding stallion Broad Brush. Indeed Gainesway and Tapit are in a good position to capitalize on the outstanding nick that is developing between Pulpit and his sons with mares by Broad Brush and his sons with four stakes winners now being bred on the cross.

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