Following a relatively even-spread January, February's graded stakes calendar saw assertive performances by the leaders of several divisions to gain separation against their peers, including a surge to the top of the sire standings by Gainesway's cornerstone resident Tapit.
Tapit doubled both his graded stakes winners and wins in February from two to four, vaulting him ahead of last month's leader Quality Road, who has two winners of three graded stakes races this year. Both of Tapit's graded winners came at the Fair Grounds on Feb. 16, with Silver Dust taking the G3 Mineshaft Handicap and Synchrony taking the G3 Fair Grounds Handicap. Those two runners joined January G3 winners Dream Pauline and Bellavais to place their sire at the top of the list.
Claiborne Farm's Blame moved into a three-way tie for second place by graded winners, joining Quality Road and Darley's Street Sense with two winners each. Blame's strong February featured G2 victories by Blamed and Marley's Freedom.
Taylor Made Sales Agency surged ahead in the consignor division over the past month, with four new winners giving the operation a 6-3 lead over Lane's End, last month's leader and the top consignor of 2018 by graded winners. Bellafina added to Taylor Made's division-leading seven total wins when she took the G2 Las Virgenes Stakes on Feb. 9, a month after winning the G2 Santa Ynez Stakes, also at Santa Anita.
Todd Pletcher moved into a tie with January co-leader Jerry Hollendorfer at the top of the trainer standings by graded winners after two months, each with three.
On Pletcher's side of the ledger, Coal Front won the G3 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park and Prince Lucky took the Hal's Hope Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Hollendorfer added one new winner when the late Battle of Midway won the G2 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita. The California-based trainer also added a division-leading fourth graded win when Vasilika snagged the G2 Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita, the mare's second graded score of the year.
February closed with a three-way tie among the leading jockeys by graded wins, with January leader Javier Castellano being joined by Irad Ortiz Jr. and Flavien Prat with five victories.
Castellano continued to stay at the front of the pack with a win aboard Hawksmoor in the G3 Endeavour Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Prat, second in last month's standings, drew even with Castellano thanks to victories on Battle of Midway in the San Pasqual and Bellafina in the Las Virgenes. Ortiz made the biggest leap to reach the top of the list, adding Blamed in the G2 Royal Delta Stakes, Call Paul in the G3 Swale Stakes, and Feedback in the G3 Forward Gal Stakes.
|Graded Stakes Winners by Consignor|
|1||Taylor Made||6 (7)|
|2||Lane's End||3 (4)|
|3||Wavertree Stables||2 (3)|
|Brookdale Sales||2 (2)|
|Kirkwood Stables||2 (2)|
|5||Oak Tree Farm||1 (2)|
|Graded Stakes Winners by Breeder|
|1||Flaxman Holdings||1 (2)|
|JSM Equine||1 (2)|
|Mikhail Yanakov||1 (2)|
|Graded Stakes Winners by Sire|
|2||Quality Road||2 (3)|
|Street Sense||2 (2)|
|War Front||1 (2)|
|Graded Stakes Winners by Trainer|
|1||Jerry Hollendorfer||3 (4)|
|Todd Pletcher||3 (3)|
|3||Simon Callaghan||2 (3)|
|Steve Asmussen||2 (2)|
|Bob Baffert||2 (2)|
|Richard Baltas||2 (2)|
|Chad Brown||2 (2)|
|Mike Maker||2 (2)|
|Shug McGaughey||2 (2)|
|10||Mark Casse||1 (2)|
|Graded Stakes Wins by Jockey|
|Irad Ortiz Jr.||5|
|Total Graded Stakes Wins by Horse|
|War of Will||2|
|Graded Stakes Winners by Sale|
|FT MD May||2|
|Graded Stakes Winners by Sales Company|
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