With a sassy victory in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, Tapizar has returned to a position of prominence that he occupied a year ago following a sharp success in the G3 Sham Stakes.
Unfortunately for the colt and owner-breeder Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC, the dashing bay son of Tapit went off the rails in his next start, the G2 Robert Lewis Stakes. Following the Lewis, Tapizar was found to have chipped a knee, which was treated surgically, and naturally, the colt took some time to recuperate and return to racing at his proper level.
It's good news for racing, as well as for his owner and for the sire Tapit, that the handsome and robust colt appears to be back in top form and ready to make a sizable impression on the older division this season.
Already the sire of champions and multiple G1 winners, Tapit is a truly top young sire, and he only needs a tiny push to be ranked at the top of the tree with the very best in the world. From the evidence to date, the stock to give him that nudge are already on the track.
Not only is last season's multiple G1 winner Zazu a star for her sire, but Tapit also has one of the best Triple Crown prospects in Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Hansen, a near-white colt who was named champion 2-year-old at last night's Eclipse Awards and is one of the most striking and easily identified colts in the 3-year-old division.
Now Tapit has Tapizar reasserting himself to claim an important position among the older horses with a season full of premium racing ahead.
That is a bonus for Winchell Thoroughbreds, which bought and raced the elegantly bred Tapit, an 11-year-old son of the important stallion Pulpit and the Unbridled mare Tap Your Heels. The latter is a stakes-winning half-sister to champion sprinter Rubiano. Both are grays with speed and class, and they are out of the Nijinsky mare Ruby Slippers, also a gray.
Tapizar did not get the family's graying gene, but he inherited a lot of the talent of his immediate family. Tapit was a good horse at 2, winning the Laurel Futurity, and was even better at 3 with a victory in the Wood Memorial. Despite an abbreviated career, Tapit appears to be one of the more consistent factors in breeding for both speed and soundness.
Along with his bay coat, Tapizar inherited his mass and size largely from his dam, Winning Call, and broodmare sire, Deputy Minister, a champion at 2 and a leading sire and broodmare sire. Tapizar is a tall, brawny beast who prefers to take the race to his competition early and stretch away from them furlong after furlong. He appears to possess the combination of balance and power that allows him to take the starch out of his competition and reduce the race to a competition on his own terms, and if Tapizar proves capable of producing these efforts consistently as the distances stretch out toward 10 furlongs, he is going to become a very salty customer in his division.
Tapizar is already the best horse produced by his dam, but he is making her look good now. Tapizar is yet another high-quality racehorse produced from the Carols Christmas family that has had such success in the Winchell breeding and racing program.
Carols Christmas, a daughter of Whitesburg, was a cornerstone producer for Winchell Thoroughbreds, and her best-known offspring was Olympio, a chestnut son of Naskra who was tough as hickory and won four derbies at 3: the Arkansas, American, Hollywood, and Minnesota, as well as running second in the Super Derby.
Carols Christmas also produced G2 Del Mar Debutante winner Call Now, who is the second dam of Tapizar. The 20-year-old Call Now has produced a pair of stakes-placed runners, including Tapatia (by Tapit).
Other descendants of Carols Christmas include Cuvee (Carson City), winner of the G1 Futurity Stakes, and Pyro (Pulpit), winner of the G1 Forego, second in the G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, and third in the G1 Travers.
Frank Mitchell is author of Racehorse Breeding Theories, as well as the book Great Breeders and Their Methods: The Hancocks. In addition to writing the column “Sires and Dams” in Daily Racing Form for nearly 15 years, he has contributed articles to Thoroughbred Daily News, Thoroughbred Times, Thoroughbred Record, International Thoroughbred, and other major publications. In addition, Frank is a private consultant to breeders on pedigrees, matings, and conformation. He is a hands-on caretaker of his own broodmares and foals in central Kentucky. Check out Frank's lively Bloodstock in the Bluegrass blog.
Copyright © 2011, Frank Mitchell
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