From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sire Pulpit
Grandsire A.P. Indy
Dam Tap Your Heels
Damsire Unbridled
Sex Stallion
Foaled 2001
Country United States
Colour Gray
Breeder Oldenburg Farms, LLC
Owner Winchell Thoroughbreds
Trainer Michael Dickenson
Record 6: 3–0–0
Earnings $557,300[1]
Major wins
Laurel Futurity Stakes (2003)
Wood Memorial Stakes (2004)
Leading sire in North America (2014, 2015, 2016)

Tapit (foaled February 27, 2001, in Kentucky) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse. Out of the Unbridled mare Tap Your Heels, he was sired by Pulpit. He had a modest racing career, winning three of six total races, but became the leading sire in North America in 2014, setting an earnings record that he broke in 2015 and again in 2016. For the 2015 season, his stud fee was raised to $300,000, the highest in North America.[2]


Tapit is a gray horse. He is heterozygous for the dominant gray gene, which he inherited via his dam, Tap Your Heels. As such, there is a 50-50 chance that any given foal sired by him on a non-gray mare will be gray. His base coat color before turning gray was chestnut.[3]

Tapit was purchased as a yearling in 2002 for $625,000 by Verne Winchell, a prominent California owner. Winchell died soon afterwards and left the horse to his son, Ron. The manager of Winchell Thoroughbreds, David Fiske, placed the horse in the hands of trainer Michael Dickinson.[4]

Tapit has been described as an attractive, well-balanced, elegant horse whose appearance reflects the Thoroughbred’s Arabian ancestors.[5] He stands 16 hands (64 inches, 163 cm) high.[6]

Racing career[edit]

Tapit raced only twice at age two but won both impressively. On October 19, he won a one mile maiden special weight at Delaware Park by 7 3/4 lengths. He then won the Grade III Laurel Futurity Stakes on November 15 by five lengths, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 98. Veteran sportswriter Andrew Beyer wrote, "No 2-year-old in America had looked more impressive."[4]

His return to the racetrack was delayed due to lingering shin problems.[4] He made his 3-year-old debut in the Florida Derby on March 13 and finished sixth in the Grade 1 race, but his poor finish was later explained by the discovery of a lung infection. He bounced back in April, coming from last to win the Grade I Wood Memorial Stakes by half a length over Master David. “I was dreading the race, because I knew he wasn’t fit,” his trainer Michael Dickinson said. “He’s a very generous horse, and he has such a big heart. I felt I was putting him into battle unprepared. And if anything had happened I would have blamed myself. But the horse carried me through, and I’m indebted to him. He’s such a generous horse and we love him dearly.”[7]

Tapit was the 5–1 second choice in the 2004 Kentucky Derby and finished ninth behind Smarty Jones. He was scheduled to race in the 2004 Belmont Stakes but was scratched due to a return of the lung infection. In his last race, the Sept. 6, 2004, Pennsylvania Derby, he finished ninth.[5]

Stud career[edit]

Tapit was retired to stud at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Kentucky in 2005 for a modest fee of $15,000. His first foals were of racing age in 2008 and he made an immediate impact, becoming the leading freshman sire that year. His first crop was led by champion 2-year-old filly Stardom Bound, winner of the 2008 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, and included 15 stakes winners overall.[5]

His next few crops were not as strong but he was still third on the 2009 second-crop sire list (including 2009 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Tapitsfly), and third on the 2010 third-crop sire list. In 2011, he was third on the general sire list, and his leading performer, Hansen, won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and was named champion two-year-old. Tapit finished fourth on the general sire list in 2012, and seventh in 2013.[5]


In 2014, helped by the better quality mares he started receiving after 2008, he led the sire list for North America, setting an earnings record in the process. His top performers of 2014 were Untapable and Tonalist. Tonalist became Tapit's first American Classic winner when he won the 2014 Belmont Stakes; Untapable won the Kentucky Oaks and Breeders' Cup Distaff, and was named champion 3-year-old filly.[8]


In 2015, Tapit led the sire list for the second time, breaking his own earnings record. Top performers that year included Tonalist and Frosted. In 2015, he also led North America by number of winners with 174. He was the leading sire in every "black-type" category tracked by Thoroughbred Daily News, with 23 Black-Type Winners, 47 Black-Type Horses (meaning that 47 of his foals competed in qualifying stakes company), 16 Graded/Group Stakes Winners, 29 Graded Stakes Horses, five Grade I/Group 1 winners and 10 Grade/Group 1-placed Horses.[9]


In 2016, he once again headed the sire list, with top performers including Frosted and 2016 Belmont Stakes winner Creator.[10] Two fillies sired by him dead-heated in the Grade I Spinaway Stakes, the two being Pretty City Dancer and Sweet Loretta. He also sired two Grade I winners on the turf, Ring Weekend and Time and Motion. David Firsk, the stallion manager of Winchell Stable, said, "The versatility he has and everything else, I mean, you could subtract his turf earnings from his total ... and he'd still be the leading sire. Turf runners are like a hobby for him."[11]


In 2017, filly Unique Bella and colt Tapwrit headed his progeny list. Tapwrit won the Gr.II Tampa Bay Derby and finished second in the Gr.II Sam F. Davis Stakes. Daughter Unique Bella won three graded stakes- the Gr.II Santa Ynez Stakes, Gr.II Last Virgenes Stakes, and Gr.III Santa Ysabel Stakes. After her impressive winning streak, Unique Bella was considered by many to be the favorite, and most probable winner, of the Kentucky Oaks. After sustaining an injury, however, Unique Bella was no longer pointed to the Oaks. His other current graded stakes winners for 2017 are Sweet Loretta, who won the Gr.III Beaumont Stakes, Ticonderoga, who won the Gr.III Palm Beach Stakes, and Dream Dancing, who won the Gr.III Herecomesthebride Stakes. Sophomore filly My Miss Tapit won the Game Face Stakes on April 22, becoming her sire's 97th stakes winner.

With continued success, his stud fee has steadily increased, from the original $15,000 to $80,000 in 2011, to $125,000 in 2013,[12] and to $150,000 in 2014. For the 2015 breeding season, his fee was doubled to $300,000, currently the highest in the United States.[13] In 2014, a single share in Tapit, providing a guaranteed breeding right for the rest of his career, was sold for $2.8 million. This made his total value an estimated $140 million.[14]

Tapit seems to work well with mares that play to the genetic strengths in his pedigree. Tapit is inbred to Nijinsky, and many of his best offspring are out of mares who add a different strain of Northern Dancer, Nijinsky's sire.[15] Frosted demonstrates Tapit's affinity for mares that "return" Seattle Slew.[16]

Tapit has also been the leading U.S.- based sire by gross, average and median earnings since 2013, when his yearlings selling for an average of $402,243 and a median of $317,500.[17]


By Racing Year[18]
Year North
Winners Stakes
Chief Earner Earnings
2008 #1 first-crop 24 3 2 Stardom Bound $2,811,337
2009 28 70 11 4 Careless Jewel $5,187,086
2010 12 111 12 5 Concord Point $6,521,662
2011 3 121 13 7 Hansen $9,229,483
2012 4 140 10 6 Tapizar $9,305,068
2013 7 139 11 6 Joyful Victory $9,184,624
2014 1 156 17 12 Untapable $16,813,536
2015 1 175 23 16 Frosted $18,397,691
2016 1 149 21 15 Frosted $19,245,888

Prior to 2015, the Leading Sire Lists published by The Blood-Horse excluded earnings from Hong Kong and Japan due to the disparity in purses. Starting in 2015, earnings from Hong Kong and Japan are included on an adjusted basis.[19]


Tapit is by Pulpit, who stood at Claiborne Farm. Pulpit is by A.P. Indy, the 1992 Horse of the Year and an outstanding sire. A.P. Indy is by Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, and out of Weekend Surprise by Secretariat. Pulpit's female family traces back to one of Claiborne's foundation mares, Knight's Daughter, the dam of Round Table.[15]

Tapit's dam is Tap Your Heels, a stakes-winning mare by Unbridled. Her dam, Ruby Slippers, also produced champion sprinter Rubiano, and is the third dam of champion Summer Bird. Tapit's third dam, Moon Glitter, was a stakes-winning full sister to important sire Relaunch.[15] Tap Your Heels is inbred to In Reality, a descendent of Man o' War.

Pedigree of Tapit, gray or roan colt, 2001[20]
Pulpit (USA)
A.P. Indy (USA)
Seattle Slew Bold Reasoning
My Charmer
Weekend Surprise Secretariat
Lassie Dear
Preach (USA)
Mr. Prospector Raise a Native
Gold Digger
Narrate Honest Pleasure
Tap Your Heels (USA)
Unbridled (USA)
Fappiano Mr. Prospector
Gana Facil Le Fabuleux
Ruby Slippers (USA)
Nijinsky II Northern Dancer
Flaming Page
Moon Glitter In Reality
Foggy Note

Tapit is inbred 3 × 4 to Mr. Prospector, 5 × 3 to Nijinsky II and 4 X 5 to In Reality. He has seven strains of influential broodmare La Troienne.[21]


  1. ^ "Tapit Profile". www.equibase.com. Retrieved 5 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Tapit's Stud Fee Doubles for 2015 Season". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "What Are The Odds? Tapit Produces Four Gray Sons En Route To Kentucky Derby". Paulick Report. 17 April 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Beyer, Andrew. "Tapit may be moving too fast, too soon". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 5 March 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d Hunter, Avalyn. "Classic Winner Emerges From the Mist". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  6. ^ http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/90474/pedigree-analysis-is-bigger-always-better
  7. ^ Haskin, Steve. "Looking Back at Afleet Alex and Tapit". cs.bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "Tapit: 2014 Leading Sire - Slideshow". www.bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  9. ^ Oppenheim, Bill. "Tapit Leads All North American Sires". Thoroughbred Daily News. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  10. ^ "Tapit Keeps Proving Elite Status". Paulick Report. 14 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  11. ^ Wincze-Hughes, Alicia. "Tapit Breaks Single-Season Earnings Mark". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "Tapit: Horseracing's top bachelor". Gainesway Farm. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  13. ^ "Tapit's Stud Fee Doubles for 2015 Season". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  14. ^ "Sale of Tapit Share Values Stallion at $140 Million". www.paulickreport.com. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  15. ^ a b c Peters, Anne. "The Secret to Tapit's Success". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  16. ^ Porter, Alan. "Pedigree Analysis: Frosted". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  17. ^ "Gainesway Announces 2014 Stud Fees; Tapit's Fee Raised to $150,000 - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report". www.paulickreport.com. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  18. ^ "Leading Sire Lists". www.bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  19. ^ Mitchell, Eric. "Sire List Evolution". cs.bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  20. ^ "Tapit Pedigree". Equineline. Retrieved June 3, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Super Saver Profile". www.winstarfarm.com. Retrieved 13 June 2016.