Tapit Trice is inbred to both A.P. Indy and Unbridled (Photo by S V Photography)
When Tapit Trice captured the Tampa Bay Derby (G3), he became a milestone 100th graded stakes winner sired by Tapit. Might he also give the outstanding patriarch a first Kentucky Derby (G1) winner?
Tapit Trice sports a fascinating pedigree pattern of inbreeding to two key influences for the American classics – A.P. Indy and Unbridled. And his gene pool is brimming with classic performers, including a couple for his own trainer, Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher.
Here are 12 pedigree fun facts on Tapit Trice:
1. Sire Tapit competed in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
Before embarking upon his record-breaking stud career, Tapit was a high-class runner himself. The gray romped in the 2003 Laurel Futurity (G3) and added the 2004 Wood Memorial (G1) to his resume. A 6-1 chance in that year’s Kentucky Derby
, Tapit wound up ninth behind Smarty Jones.
The Run for the Roses has been an insoluble puzzle for Tapit’s offspring as well. The closest he’s come is a pair of third-placers; ironically, both Essential Quality (2021) and Tacitus (2019) crossed the wire fourth, but were promoted to third via disqualification.
2. Tapit shares the record for siring the most Breeders’ Cup and Belmont Stakes winners.
(G1) has been the Triple Crown race for Tapit. His tally of four winners tied the record owned by the legendary sire Lexington since the 19th century.
Essential Quality has contributed to both of those records. The 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
(G1) hero, he ranks as Belmont winner number four for his sire, after Tonalist (2014), Creator (2016), and Tapwrit (2017). Tapit has another quartet of sons who placed in the Belmont – Frosted (2015), Lani (2016), Hofburg (2018), and Tacitus.
Tapit is a force on the 2023 Triple Crown trail as a broodmare sire too. His daughters have produced Derby contenders Kingsbarns, Disarm, Hit Show, Rocket Can, and Red Route One, as well as Kentucky Oaks
(G1) candidates Pretty Mischievous and Hoosier Philly.
3. Tapit’s sire, Pulpit, finished fourth in the 1997 Kentucky Derby.
Pulpit was unraced as a juvenile, but burst onto the 1997 Derby scene early in his three-year-old season at Gulfstream Park. Rapidly climbing the class ladder with maiden and allowance romps, he made it a hat trick in the Fountain of Youth (G2). Pulpit suffered his first loss when runner-up in the Florida Derby (G1), then rebounded by dominating the Blue Grass (G2). He vied for the early lead in the Kentucky Derby, only to tire to fourth behind Hall of Famer Silver Charm, in what turned out to be his final start.
Aside from leaving a colossal legacy through his son Tapit, Pulpit is the paternal grandsire of two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome, the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness
(G1) champion (by Lucky Pulpit). Pulpit also factors as an ancestor of 2018 Triple Crown sweeper Justify (on his mother’s side).
4. Pulpit is by Hall of Famer A.P. Indy, the son and grandson of Triple Crown winners.
A.P. Indy was bred for the classics. By 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew
, he was produced by Broodmare of the Year Weekend Surprise, a daughter of 1973 Triple Crown legend Secretariat
. Unfortunately, A.P. Indy could not emulate them after he was scratched from the 1992 Derby with a bruised foot.
Later victorious in the Belmont and Breeders’ Cup Classic, A.P. Indy became a terrific sire with such champions as Bernardini and Rags to Riches, an historic female winner of the Belmont.
5. Tapit is out of a well-related mare by 1990 Kentucky Derby champion Unbridled.
Tapit’s mother (dam), Tap Your Heels, scored her lone win by 11 lengths in the 1998 Hildene S. for Virginia-foaled fillies. But she had plenty of pedigree power. By influential sire Unbridled, the 1990 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic champion, she is out of a mare by the great Nijinsky II, the last English Triple Crown winner (1970).
Tap Your Heels is closely related to champion sprinter Rubiano, who is by Unbridled’s sire, Fappiano, from the same mare. This is the further family of noted sire Relaunch.
6. Tapit Trice’s dam is by Belmont second Dunkirk, a grandson of Unbridled and A.P. Indy.
Tapit Trice gets even more A.P. Indy and Unbridled via his dam, Danzatrice. Her sire, Dunkirk, is by Unbridled’s Song and out of 2000 Kentucky Oaks heroine Secret Status, by A.P. Indy. Thus Dunkirk’s pedigree is like a mirror image of Tapit’s. They have the same grandsires, only in opposite positions. Dunkirk comes from the sire line of Unbridled, and A.P. Indy is his maternal grandsire; that is the “reverse cross” of Tapit, who is from the A.P. Indy sire line out of an Unbridled mare.
Dunkirk raced only five times, but three of those were in majors. Runner-up to Quality Road in the 2009 Florida Derby, he was a rough-trip 11th behind Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby. Dunkirk fared much better in the Belmont, where he placed second to champion Summer Bird and turned the tables on third-placer Mine That Bird.
7. Danzatrice is a half-sister to champion Jaywalk.
Danzatrice won three stakes herself and garnered a graded placing when third in the 2017 Groupie Doll (G3) at Ellis Park. But her half-sister, Jaywalk, was even better. The unbeaten champion two-year-old filly of 2018, Jaywalk went 4-for-4 including the Frizette (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
(G1). She was less successful at three, with the Delaware Oaks (G3) being her lone win. Jaywalk collected minor awards in the Ashland (G1) and Monmouth Oaks (G3) and finished unplaced in the Kentucky Oaks.
Interestingly, Jaywalk is by another son of Unbridled’s Song, Cross Traffic. The female line apparently has an affinity for that sire. Danzatrice and Jaywalk’s millionaire relative Mission Impazible (more on him below) is by Unbridled’s Song himself. Mission Impazible was trained by Pletcher, like Dunkirk and Tapit Trice.
8. Danzatrice’s dam, Lady Pewitt, is a daughter and granddaughter of Breeders’ Cup winners.
Lady Pewitt is by Orientate
, the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Sprint
(G1) champion. Trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, like his top-notch parents Mt. Livermore
and Dream Team
, Orientate had mixed results around two turns before finding his niche as a sprinter on dirt. He concluded his career with a five-stakes winning spree in that division.
Lady Pewitt’s dam, Spin Room, is by transatlantic turf miler Spinning World
. A classic winner in Ireland and three-time Group 1 hero in France, Spinning World twice ventured to North America for the Breeders’ Cup Mile
(G1). He was second to Da Hoss in the 1996 running at Woodbine, and in 1997, Spinning World rolled in course-record time at old Hollywood Park.
9. Tapit Trice’s ancestress La Paz was bred in Arizona but became a Bluegrass matron.
Spin Room is out of multiple stakes scorer La Paz, an Arizona-bred who became an exceptional broodmare in Kentucky. La Paz scored her first stakes win in the restricted Arizona Breeders’ Futurity, dismissing males, and later migrated to the Northern California circuit. She won turf stakes from 4 1/2 furlongs (the Candle in the Wind S. at Golden Gate Fields) to 1 1/16 miles (the Brown Bess H. at Bay Meadows).
La Paz produced four stakes winners, led by the aforementioned Mission Impazible, the 2010 Louisiana Derby (G2) victor and ninth in the Kentucky Derby. He also landed the 2011 New Orleans H. (G2), missed narrowly in a couple of Grade 1s, and chased Hall of Famer Wise Dan home in the Clark H. (G1) at Churchill. La Paz’s other stakes-winning offspring are Forest Camp, the 1999 Del Mar Futurity (G2) hero; Grade 3 scorer Spanish Empire; and Kiddari.
10. La Paz is by Hold Your Peace, third to Riva Ridge in the 1972 Kentucky Derby.
La Paz’s sire, Hold Your Peace, was bred by famed Elmendorf Farm in Kentucky. Third to Hall of Famer Riva Ridge in the 1972 Kentucky Derby, Hold Your Peace amassed a total of nine stakes placings in his career. But he did win two notable events, the 1971 Arlington-Washington Futurity and the 1972 Flamingo (by 10 lengths).
Hold Your Peace compiled a successful stud career in Florida, siring the brilliant Meadowlake; 1987 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile scorer Success Express (who left his mark in Australia); Grade 1 queen Mitterand (dam of French Deputy); and the dam of $3 million-earner Peace Rules, the third-placer in the 2003 Kentucky Derby.
11. La Paz descends from a potent family cultivated by Col. E.R. Bradley’s Idle Hour.
Tracing the matrilineal ancestry further, La Paz is a direct descendant of 1946 Frizette winner Bimlette, dam of 1963 Wood Memorial victor No Robbery. Bimlette is also the granddam of Woodchopper, who captured the 1981 Louisiana Derby and finished a hard-charging second to Pleasant Colony in the Run for the Roses.
Bimlette’s full sister, Be Faithful, was a major winner and producer herself. Be Faithful’s resume includes a coup over males in the 1947 Hawthorne Gold Cup H., and her daughter, 1955 Kentucky Oaks heroine Lalun, is instrumental in global pedigrees as the dam of champion Never Bend and Bold Reason. That duo were also placegetters in the Kentucky Derby in their respective years, Never Bend in 1963
and Bold Reason in 1971.
Bimlette and Be Faithful are by Hall of Famer Bimelech and out of Broodmare of the Year Bloodroot. Both parents were themselves homebreds for the breed-shaping Idle Hour Stock Farm of Col. E.R. Bradley.
Bloodroot placed to Triple Crown winner Omaha
in the 1935 Arlington Classic. She twice placed to Hall of Famer (and fellow Bradley filly) Black Helen, notably in the Coaching Club American Oaks.
12. Tapit Trice traces to a 19th-century British heroine and full sister to an important stallion.
Bloodroot traces her matrilineal descent to Qui Vive, winner of the 1859 Park Hill at Doncaster. Held over the same course and distance as the St. Leger, the final British classic, the Park Hill is sometimes dubbed the “fillies’ St. Leger.”
Qui Vive’s full brother, Vedette, won the 2000 Guineas in 1857 as well as back-to-back runnings of the Doncaster Cup. But he’s more famous as the sire of Galopin, sire of breed-shaper St. Simon.