From the first crop of 2017 Belmont (G1) winner Tapwrit, Victory Formation is helping to put his young sire on the map. Here are 12 pedigree fun facts to know about Victory Formation:
1. Tapwrit is the third of his sire Tapit’s record-tying four Belmont winners, after Tonalist (2014) and Creator (2016). Champion Essential Quality (2021) became his fourth, putting Tapit alongside legendary 19th-century patriarch Lexington as sire of the most Belmont winners. Yet to sire a Kentucky Derby (G1) winner, Tapit has had a pair of sons elevated to third via disqualification in Tacitus (2019) and Essential Quality.
2. Tapit also shares the record for siring the most Breeders’ Cup winners, thanks to his unbeaten prodigy Flightline in the 2022 Classic (G1). Flightline gave Tapit a seventh Breeders’ Cup trophy, tying More Than Ready and Into Mischief. 
3. A scion of the male line of 1977 Triple Crown star Seattle Slew, Tapit descends from Slew’s Hall of Fame son A.P. Indy, who captured the 1992 Belmont as well as the Breeders’ Cup Classic. A.P. Indy signaled that he’d become a major sire himself by getting several major winners in his very first crop, including Pulpit, sire of Tapit.
4. Tapwrit, a $1.2 million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase, proved his worth on the racetrack. At two, he won the stakes race honoring his grandsire, Pulpit, at Gulfstream Park. Tapwrit joined the 2017 Derby trail at Tampa Bay Downs, where he was an eye-catching runner-up in the Sam F. Davis (G3). Next he dominated the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), in then-stakes record time. After a troubled sixth in the Kentucky Derby, Tapwrit rebounded with his signature win in the Belmont.
5. Tapwrit’s dam, Appealing Zophie, romped in the 2006 Spinaway (G1) and 2007 Silverbulletday (G3). She produced two other graded performers, notably multiple Grade 2 hero Ride a Comet. Appealing Zophie is by the smart sprinter Successful Appeal, sire of 2005 Kentucky Derby near-misser Closing Argument. Successful Appeal has also sired the dams of champion Letruska and C Z Rocket, who was recently runner-up for the second time in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

6. Tapwrit’s pedigree sports inbreeding to Seattle Slew. In addition to factoring as his direct male-line ancestor, he appears on Appealing Zophie’s maternal side. Her dam, Zophie, is by turf millionaire Hawkster and out of a mare by Seattle Slew.

7. Victory Formation is out of a mare by Smart Strike, the broodmare sire of Kentucky Derby upsetters Mine That Bird (2009) and Rich Strike (2022). Smart Strike is exerting a major classic influence through his Hall of Fame son Curlin (himself the paternal grandsire of Rich Strike, who is intensely inbred to Smart Strike). 

8. Victory Formation is the second stakes performer for his dam, Smart N Soft. She is also responsible for Bellamore, third in the Rodeo Drive (G1) over 1 1/4 miles on turf and runner-up in the Falls City (G3) on the Churchill Downs dirt last fall. Smart N Soft’s first foal, the unraced Sick of Love, is now the dam of Italian stakes-winning juvenile Sienna.

9. Smart N Soft gets the second half of her name from her own dam, Softly, who scored her biggest win as a 23-1 longshot in the 2002 Churchill Downs Distaff H. (G2). The disappointing favorite that day was Trip, now the granddam of top freshman sire Bolt d’Oro.

10. Softly was the only graded winner sired by Binalong, a multiple stakes scorer who set a seven-furlong track record at Keeneland in 1993. Although obscure as a stallion, well-bred Binalong plays an interesting role in this pedigree. He is a grandson of the important sire In Reality, who is duplicated in the ancestry of Tapit and Tapwrit, and now turns up as an additional strain here. 
11. Seattle Slew makes a similarly extra appearance on the maternal side, giving Victory Formation a third cross. Softly is out of Coragil, a stakes-placed daughter of the Seattle Slew stallion Metfield. Ironically, Coragil is also the ancestress of Angel of Empire, runner-up to Victory Formation in the Smarty Jones S.
12. Coragil’s dam, White Jasmine, sports an intriguing pattern of inbreeding to the Argentine import Papila, dam of champion Crimson Satan. White Jasmine is by Whitesburg, a son of Crimson Satan, and her dam, Red Jasmine, is herself a granddaughter of Papila. Other descendants of Papila include Hall of Famer Tiznow and 2013 Preakness (G1) hero Oxbow.