04/25/2013 6:41PM

Havre de Grace in foal to Tapit

Barbara D. Livingston
Havre de Grace, 2011 Horse of the Year, has been confirmed in foal to leading sire Tapit.

Record-priced mare Havre de Grace, the 2011 Horse of the Year, has been confirmed in foal to Tapit.

The 6-year-old mare, from the only crop of 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam, got in foal on one cover by the Gainesway Farm stallion, Gainesway's director of sales Michael Hernon said. This would be her first foal.

"Tapit is attracting extraordinarily high-quality mares," Hernon said.

Havre de Grace became the most expensive broodmare prospect ever sold at public auction last November when she went to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm for $10 million at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall mixed sale. Pope said the mare's offspring would be sold for the short term to help recoup the investment.

“This was more than I thought she’d bring, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime shot,” Pope said in November. “I’m taking a shot at it, and we’ll see what happens. I just hope she knows what she’s worth and she has nice babies.”

Pope boards Havre de Grace at Wayne and Cathy Sweezey's Timber Town Stable in Lexington, Ky.

“We did the genetic research on this end, and Tapit is the best cross for her,” Wayne Sweezey said in December. “I’m pumped. We’ve had a number of Tapits born on the farm, so it’s not new to be breeding to Tapit, and to take that kind of mare to that kind of stallion is great.”

Havre de Grace, who was just the second reigning Horse of the Year to sell at public auction, won six graded stakes races during her career, including three Grade 1 events in 2011—the Apple Blossom Handicap, Woodward Stakes, and Beldame Invitational Stakes. She joined 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra as just the second female to win the Woodward.

Havre de Grace won her only start of 2012, the New Orleans Ladies Stakes in March, before a ligament injury in an ankle, detected the following month, ended her racing career. She retired with nine wins in 16 starts and earnings of $2,586,175.

The mare is out of the Carson City mare Easter Bunnette, dam of three winners from four foals to race. It is the family of Grade 1 winners Riskaverse, Plugged Nickle, and Christiecat.

Tapit, a 12-year-old Pulpit horse, stands at Gainesway for an advertised fee of $125,000, the second highest in North America. He is listed as booked full for 2013.

The sire of juvenile champions Stardom Bound and Hansen has joined Bernardini on a select list of active stallions to be bred to two female Horse of the Year honorees. Tapit was recently represented by a colt out of 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, born at Lane's End Farm on April 1. Bernardini is the sire of Zenyatta's first foal, a yearling colt named Cozmic One, and a filly out of Rachel Alexandra, born Feb. 12.