12/18/2017 10:56AM

Principe Guilherme builds on Tapit's solid year as sire

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The regally bred Principe Guilherme romped by 11 3/4 lengths in an optional-claiming event Saturday at Fair Grounds, moving forward toward the New Orleans track’s series of Kentucky Derby preps. The eye-opening performance served as an exclamation point as perennial leading sire Tapit closes the year strong with his juveniles.

Principe Guilherme earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 92, the highest number of the year for one of Tapit’s 2-year-olds. A Three Chimneys Farm homebred who is out of the Grade 1-winning Street Sense mare Aubby K, Principe Guilherme had posted an 88 winning his debut last month at Churchill Downs.

While Tapit, who stands at Gainesway, was dethroned in 2017 from his record-setting three-year run atop the progeny earnings list, he did factor prominently in Daily Racing Form’s exclusive Beyer Sire Performance Standings general sires list. He is represented by 34 individual starters who have earned Beyers of 90 or above this season, giving him the most runners to hit that benchmark figure on the season.

Principe Guilherme led a productive weekend for Tapit’s juveniles. The stallion was also represented by Zing Zang, who won a maiden special weight Saturday at Fair Grounds with a Beyer of 81; He Takes Charge, from the immediate family of champions Will Take Charge and Take Charge Brandi, who ran a creditable second in a Gulfstream maiden with a 76; and Marconi, who broke his maiden at Aqueduct with a 74 in his second start. Marconi, a half brother to Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man, was a $2 million purchase at the Keeneland September yearling sale.