02/06/2015 1:19PM

Sons of Tapit enter market

Andrew Watkins
Grade 1-placed He's Had Enough, who enters stud in Florida, is among a wave of sons of leading sire Tapit beginning their stallion careers in 2015.

After a record-setting year on the racetrack and in the auction ring, the demand for progeny of leading sire Tapit has never been higher. That enthusiasm is now starting to carry over into the stud barn.

At least eight sons of Tapit will debut at stud in North America in 2015, entering at all points on the breeding market’s spectrum.

These new arrivals – along with other sons of Tapit who entered stud in previous years – will go a long way in establishing Tapit’s reputation as a sire of sires.

While Tapit already stands for the highest advertised fee in North America, $300,000, his success or failure at transferring his ability at stud to future generations could steer his rate in the future and help determine his place all time among top sires.

“I think everybody wants a Tapit,” said David Fiske, racing and farm manager for Winchell Thoroughbreds, which raced and still owns a significant interest in the 14-year-old son of Pulpit. “I don’t have a whole lot of close association with the other stallions that are standing around town and how much demand there is for the sons of other stallions, but I do know there is incredible demand for sons of Tapit, just given the number of phone calls I get every week, the amount of interest we had in [Winchell homebred multiple Grade 2 winner] Tapiture last year.”

The sons of Tapit headed off to stud in 2015 are Grade 2 winner Flashback at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Kentucky; Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up He’s Had Enough at Woodford Thoroughbreds in Florida; Grade 2 winner Honorable Dillon at Rockridge Stud in New York; Grade 3 winner Bandbox at Northview Stallion Station and Grade 2-placed Tritap at Heritage Stallions in Maryland; stakes winner Winchill at Pointer Farm in Pennsylvania; stakes winner Tidal Volume at Poplar Creek Horse Center in Ohio; and graded stakes-placed Moro Tap at Double Infinity Ranch in Texas.

Those newcomers will join Kentucky stallions Concord Point, Tapizar, and Trappe Shot; Florida stallion Rattlesnake Bridge; and former Kentucky resident Hansen, who stood one season at Ashford Stud before being sold to stand in Korea, among the horses tasked with carrying on the Tapit sire line.

“You always want to get in on something that’s on the rise, and it certainly helps when you have Tapit doing what he’s done,” said Matt Lyons of Woodford Thoroughbreds. “People have seen what Tapit did, starting from humble beginnings to make it all the way to a $300,000 stud fee.”

He’s Had Enough will stand his debut season at Woodford Thoroughbreds for an advertised fee of $5,000. Lyons said he plans to use Tapit’s success as a template for his own stallion’s matings.

“One thing that I liked about [He’s Had Enough] was that he’s free of Storm Cat,” Lyons said. “We know how well Tapit has done with mares from the Storm Cat line, so a Tapit horse that was a good 2-year-old with an exceptional female family that’s free of Storm Cat really was very appealing for us.”

Robin Murphy of Poplar Creek Horse Center campaigned Tidal Volume, a member of Tapit’s first crop, herself and said Tapit’s ascent at stud throughout, paired with expanded gaming in Ohio, compelled her to get a stallion-worthy ontrack résumé under her horse. Tidal Volume earned a victory in the Temperence Hill Stakes at Louisiana Downs and won on dirt, turf, and all-weather surfaces.

Tidal Volume will stand the 2015 season for $3,000 and already has proven to be the most popular stallion on Murphy’s 12-horse roster.

“Tapit has helped me tremendously with this horse,” Murphy said. “Right now, for a horse in Ohio, the average stallion has [a book of] 7.8 mares, and it’ll get better. Retiring him, I was hoping realistically to get 40 mares for him for the whole year. Right now, it’s not even Feb. 1, and I have 45 mares already contracted to him.”

Murphy said Tapit’s ability to stamp his foals with his signature gray coloring has been another helpful marketing tactic for Tidal Volume. While Tapit has proven that his best runners don’t have to be gray, such as champion Untapable and Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist, seven of his eight sons headed to stud in 2015 are registered as gray or roan.

“The thing about Tidal Volume is after I got pictures taken of him, I took his picture, and I put it right next to Tapit’s conformation shot, and they’re built just alike – the way their neck comes out and their top line,” she said. “They compare amazingly. I was so excited when I saw that.”