Derby Hopeful Tapit Has Classic Pedigree

Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner Tapit is by a horse that ran fourth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and out of a mare by a horse that won the Kentucky Derby.

The 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt is by Pulpit and was produced from the Unbridled mare Tap Your Heels.

Pulpit was the fourth choice in the 1997 Derby after winning his final prep, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. He finished fourth behind Silver Charm, Captain Bodgit, and Free House.

The Derby would be Pulpit's final start. He was retired due to injury and entered the breeding shed the following year at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky. Tapit is a member of Pulpit's third crop of foals. To date, he has been represented by eight stakes winners, about 5% of his 115 runners.

There is certainly more Derby power in Tapit's sire line. Pulpit is by A.P. Indy, who was scratched the morning of the 1992 Derby with an injury. He came back to win that year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), and is one of the elite sires standing at stud today. A.P. Indy stands at Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., where he has sired more than 80 stakes winners to date.

A.P. Indy is by Seattle Slew, who is one of the most famous names in Derby history. There have only been 11 winners of the Triple Crown (Derby, Preakness and Belmont). One is Seattle Slew, who swept the series in 1977.

There is also Derby lore on the bottom side of Tapit's pedigree. His dam, Tap Your Heels, is by Unbridled, who won the Derby in 1990. He also won the Breeders' Cup Classic that year.

Tapit is the first foal produced from Tap Your Heels, who was bred in Virginia by Heronwood Farm. Tap Your Heels won just one race in nine starts but that win was a restricted stakes, the Hildene.
Tapit was obviously a good-looking young horse -- he sold as a yearling for $625,000. His dam's second foal was obviously the contrary. A full sister to Tapit, she sold as a yearling for only $5,000. Tap Your Heels has no other living foals; her yearling colt by Forestry died and she was barren for 2004. She is currently in foal to Grand Slam.

Now that Tap Your Heels is a grade I producer, she joins her dam in that category. Tapit's granddam is the Nijinsky II mare Ruby Slippers, who is the dam of champion sprinter Rubiano.
Tapit is inbred 3x4 to Mr. Prospector: Pulpit's dam, Preach, is a daughter of Mr. Prospector; and, Unbridled's sire, Fappiano, is by Mr. Prospector. The aforementioned Rubiano is also a son of Fappiano.

Tapit has a dosage profile of 9-3-12-2-2, with representation in all five areas and his highest number in the Classic range. He has a dosage index of 1.80 and a center of distribution of 0.54.

The winner of last year's Laurel Futurity, Tapit was weighted at 114 pounds on the Experimental Free Handicap. He is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and trained by Michael Dickinson.

Based strictly on his pedigree, one thing that should not be a worry for Tapit is his ability to get the Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles.

Sire: PULPIT, b, 1994. Raced 1 yr, 6 sts, 4 wins, $728,200. Won Toyota Blue Grass S (gr. II), Fountain of Youth S (gr. II); 2nd Florida Derby (gr. I).

Lifetime: 3 crops, 153 foals, 115 rnrs (75%), 65 wnrs (42%), 27 2yo wnrs (18%), 8 sw (5%), 2.23 AEI, 3.39 CI, 100 sale yrlgs, avg $288,970, 5.5 TNA.

In 2004: 1 sw, 1 sale yrlg, $117,000.

1st dam: TAP YOUR HEELS, gr/ro, 1996. Bred by Heronwood Farm (Va.). Raced 2 yrs, 9 sts, 1 win, $47,275. Won Hildene S (R). Dam of 2 named foals, 1 rnr, 1 wnr, 1 sw. ($85,000, 1997 keejul yrlg; $750,000, 2000 keenov, Pulpit; $900,000, 2002 keenov, Forestry).

2001: TAPIT, gr/ro c, by Pulpit. ($625,000 keesep yrlg).

At 2: Won Laurel Futurity (gr. III).

At 3: Won Wood Memorial S (gr. I).

2002: Home From Oz, ch f, by Pulpit. ($5,000 keesep yrlg).

2003: C, by Forestry. Died 2003.

2004: Barren.

Broodmare sire: UNBRIDLED, b, 1987-2001. Sire of 91 dams of 178 foals, 90 rnrs (51%), 49 wnrs (28%), 18 2yo wnrs (10%), 1.22 AEI, 1.75 CI; 4 sw.

2nd dam: Ruby Slippers, ro, 1982-2002. Bred by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram R. Firestone (Va.). Raced 3 yrs, 14 sts, 5 wins, $83,760. Dam of RUBIANO (c, Fappiano; $1,252,817, champion sprinter, Won NYRA Mile H, gr. I, Carter H, gr. I, Vosburgh S, gr. I, Tom Fool S, gr. II, Forego H, gr. II, Westchester H, gr. III, twice; 2nd Metropolitan H, gr. I, Tom Fool S, gr. II, Jamaica H, gr. II; 3rd Breeders' Cup Sprint, gr. I; sire), High Cascade (c, Woodman; $176,842, 2nd Golden Gate Derby, gr. III; 3rd Rushaway S). Granddam of Peninsula.