Sorry-not-sorry for the groanworthy pun, but several juveniles in Saturday’s Remsen (G2) sport pedigrees promising for the Triple Crown trail. Three of them are by Tapit, responsible for three of the last four Belmont S. (G1) winners.
An $800,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling, Biblical is a Tapit half-brother to four-time Grade 1 star Princess of Sylmar. He’s bred along similar lines to his $2 million-earning big sister, since Princess of Sylmar is by the A.P. Indy stallion Majestic Warrior, and Tapit is a paternal grandson of A.P. Indy (via Pulpit).
Biblical must step up on what he’s shown so far, but the gray figured to need a little time to come to hand. After all, Princess of Sylmar turned the corner in the fall of her two-year-old season and excelled at three, when sweeping the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), Alabama (G1), and Beldame (G1). Their dam, the stakes-placed Catienus mare Storm Dixie, is herself a half-sister to Rhythm Band, hero of the 2000 Dubai Duty Free (G3) as a four-year-old, and nearby relative Youcan’tcatchme reigned as Canada’s champion female sprinter at four.
Trained by Todd Pletcher for China Horse Club International, Biblical still appeared a work in progress when breaking his maiden third time out. That came over the Remsen track and trip, in his first try around two turns. The stretch-out, and experience, helped him move forward off his distant third behind Avery Island in a one-turn Belmont Park maiden. Biblical has a nine-length gap to bridge with the Remsen morning-line favorite, but the 8-1 chance is eligible to do better in the rematch.
Tapit also has 7-2 second choice Alkhaatam and another 8-1 shot in Tap Rap Strike in the Remsen.
Alkhaatam, a Shadwell homebred from the Chad Brown barn, descends from a mother-daughter tag team of Epsom Oaks (G1) winners. His third dam, Midway Lady, was a dual classic victress who took Newmarket’s 1000 Guineas (G1) on the way, and her daughter, Eswarah, followed in her hoofsteps by scoring at Epsom in 2005. Eswarah’s most notable offspring, Group 1-placed Firdaws, produced Alkhaatam, who charged from well back to miss by three-quarters of a length in his mile debut at Belmont. He stands to benefit significantly from the step up to two turns.
Tap Rap Strike has already negotiated two turns, thanks to his first-out victory in a one-mile Parx maiden. The John Servis trainee, who cost $875,000 at OBS this March, is out of the Grade 3-winning Cherokee Run mare Cherokee Queen. Although Cherokee Queen spent her entire career on turf and synthetic, in the eight to nine-furlong range, her full sister, Indian Legend, was a stakes-winning sprinter on dirt.
The Tapit trio aren’t cornering the market on strong pedigrees though.
Godolphin’s homebred Avery Island is by Street Sense and out of Kinda Spicy, the winner of her only two career starts in the summer of her sophomore season. In her emphatic allowance score going 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga, Kinda Spicy reflected the stamina of her parents, Hall of Famer A.P. Indy and Chilean celebrity Isola Piu Bella. The co-Horse of the Year and a multiple champion in her homeland, Isola Piu Bella captured a pair of Group 1s at 1 1/4 miles and added three U.S. stakes over 1 1/8 miles.
Catholic Boy naturally started out on turf as a son of More Than Ready, but his internationally prolific sire can get top dirt horses too, as we saw again with Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner and presumptive divisional champion Roy H. While the further female line is turf-oriented, dirt proclivities are up front, courtesy of Catholic Boy’s dam, Song of Bernadette. She’s by champion Bernardini out of the Seeking the Gold mare Winner’s Edge, a winner on both turf and dirt who placed in the Affectionately (G3) on Aqueduct’s old inner track in 1996.
Laurel debut romper Vouch’s basic pedigree may not jump off the page, being by Yes It’s True, but he’s a full brother to 2015 Delaware Oaks (G3) winner Calamity Kate. And their dam, Justmeandmyshadow, is a half-sister to brilliant juvenile Officer. Potential stamina concerns are alleviated by Vouch’s broodmare sire, Hall of Famer Tiznow.
Bandito’s sire, Creative Cause, came up with two progressive three-year-olds of 2017 in Pavel and Twisted Tom, implying that his progeny can have a longer trajectory on the track than he did. Bandito is out of the Bernardini mare Rafaelini, from the extended family of Street Boss and Running Stag. On both top and bottom, the Calumet homebred has the look of a long-term prospect for Dale Romans.
Tapit photo courtesy of Gainesway’s Michael Hernon via Twitter