Spring marks the season when two-year-olds get their careers underway on the racetrack. It is among the most exciting times of the year for me as I attempt to scope out the future stars of tomorrow. And it’s also a time to shed light on the up-and-coming stallions whose first foals will hit the track.
The highlight this week will be on new sire Tonalist, who has his first babies running this season. The son of perennially leading sire Tapit was one of the better horses we witnessed this decade, and his youngsters look to offer a lot of promise.
Tonalist earned in excess of $3.6 million in his racing days and accumulated four Grade 1 victories in his lifetime, most notably a score in the 2014 Belmont Stakes (G1). The sturdy colt concluded his career with a victory in the 2015 Cigar Mile Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct. He was trained by Christophe Clement and racked up seven wins from 16 races.
He has had a pair of debut runners already this season and seems to have two live entries on Friday in search of his first winner at stud.
At Churchill Downs, Tapalist will make his debut in Race 2, a five-furlong maiden special weight event which attracted nine colts. The Steve Asmussen trainee has worked well since early April in advance of his unveiling. He attracted a bid of $275,000 as a yearling and will be ridden by Tyler Baze for Winchell Thoroughbreds.
Pour on the Cole will make his initial start in the 3RD Race at Santa Anita Park, a 4 1/2-furlong dash on the dirt. The California-bred colt cost $50,000 at auction and is working like a horse ready to run. Trained by solid two-year-old conditioner Mike McCarthy, the March foal drew outside and will have jockey Flavien Prat aboard.
It is obviously way too early to gauge how Tonalist will perform as a stallion, but he was well received at the sales and should have every chance to pass on his class and heart to his foals.
PHOTO: Tonalist after winning the 2014 Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on June 7, 2014 (c) Horsephotos.com/Deborah Kral