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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Tapping into Tapit

Using Dr. Roman's dosage figures when Tapit is involved is absolutely imperative to gauge balance. This is something that cannot be overstated enough. If you do not consult Dr. Roman's numbers when it comes to a descendent of Tapit, you might as well resort to simply flipping a coin.

You must always consult the maiden performance first in order to make sure that the colt is accepting that inheritance and he is indeed following the balance of his scale.


We all know that Tapit is a major influence of Stamina. The assumption that every descendant of Tapit will impart this influence is not as cut and dry as many think. It must also be joined with the other inherited "ingredients" found within his chart.

Every horse has a scale that balances their speed and stamina based on what they inherited from ALL of the elite sires (the chefs) - his prominent non-chefs (additional influences) and the elite mares (reines) within their chart.

Just because Tapit is present, he does not negate the influence of the others. He enhances it.

Each Tapit boy will have his own scale, and this will help guide your handicapping decisions from race to race and distance to distance.

For the sake of illustration, let's assume that the presence of Tapit in the first or second generation will contribute at least an additional 1/2 beaker full of stamina into the established combined chefs within the chart's first four generations.

It is important to note though, that not every offspring will necessarily accept everything within his chart. In addition, he may not even want anything to do with his inheritance.

In understanding the majority of Tapit's sons and grandsons, the importance of the maiden performance aligned with his numbers takes precedence in implementing the findings.

With history on our side, this is quite simple to accomplish.

When Tapit is involved within the first or second generation of a new colt's chart, the mares tend to take a backseat. This is the reason why the mare's full set of figures rarely come to account.

It is no secret that Tapit's sons and grandsons excel in the 12f Belmont Stakes and rarely find success in the 10f Kentucky Derby. The main reason for this is because the Kentucky Derby requires a much more balanced scale of excessive speed coupled with excessive stamina. The Belmont requires evenly balanced speed with excessive stamina. The two do not coincide.

When the balance tips too far to either side of the scale, it throws the balance off. Too much speed and the colt cannot endure the distance. Too much stamina and the colt cannot compete with the pace, or he may position himself in direct line with his inheritance, with a tendency to run further off the pace. Which, on a 20-horse field, adds complications to his success.

One of the easiest ways to weed your way through the high amount Tapit boys that hit the tracks on a yearly basis is to distinguish if the new colt is performing within the expected parameters of his inheritance or if he is blowing straight through it.

It is the maiden race that will easily point this phenomenon out. We'll look at both sides.

Speak Easy trained by Todd Pletcher

Back on January 27th at Gulfstream Park, there was a 7f maiden race that was filled with 12 in the gate. Out of the 12, four of them were descendants of Tapit:

Speak Easy DP = 2-5-3-0-0 (10) DI = 5.67   CD = 0.90 ANZ = 7.00

Tapakena DP = 5-11-11-1-0 (28) DI = 3.31   CD = 0.71 ANZ = 3.31

Batten Down DP = 6-14-11-1-0 (32) DI = 3.92   CD = 0.78 ANZ = 4.54

My True Colors DP = 3-6-7-0-0 (16) DI = 3.57   CD = 0.75 ANZ = 4.71

The beaker on the left depicts the amount of inherited speed for Speak Easy when combining his first 4 generations of chefs along with the additions of his prominent non-chefs. 5.6 times the amount of speed over stamina from his chefs. 7 times the amount when adding in his prominent non-chefs.

Speak Easy held the highest amount of inbred speed among his half-brothers on the field. He also held more endurance capability with that exaggerated speed over Victory Avenue, who came in second.

He was able to sustain his excessive speed because of Tapit. And he will continue to do the same in each progressing distance.

The beaker of the right shows the ANZ figures in descending order from My True Colors to Batten Down and finally to Tapakena.

This illustrates over double the amount of the inherited speed of his half-brothers. Speak Easy ran directly in line with his configurations. He was able to demolish his brothers, with Tapakena performing the best under him, coming in 5th, lagging 10 lengths behind him.

In a 7f race, each of these decedents had ample inherited speed to compete in the stretch with enough stamina to sustain that speed through Tapit. The colt who had 7x the amount easily prevailed over the others on the fast Gulfstream bias.

When you pour in Tapit's Stamina Beaker, the fluctuations will begin to take hold and the scales are revealed. Going back to Roman's indexes, the higher that index goes, the greater chance that the colt will begin to even out with his balance with "extremes" on both sides.

With his maiden performance, we can see that Tapit's stamina did not overwhelm his balance, he is accepting that Roman Index. He displayed both sides of the scale. The other 3 did not lose because they are distance challenged, they lost because Tapit's stamina influence dominates their balance. Their time may come later.

For Speak Easy, this bodes very well for the Kentucky Derby because, as we know, excessive speed inheritance (7.00) PLUS excessive stamina inheritance (Tapit) allows for the horse to run fast enough to keep up with the pace and with the necessary stamina to endure that pace at a longer distance.

The further that chef index drops, the more the balance starts to become off-kilter. It waters down the speed side and turns the stamina side to the dominant feature. The cut-off here at the DHC has been at 3.00, however, it is looming closer to 3.20 as the years pass. Tapit offspring sporting an index below 3.00 do not find favor in the Kentucky Derby. They thrive in the 12f Belmont.

Those colts who have Tapit in the 1st or 2nd generation with an index at approximately 3.20 and under are at an extreme disadvantage at Churchill, however, the lower that initial index lands, the more he gains advantage for the 12f Belmont. His endurance capability exceeds his speed. That side becomes the filled beaker, and the speed side does not water it down.

This information, again, must ALWAYS be aligned first time with the colt's maiden. You must verify that the horse can run to his numbers. In some cases, a stand-out player will materialize if he goes against "the general rules."

Let's imagine, for instance, that there was a 5th Tapit offspring who entered that maiden race.

Let's also imagine that he ended up beating the most advantaged on that 7f track, the 5.67 indexed Speak Easy, by a nose. They ended up with almost the exact performance.

Let's give him these chef numbers:

DP = 4-9-12-1-0 (26) DI = 2.71   CD = 0.62

On the left, we have Speak Easy. On the right, we have the nameless 5th Tapit Offspring, who has well over half the amount of speed through his chefs. When you pour in Tapit's beaker of heightened stamina, whatever is there would get completely diluted - as dictated by history. Quintessential Belmont Stakes numbers with Tapit.

If he beat Speak Easy by a nose at 7f on the Gulfstream bias, this would mean that this colt is running with either incredible NATURAL SPEED or he is a stone-cold monster.

That 2.71 index coupled with Tapit's stamina usually depicts a colt who would be built perfectly for the 12f Belmont Stakes. His balance would tip in favor of severe endurance, and it would cut into any advantage he would have on a shorter track, a faster bias, or against another offspring with over 2x the amount of inherited speed at such a short distance.

This colt would be running against the grain, and it easily shows that he has the potential to hold on to his natural speed at astonishing distances with that 2.71 index and the added Tapit influence.

His endurance is his dominating feature but his displayed speed at 7f defies logic and goes against the "normal" balance in these numbers.

This, in turn, makes him a complete stand-out. His 2.71 tips him further to the stamina side, but he competed evenly with a 5.71 speedier colt with the same Tapit stamina. That would be a true stand-out at 7f moving forward from that maiden.

Now for the reveal:

The horse whose numbers I hijacked to demonstrate the importance of the maiden race as it pertains to a Tapit offspring belong to one who broke his maiden traveling 6f at Santa Anita by 13.25 lengths. Not only was the distance completely against his breeding, but the bias of the track did not align either. A 2.71 chef index as a first-generation Tapit son screams Belmont Stakes. From this initial performance, those two ideas clash for a 13-length win against speedsters at 6f. This easily depicts a monster in the making.

Those numbers belong to the one and only FLIGHTLINE. He ran against the grain, with a disadvantaged 2.71 index at the 6f distance with additional Tapit stamina lumped on top. A complete early stand-out that did not disappoint. His fate was written out clearly within his index. Massive endurance with concrete displayed speed.

Tapit offspring, first or second generation, with an ANZ figure that exceeds 4.00 or a Roman number over 3.20 have enough speed ingredients to excel for a board hit in the Kentucky Derby. Under 3.00 and he is aligned for the Belmont Stakes win. The maiden will give evidence of his ability to run to his numbers (the speed side) or not.

The maiden will tell you if he is running to the Tapit Phenomenon or if he is a complete Monster as he moves along the distance plane. Only the numbers will give you that insight that early. First race tells you he has the potential to be a beast in the making based on that index with Tapit lurking in the background.

The 10f Belmont Stakes at Saratoga

For a chance at success in the Kentucky Derby, a Tapit colt must have an index over 3.00, unless he showed exquisite prowess on a fast bias going short and beating up on his speedy foes like Flightline. We have not seen one yet to enter the Derby. Not one. Several properly configured Tapits in the Derby have at least made it to the board underneath, but never for the win. This is because they lean too far over on the stamina side of the scale. They need excessive speed to compete.

For a chance at success as the winner in the 12f Belmont Stakes, the colt must have a 3.00 OR UNDER index where his speed does not dilute his excessive inherited stamina. There was only one instance where a Tapit boy won the Belmont with a 4.33 index. That was Tiz the Law in 2020, and lucky for him, that was the year it was contested at only 9f.

This year, the rules for Tapit will still apply - but they will move in the 10f Belmont to the exact same rules for 10f Derby - with a little bit of easement. The speed leaning "Tapit Boys" will not need to circle a huge field in the Belmont and therefore, will retain a much greater advantage than they would normally see in the 10f Kentucky Derby.

Speak Easy is built for the Derby because of his high 5.57 which balances his stamina. The 2024 Belmont will also be run at 10f as well. If it wasn't, his index would have been too high to compete for the win there. Now, he has a shot for both.

Without Dr. Roman's figures, you would never be able to gauge the balance of a 1st or 2nd generation Tapit offspring.


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