Top-3 sire Tapit could rocket to the top spot of the 2011 stallion list with a big weekend at the Breeders' Cup. The Gainesway stallion has five runners in the Nov. 4-5 championships at Churchill Downs, with all five making their start on Saturday. Tapit has over $7.2 million in progeny earning to date, with 13 stakes winners and 18 stakes wins. He has sired two Breeders' Cup winners: Stardom Bound in the 2008 Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Tapitsfly in the 2009 Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Trappe Shot and Tapizar kick things off for their sire in race 7, the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at 4:00 p.m. Trappe Shot posted a pair of 110+ Beyer Speed Figures this summer in the seven furlong True North H. (G2) and and the A. G. Vanderbilt H. (G1). The chestnut colt has been favored in all four of his starts this year and sports an overall record of 6-2-0 in 11 starts for Mill House.
Winchell Thoroughbreds owned Tapizar makes his first foray into Grade 1 company Saturday and is coming off a very impressive performance at Belmont on Oct. 8. The 3-year-old colt is not without back class; he won the Grade 3 Sham S. in January by a widening 4 1/4-lengths. Winchell, who also campaigned Tapit, bred Tapizar from Winning Call, who has five winners from as many starters.
Two-year-old Hansen comes into the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), race 8, with a pair of double-digit victories to his credit. The gray colt broke his maiden by 12 1/4-lengths on Sept. 9, then wheeled back 13 days later to win the Kentucky Cup Juvenile S. by 13 1/4-lengths. In both performances, he went right to the front right out of the gate and never looked back. Hansen is named after his owner/co-breeder Dr. Kendall Hansen.
Rattlesnake Bridge and Headache go for the biggest prize of the day in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), the 11th race at 7 p.m. Rattlesnake Bridge, also owned by Mill House, was a very good second in the 1 1/4-mile Travers S. (G1) in August and has picked up a check in six of seven starts.
Rattlesnake Bridge was the highest price colt sold at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale in May, bringing $450,000 from Steve Young, agent. The gray colt is the first runner out of Prall Street and comes from the same family that includes Grade 1 winner True Knight and Grade 2 winner Rigamajig.
Headache comes into the Classic with three wins in his last four starts, including victories in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup H. (G2) and the Cornhusker H. (G3). Like Hansen, Headache is trained by Mike Maker. Headache, 5, has finished in the top 3 in 18 of his 26 lifetime starts and is a horse that appreciates the longer distances. He has never been worse than second in three starts at the Classic's 10 furlongs.