Tapizar drew away at the top of the Santa Anita stretch to score a decisive 2 1/4-length victory in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) on Saturday. Tapizar is the fourth Breeders' Cup winner for Tapit, following Hansen (2011 Juvenile), Tapitsfly (2009 Juvenile Fillies Turf), and Stardom Bound (2008 Juvenile Fillies).
Tapit, a top-10 sire going into Saturday, now has three Grade 1 winners in 2012, tied for the top spot among North American stallions. His progeny have earned in excess of $7.6 million this year.
Tapizar broke quickly in Dirt Mile and was just off the flank of Emcee for the first five furlongs. He matched strides around the turn with his foe, then began to pull away as Corey Nakatani set him down for the drive. The 4-year-old colt powered down the stretch without being threatened to carry the colors of his owner/breeder Ron Winchell's Winchell Thoroughbreds to the victory. He clocked the distance in 1:35.34 on a fast track.
“His success at Santa Anita allowed us to think about this race to begin with, especially off such a bad race in the Kelso," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "He trained as good as ever out here, looked a picture of health, and ran well today.”
“He sure performed great today," Asmussen added "He acted the day after the Kelso like he hadn’t run. The racetrack and the circumstances leading up to that race were not ideal, but everything went smooth as glass out here."
“This never gets old. Winning a race on Breeders’ Cup day is special; it’s special just to get the chance to compete." Nakatani said. "It’s extremely gratifying. We had a good trip. He got away in good order. Last time, he just didn’t handle the track. I told Steve to go on to the Breeders’ Cup, and I’m glad he did.”
Tapizar's win is one of the most gratifying in the Winchell family's long involvement in the racing industry. They bred the colt's dam Winning Call and campaigned Tapit throughout his brilliant career.
Call Now, the second dam of Tapizar, was bred and raced by Ron's father, Vern H. Winchell. The daugher of Wild Again won the Del Mar Debutante (G2) in 1994 and placed in the Oak Leaf S. (G1) at Santa Anita. She is out of Winchell's blue hen Carols Christmas, the dam of two other stakes winners.
Tapizar is now 6-1-1 in 14 starts. He has victories in the San Fernando S. (G2), Sham S. (G3) and West Virginia Governors' S. He has earned $972,632.