Tapit added to his list of 2014 stakes winners on Saturday when Tonalist cruised to an impressive four-length win in the $200,000 Peter Pan S. over a sloppy Belmont Park oval.
The win in the 1 1/8-mile contest, which serves as the local prep for the third leg of the Triple Crown, put the $1.5 million Belmont S. on June 7 on the radar for the 3-year-old colt's connections.
"This win is nice, it's great; Mr. (owner Robert S.) Evans is very happy. Let's see how the horse comes out of it but of course we have to think about the Belmont Stakes. We're New York people and we're at Belmont,” said winning trainer Christophe Clement afterward.
After breaking a beat slow, Tonalist quickly assumed command for the backstretch run. Despite posting a very solid half-mile time of 46.83 seconds, jockey Joel Rosario looked very relaxed around the turn. Commissioner made a bid for the lead, but Tonalist shook away at the top of the lane and coasted home to stop the timer in 1:48.30 for his first career stakes win.
"When they opened the gate (he wasn't quite ready, but) then he figured it out quick," said Rosario. "He was doing it easy; he was doing it on his own. He's a big horse with a long stride, when you get him in the bridle, the more you ask, the more he'll give."
Tonalist now 2-1-0 in four starts, earning $157,000. Bred in Kentucky by Woodslane Farm, the bay sophomore comes from the same family as Horse of the Year Havre de Grace and Grade One winners Christiecat and Riskaverse.
Tapit is having a remarkable 2014, leading the General Sire list is several categories. His progeny earnings of $5.27 million is more than $2 million than any other sire. He also leads in stakes winners (9), stakes wins (13) and Graded stakes winners (8).