Friday, August 2, 2013

After the Auction: Ontology

As an avid fan of sales with possible aspirations to become an adviser/bloodstock agent, auctions are one of my favorite topics to write about on Past the Grandstand. “After the Auctions” feature horses I selected in sales that have found success after the sale. *Note: If an “After the Auction” features a two-year-old, it will also be listed as a “Juvenile Spotlight.”

Few stallions in the Thoroughbred breeding industry have experienced recent success as immense as Tapit’s. The son of the late Pulpit has been tremendous as of late, siring a plethora of graded stakes winners and high-selling horses. Attracting many top mares, such as Havre de Grace and Zenyatta, he is among the most sought-after studs in the business.

Photo by Terri Cage

To own an offspring of Tapit is to possess a jewel. Fortunately for Reddam Racing, LLC, they have a jewel in Ontology, a two-year-old son of Tapit. One of my selections at the OBS March Sale earlier this year due to the power he displayed in the breeze show, Ontology was privately purchased by Reddam Racing at that auction for the price of $210,000.

Ontology has raced twice and although he did not win either of those starts, he has proven himself as a talented individual, having already added black-type to his name. After a solid runner-up effort in his debut at Hollywood Park on June 22 behind Alpine Luck, Ontology returned three weeks later in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes, in which he faced six others. Tracking the pace from the inside, the chestnut colt remained along the rail, rallying well to miss victory by a half-length, finishing second to Alpine Luck yet again.

Although Ontology has yet to visit the winner’s circle, the colt has clearly displayed talent in the early stages of his career, already proving himself as a stakes-quality racehorse.

Pedigree Musings

Tapit was among the top five sires in North America in both 2011 and 2012 and has sired a multitude of grade one-winning millionaires, including Careless Jewel, Hansen, Joyful Victory, Stardom Bound, and Tapitsfly. Early on in his stud career, it seemed as if Tapit could only produce precocious juveniles and the occasional speedy sophomore rather than horses that could carry their brilliance beyond their three-year-old year. However, offspring like Joyful Victory, Tapitsfly, Tapizar, and Testa Matta – have disproved this theory, having captured grade/group ones at four years old or older.

Tapit is a son of the late Pulpit, a fantastic sire who has begat such grade one winners as Corinthian, Ice Box, Purge, Pyro, Rutherienne, Sky Mesa, Stroll, and Tapit himself. Pulpit is of course a son of the great A.P. Indy, the sire of nearly thirty grade one winners, including Bernardini, Flashing, Mineshaft, Little Belle, Music Note, and Rags to Riches. The A.P. Indy sire line from which Ontology descends has been highly successful, as A.P. Indy is also the sire of the additional productive studs Bernardini, Congrats, Malibu Moon, Mineshaft, and Stephen Got Even.

Ontology is the first foal out of the stakes-winning mare Shytoe Lafeet, who earned more than $330,000 on the track, to race. A daughter of 2000 Guineas (GI) champion King of Kings, Shytoe Lafeet allows Ontology to share his broodmare sire with the grade one-winning Regally Ready, as well as the additional graded/group stakes winners Alexandros, Channel Lady, and Shimraan. The Tapit/Northern Dancer sire line on which Ontology is bred is the same that has produced the grade one winners Laragh and Tapizar.

Through his dam, Ontology is a direct descendant of three Reine De Course mares: Up the Hill, Gentle Tryst, and Cinq a Sept. The latter, a winner of the Irish Oaks, also resides in the tail female line of the great Triple Crown champion Secretariat, in addition to the spectacular stallions Cure the Blues and Malibu Moon. The Up the Hill line is the same one that produced Preakness Stakes (GI) winner Elocutionist and two-time Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (GI) champion Alleged.

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