Every so often, someone googles Blinkers Off with interesting enough search terms that a post ensues. Within the last week, someone found this corner of the Internet with the search terms Greytap horse pedigree.
I have mentioned Greytap a few times here at Blinkers Off, but only in the context of handicapping a race in which he was actually running. I have never discussed his record or his pedigree here in any detail. Still, it is a good time to do so — after all, breeding season is around the corner.
Nine-year-old Greytap (Tapit – Trickily, by Trempolino) is the only son of Tapit standing stud in Illinois. He stands stud at Jake Bryant’s J B Stables in Burnt Prairie. Close followers of Illinois Thoroughbred breeding may notice a pattern here. After all, he is not the only relatively obscure son of a big-money sire to stand at Bryant’s farm.
Road Ruler (Unbridled’s Song – Stephanie’s Road, by Strawberry Road) stands there, too. Injuries kept Road Ruler from being a star on the racetrack, but he has become a fixture on the Illinois sire list. Road Ruler commands a $2,000 stud fee — big money, among stallions in the state. In 2013 and 2014, Road Ruler sat second in earnings among all sires standing (or who last stood) in Illinois, behind the late Cherokee Rap. In 2015, led by solid sprinter Armando’s Star, Road Ruler took over the top spot.
Greytap stands aside Road Ruler for the same $2,000 stud fee — a high-end price for Illinois. Can lightning strike again with Greytap?
Greytap is a member of Tapit’s second crop. He raced in modest company his entire career, and all of his wins came in either claiming or starter races. Still, he had both consistency and durability going for him. He raced 63 times between ages two and eight, winning seven times and hitting the board another 24. Greytap did his best work going two turns on the dirt, with five of his seven wins coming in such races. Still, he also won on turf and poly, and consistently hit the board going a mile or longer on any surface. This even includes some strong second- and third-place performances over the one-turn mile on the Arlington main, another dimension of versatility.
Greytap only went to public auction once. At the 2009 Fasig-Tipton select sale of two-year-olds in training, bidding went up to $65,000, but he was an RNA. He has changed hands several times since debuting for breeder John Griggs and trainer D. Wayne Lukas at Keeneland in October of 2009, but all of those moves happened at the claim box. He was claimed seven times over the course of his career, with four of those claims happening in the last year of his racing.
The last time he was claimed was in his second-to-last start, when he was taken for $8,000 out of a $4,000/$8,000 starter-optional in March of 2015. Trainer Steve Manley had trained Greytap briefly in the summer of 2012 for a different owner; this time, he took Greytap for Jake Bryant. Manley and Bryant raced Greytap once more, in an April 19 $12,500/$5,000 starter-optional, in which he was up for the tag. He finished an even fifth, and never raced again.
Pedigree-wise, most of the power of his immediate family comes from his sire. Tapit commands a $300,000 stud fee, the most of anyone in the United States. He has sired stars like Tonalist, Untapable, Mohaymen, Race Day, and Constitution. His runners have typically done their best at two turns on dirt, though he has had some classy turfers like Ring Weekend and Closing Bell as well.
His Illinois-bred dam, Trickily, was foaled in 1989. She started sixteen times in 1992 and 1993, mostly on the Chicago circuit, but never won. She managed to hit the board twice, both times at two turns on the Arlington grass for trainer David Kassen.
On the track, Greytap is the most accomplished and durable of Trickily’s progeny.
Trickily has produced four other winners, but none has won more than twice. Three of her four winners prevailed at two turns, one (Lovely Cozzene) on grass and two (Quickerthanyoureye, Why Now) on dirt. Quickerthanyoureye was a true slop monster; both of his wins came over tracks rated muddy. The other (Scammed) graduated at six furlongs on the dirt. Two (Quickerthanyoureye and Scammed) tried jumps, though both only won on the flat.
Among his immediate siblings, only Lovely Cozzene has has Jockey Club registered foals. Lovely Cozzene was the only one in Greytap’s immediate family who set off any sales fireworks; she sold for $70,000 at Keeneland September 2008, and $400,000 as a two-year-old at Keeneland November 1999. In sixteen career starts, she won twice and hit the board nine more times. In the breeding shed, Lovely Cozzene produced four winners out of five foals to start. Thanks to Navajo Gold (Stolen Gold) and Crimson and Gray (Stolen Gold), most of those progeny wins came in dirt sprints, but Foot Fault (Kitten’s Joy) won at a turf mile, and Rubato d’Oro (Stolen Gold) graduated in an extended sprint over polytrack.
Greytap’s second dam, Tropical Cream (Creme dela Creme), was a Group III winner in France. At age three she won the Prix Cléopâtre (GIII – FR), going 2100 metres (about 10.5 furlongs) on grass, in 1974. In addition to producing Trickily, Tropical Cream produced six winners, including French Group I winner Tropicaro (Caro). Tropicaro won the 1980 Prix Marcel Boussac (GI – FR) at Longchamp, a 1,600 meter (approximately one mile) race for juvenile fillies.
As a stallion, Greytap may end up a stamina influence, between his own inclination for route races and most of his relatives’ preference for them as well. As a 63-time starter, hopefully Greytap will be able to pass his longevity onto his foals as well. It will be intriguing to see how much support he gets over the coming years, and whether he is able to pass his own durability — and flashes of his sire’s class — to his foals here in Illinois.
(Update – April 21, 2016: When this was written, I had thought Greytap originally entered stud in 2016. However, he covered a mare in 2015: Camagin, who has now produced a filly. So, depending on how she develops, we may see a Greytap baby on the track a year earlier than expected.)