Tapit’s graded-stakes-winning son Divining Rod (Tapit–Precious Kitten, by Catienus), third in the 2015 GI Preakness S. behind Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) and runner-up in the 2016 GI Cigar Mile, has been retired from racing and will stand the 2018 season at Country Life Farm in Bel Air, Maryland, in a partnership between Country Life, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, and Gainesway Farm. Campaigning for the Jacksons’ Lael Stables, Divining Rod earned a total of $882,604 with a record of 5-4-5 from 17 lifetime starts.
Divining Rod’s dam Precious Kitten is a half-sister to leading sire Kitten’s Joy and an earner of $1,912,543.
Divining Rod will stand for a fee of $5,000, live foal. The 5-year-old bay is currently at WinStar Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, where he was sent after straining an ankle in the GIII Bold Ruler S. at Belmont Park in his final start Oct. 28. He is due to arrive at Country Life within the next week.
“Divining Rod gave us many thrills at the track, especially when he almost won the Cigar Mile,” said a statement from Roy and Gretchen Jackson. “With his physical, pedigree, and performance on the track, we believe in him as a stallion, and will support him in the breeding shed, as well as in the sales ring.”
In purchasing an interest in Divining Rod, Gainesway owner Antony Beck said, “I saw him win the Lexington, and I’ve had my eyes on him ever since. I’m breeding 10 of my own mares to him for each of the next four years to help launch him. I’m looking for the next Tapit.”
Country Life Farm co-owner Mike Pons added, “This horse has the speed, pedigree–and attitude–to make a terrific sire. He’s 16.1 hands and beautifully balanced. And his dam Precious Kitten is the best racemare to have a son of Tapit at stud. She’s the kind who can produce a leading sire.”
Divining Rod captured the GIII Coolmore Lexington S. in 2015 and Laurel’s Polynesian S. earlier this year.
“This is a top recruit for the vibrant Maryland breeding scene,” said Country Life’s Josh Pons. “He lost a Grade I by a head-bob. He placed in a classic to a Triple Crown winner. He ran a 105 Beyer and a 1 Ragozin in the Cigar, huge numbers, in a stallion-making mile race. All the partners are supporting him at stud, and we are breeding at least a dozen of our own. And he’s modestly priced for access for our regional breeders.”
Country Life launched the career of leading Kentucky sire Malibu Moon, and currently stand his son Freedom Child, the leading sire in the Mid-Atlantic region.