Tapit's 'Rising Star' Scylla Sizzles in Shawnee for Juddmonte

Scylla | Coady Media

Juddmonte homebred SCYLLA (f, 4, Tapit–Close Hatches, by First Defence) gave notice she'll be one to watch in the older mare division this year with a facile score in Churchill's GIII Shawnee S. Saturday. It marked the first stakes victory for the 'TDN Rising Star' following a seven-length blowout and 93 Beyer figure in a one-mile optional allowance over the surface on GI Kentucky Derby day. Last year's GII Mother Goose S. and GIII Falls City S. winner Xigera (Nyquist), fifth behind Juddmonte's champion Idiomatic (Curlin) in the May 3 La Troienne S. in her seasonal debut, was second, while last year's GI CCA Oaks winner Wet Paint (Blame was third).

Favored at 6-5, Scylla broke cleanly and immediately settled into a tracking spot just off the hip of pacesetter Xigera. Javier Castellano kept her under wraps as Xigera, second choice at 5-2, ticked off early fractions in :24.06 and :48.33. Scylla ran out of patience on the far turn and collared Xigera with enthusiasm. She shifted in down the lane, causing Xigera to shift out, but the race was no longer a contest and Scylla coasted home a 3 1/4-length victress. Xigera was a clear-cut second over Wet Paint, who had dropped back a few spots a half-mile in and closed late to swipe third from GSW Hoosier Philly (Into Mischief) by a neck.

“We always knew her talent was there and the way she's opened up late in her last two starts she's really shown that,” said Castellano, who has been aboard Scylla in all of the filly's six career starts. “I thought adding blinkers would keep her a little bit more sharp and focused going two turns. [Trainer] Bill [Mott] agreed and we added them for today's start and it really worked out.”

Scylla wore blinkers Saturday off that seven-length May 4 win. The 'Rising Star' is undefeated in three starts at Churchill, all by open daylight. After two wins at three, she sat on the sidelines for nine months, returning with a neck second at Gulfstream in March and a third in the  Apr. 19 GIII Doubledogdare S. at Keeneland in her first stakes foray.

“She's been very impressive in her time we've had her at Churchill,” said Mott assistant Kenny McCarthy. “I think bigger and better things are definitely in her future.”

Pedigree Notes:

Gainesway's three-time leading sire Tapit added his 164th black-type winner and 103rd graded winner with Scylla's Shawnee victory. Tapit, who sends his 17th crop of 2-year-olds to the races this year, has been a remarkable source of quality with six U.S. champions to his credit, including Horse of the Year Flightline. Also among Tapit's graded winners is MGSW & MGISP Tacitus, a full-brother to Scylla and a young Taylor Made stallion whose first foals are yearlings of 2024.

In addition to Tacitus and Scylla, dam Close Hatches, the champion older mare of 2014, also has a 3-year-old full-brother to the pair named Batten Down. The Apr. 30 maiden winner was a GI Belmont S. possible, but will point to the June 22 GIII Ohio Derby instead. The mare's most recent foals include a 2022 filly by Constitution named Resurge, a 2023 filly by Uncle Mo, and a 2024 filly by Gun Runner.

Close Hatches is a full-sister to the dam of 2023 champion older female Idiomatic.

Saturday, Churchill Downs
SHAWNEE S.-GIII, $275,000, Churchill Downs, 6-1, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:42.38, ft.
1–SCYLLA, 118, f, 4, by Tapit
                1st Dam: Close Hatches (Ch. Older Mare, MGISW,
                                $2,707,300), by First Defence
                2nd Dam: Rising Tornado, by Storm Cat
                3rd Dam: Silver Star (GB), by Zafonic
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. 'TDN Rising Star'. O/B-Juddmonte Farms Inc (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Javier Castellano. $163,800. Lifetime Record: 6-4-1-1, $414,835. *Full to Tacitus, MGSW & MGISP, $3,767,350. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus* Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Xigera, 123, f, 4, Nyquist–Argent Affair, by Black Tie Affair (Ire). ($190,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-Rigney Racing, LLC; B-Cedar Hill, LLC (KY); T-Philip A. Bauer. $53,000.
3–Wet Paint, 118, f, 4, Blame–Sky Painter, by Street Cry (Ire). O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brad H. Cox. $26,500.
Margins: 3 1/4, 1 1/4, NK. Odds: 1.27, 2.89, 4.42.
Also Ran: Hoosier Philly, Hidden Connection, Magical Lute, Bellamore, Take a Stand, Malloy.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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