May 13, 2018 - Belmont Park, Race 6, Msw, USD $75,000, 1M, 96.7100

Rugbyman, G, 3, 2015 by Tapit

1st Dam: Zaftig (GISW, $408,700), by Gone West
2nd Dam: Zoftig, by Cozzene
3rd Dam: Mrs. Marcos, by Private Account

Owner: Wertheimer Et Frere
Breeder: Wertheimer Et Frere (KY)
Trainer: H. Graham Motion

Rugbyman (Tapit) might still have some growing up to do, but there’s no questioning his talent and promise after a Sunday romp at Belmont worthy of the ‘TDN Rising Star’ distinction. A late-on-the-scene third first up going seven furlongs at Keeneland Apr. 13, the regally bred grey was backed down to 6-5 with an additional furlong to work with.

Falling out of the gate, the hulking colt tugged Jose Ortiz through rivals all the way up to second. He pressed $520,000 firster Dominant Strategy (Bernardini) through splits of :22.92 and :46.14, and was scrubbed on to come to even terms with the pacesetter leaving the bend. In front past the quarter pole, he required a bit of extra attention from Ortiz to maintain a straight path in upper stretch, but once he figured it out he was wrapped up and allowed to canter home 14 lengths clear. Dominant Strategy held on for second.

The winner follows in the hoofsteps of his dam Zaftig (Gone West), who was named a ‘TDN Rising Star‘ herself for a second-out romp before eventually annexing the 2008 GI Acorn S. with a gaudy 113 Beyer Speed Figure. Zaftig is out of GISW Zoftig (Cozzene), and a half to fellow Grade I winner Zo Impressive (Hard Spun). Zo Impressive in turn is the dam of graded stakes-winning ‘Rising Star‘ Souper Tapit (Tapit). The Wertheimers paid $1.4 million for Zaftig in foal to Candy Ride (Arg) at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton November sale. She has a 2-year-old colt named Spinoff (Hard Spun) with three recent breezes at Palm Beach Downs, and a yearling filly named Lasy W (War Front). She was most recently barren to Ghostzapper.

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