Value Sires, Part VI: Earning their Stripes

Wed, 12/22/2021 - 15:33

Silver: TONALIST (Tapit–Settling Mist, by Pleasant Colony)

$10,000 Lane's End


It has been uphill nearly all the way for this fellow, whose fee has come down yet again, but I have admired him throughout and he has had another solid year, maintaining black-type action at essentially the same ratio as Liam's Map. Few would dispute that his lauded studmate has earned his fee, which is four times higher, not least with his useful habit of hitting the bull's-eye with his best runners. It was typical of the understated style of Tonalist, in contrast, that after Country Grammer gave him a deserved Grade I breakthrough in the Hollywood Gold Cup, he promptly disappeared and has only just returned to the worktab.

Tonalist's 11 graded stakes performers through three crops represent 4.33% of named foals, almost exactly in step with Liam's Map (a dozen at a 4.17%). There are plenty of others in this intake, charging far more than Tonalist, who can't even nudge two percent.

Tonalist's books have been up and down but he does have one of 122 to keep him in the game with his 2022 yearlings, and their breeders can take heart from a median of $35,000 for the preceding crop. That's not at all bad for a sire standing at this kind of money, at this challenging stage of his career. But no bones about it, the real appeal of Tonalist is that he is shaping up as a sire who can outpunch his fee on the racetrack. Remember he reached his own peak at four and he has still only had one crop reach that stage of maturity, including his first Grade I winner.

Tonalist has always looked a quarry of old-school virtue, extending the same Toll Booth-Missy Baba line as Havre de Grace (Saint Liam) and author of 11 triple-digit Beyers in a $3.6-million career. Here was a horse that never stopped trying and breeders wanting to tap into Tapit, at an affordable fee, should take a similar approach.


By: Chris McGrath, Thoroughbred Daily News

Read the full article here.