We purchased Kitten’s Peak for a client last January while she was in foal to the promising young stallion Fed Biz, and the mare was subsequently bred back to popular first-year sire Cupid for 2018. In 2019, Kitten’s Peak will head to another son of Tapit when she visits the classic winner Tonalist in a Housatonic Recommended Mating.
Kitten’s Peak is a half-sister to the multiple Graded stakes-winning dirt sprinter Dust and Diamonds, by Seattle Slew’s son Vindication, as well as to that one’s stakes-placed full-brother Personal Interest, and to the $575,000 yearling buy Curate, by Bernardini, who won his first two starts impressively last year for trainer Brad Cox. Given the success of those Seattle Slew-line horses from Kitten’s Peak’s dam Majestically, it is no surprise that Majestically has a 2-year-old colt by Malibu Moon, a yearling filly by Tapit, and a weanling colt by Frosted in the pipeline. That success — and potential for more — is what has led us to Tonalist, one of the more accomplished and versatile stallion prospects by Tapit, who is the current leading representative of Seattle Slew’s sire-line.
After finishing 4th in his only juvenile start, Tonalist broke his maiden first time out at 3 by four lengths going 1-1/8 miles at Gulfstream. After finishing 2nd to next-out Florida Derby-G1 winner Constitution in his first try against winners, he stepped up to stakes company and took the Grade 2 Peter Pan before spoiling California Chrome’s Triple Crown bid with a victory in the 1-1/2 mile Belmont Stakes-G1. After finishing 2nd in the Jim Dandy-G2 and 3rd in the Travers-G1, Tonalist triumphed over older horses in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at 1-1/4 miles, before closing out his sophomore campaign with a 5th in the Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1.
Tonalist returned at 4 with an impressive win in the Grade 3 Westchester going a mile in 1:34, then was 2nd in the Met Mile-G1, the Suburban-G2, and 3rd in the Whitney-G1 before replicating his late season finishes from the previous year in both the JCGC-G1 and Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1. But this time he came back again in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile, and closed out his career with a gutsy victory — meaning he retired a top-level victor from a mile to 1-1/2 miles.
Tonalist’s first crop will reach the races in 2019, after 43 of them sold for an average of $101,151 as yearlings in ’18, following up from an $89,467 weanling average in ’17, which are strong figures for a horse that will stand for $15,000 in 2019.
In addition to being from the Seattle Slew-sire line as we noted above, Tonalist also should work well for Kitten’s Peak because she’s a daughter of Kitten’s Joy, he a son of El Prado — and so far Tapit has two stakes winners (including a Grade 1 winner) from ten foals with dams by El Prado, plus another stakes winner from twelve foals out of mares by sons of El Prado (a combined 13.6%).
A rangy, versatile horse who had more speed than he was usually given credit for, Tonalist should also be a nice physical match for the more compact and muscular Kitten’s Peak.
Tonalist wins the classic G1 Belmont Stakes
Tonalist wins the G1 Cigar Mile
Tonalist wins the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup