Tonalist, after winning the 2014 Belmont Stakes
|Foaled||February 11, 2011|
|Owner||Robert S. Evans|
| Peter Pan Stakes (2014)|
Belmont Stakes (2014)
Jockey Club Gold Cup (2014, 2015)
Westchester Handicap (2015)
Cigar Mile Handicap (2015)
Tonalist (foaled February 11, 2011) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 2014 Belmont Stakes, beating the favored California Chrome, who was attempting to win the Triple Crown. Tonalist won the Peter Pan Stakes in May 2014. He is the first horse since A.P. Indy in 1992 to win the Peter Pan/Belmont double.Later in the year he defeated older horses to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Tonalist is an unusually large bay colt, standing 17 hands (68 inches, 173 cm) high. with an irregular white blaze bred in Kentucky by the Virginia-based Woodslane Farm. He was sired by Tapit, a gray son of Pulpit, who won the Wood Memorial Stakes and started second favorite for the 2004 Kentucky Derby. Tapit has become a successful breeding stallion with other progeny including Hansen, Stardom Bound, Tapitsfly (Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf), Tapizar (Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile) and Untapable (Kentucky Oaks). Tonalist's dam, Settling Mist, a daughter of the Kentucky Derby winner Pleasant Colony, won once from nineteen starts in 2002 and 2003. As a great-granddaughter of the broodmare Missy Baba, Settling Mist was closely related to several major winners including Summer Squall, A.P. Indy, Duke of Marmalade and Lemon Drop Kid.
As a yearling, Tonalist was consigned to the Fasig-Tipton Sale in August 2012, by Wayne and Cathy Sweezey on behalf of Woodlane Farm's owners, Rene and Lauren Woolcott. Wayne Sweezey described the colt as "one of the most stunning horses we had ever had on the farm. I've raised a lot of horses in my time, and he was special – not only in his looks but also in his temperament" but explained that after a "growth spurt" in July he looked less impressive when he entered the sales ring.He was not sold as he failed to reach his reserve price of $195,000. Shortly after the sale Tonalist was bought privately by Robert S. Evans largely because of a family connection: his father Thomas Mellon Evans had won the Kentucky Derby with Pleasant Colony. The colt was sent into training with the French-born trainer Christophe Clement, best known as a trainer of turf horses.
On his only appearance as a two-year-old, Tonalist started a 16-1 outsider for a maiden race at Aqueduct Race Track on November 16 and finished fourth of the nine runners behind Matterhorn. According to Equibase, he was towards the rear in the early stages and was forced five wide on the final turn but made some progress in the closing stages.
Tonalist began his second season at Gulfstream Park in Florida, winning a maiden race over nine furlongs in January and running second to Constitution in an allowance race a month later. Any chance he had of competing in the major trials for the Triple Crown ended when he contracted a lung infection which disrupted his training schedule.In May he was moved up sharply in class when he contested the Grade II Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park. Wearing blinkers for the first time, he was ridden by Joel Rosario and started the 6-5 favorite against six opponents on a "sloppy" track. He stumbled at the start but recovered to take the lead after a quarter of a mile and went clear in the straight to win by four lengths from Commissioner. After the race Clement commented "What impressed me was the last eighth of a mile, when he opened up again. I was very worried about the wet track. I don't breeze my horses on the wet track so that was a complete question mark. He answered that pretty nicely. Let's see how the horse comes out of it, but of course we have to think about the Belmont Stakes". Rosario said "He was doing it easy; he was doing it on his own. I don't think we were going that fast. He can go a mile and a half; I think he can run all day. He's a big horse with a long stride, when you get him in the bridle, the more you ask, the more he'll give".
On June 7, in front of a crowd of 120,000,Tonalist contested the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes which attracted much attention as California Chrome, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes attempted to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to complete the Triple Crown. Clement professed his lack of concern when Tonalist was drawn on the complete outside of the eleven runner field, saying "He's a really, really big horse with a long stride, so he can basically run his own race without worrying about anybody else." After a late surge of support in the betting, he started the 9.2/1 fifth choice behind California Chrome, Wicked Strong, Ride on Curlin (runner-up in the Preakness) and Commanding Curve (runner-up in the Derby). Tonalist broke well from his outside draw and was third behind Commissioner and General A Rod after the first half mile. He maintained his position despite being forced four wide on the final turn and gradually wore down the opposition in the straight to win by a head from Commissioner, with Medal Count in third and California Chrome dead heating with Wicked Strong for fourth. After the race Rosario commented "He was going easy, I didn't want to be too far behind. When I got to the three-eighths pole I was a little confident. I was worried a little bit turning for home, but he started picking them up." Evans said "This morning I went to my father's grave and thanked him for putting me in this position. I've been where Steve Coburn has been, and it's not fun. I remember it was real quiet after we lost [when Pleasant Colony finished third in the Belmont] in 1981." When asked to respond to Coburn's statement that he had taken the "coward's way" by not running his horse in the first two legs of the series, Evans said "I don’t think I have a comment on that".
Tonalist returned from a seven-week break for the Jim Dandy Stakes over nine furlongs at Saratoga Race Course on July 26. He raced in fifth place before making progress in the straight but was unable to catch Wicked Strong and finished second, beaten two and a quarter lengths. In the Travers Stakes on August 23, he pressed the pace on front-running Bayern and ran second for most of the race, but though he ran willingly, finished third behind winner V.E. Day and second place Wicked Strong.On September 27 Tonalist faced Wicked Strong, V.E. Day and the leading older horse Moreno in the Jockey Club Gold Cup over ten furlongs at Belmont. For this race Clement removed the blinkers that the colt had worn in his recent races. He started the 3-1 favorite and won by one and three-quarter lengths from Zivo with Long River in third. Moreno was disqualified from fourth to last for cutting in and clipping heels with Wicked Strong, resulting in the fall of his jockey, Rajiv Maragh, who suffered a broken arm. Wicked Strong ran loose on the track, but did not cause problems for the other horses as he moved to the outside. After the race, Clement admitted that he should have run the horse without blinkers in the Travers while Rosario said "He didn't get out very quick, but I just let him run on his own... He's a one-paced horse, and when he starts going, he goes forever".
In the thirty-first running of the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park on November 1, Tonalist started the 4.4/1 joint second choice in the betting, behind Shared Belief and alongside California Chrome. Rosario held the colt up at the back of the fourteen runner field in the early stages and although Tonalist made steady progress in the second half of the race he never looked likely to threaten the leaders and finished fifth, five length behind the winner Bayern.
Tonalist began his third season in the Grade III Westchester Handicap at Belmont on May 2, 2015. He maintained his perfect record at the track, overcoming a low start to win by three and three-quarter lengths from Confrontation. Commenting on the colt's progress, his jockey Joe Bravo said, "He was a boy (when I rode him at Gulfstream) and it's funny to now see him as a man. He just completely grew into himself."On 6 June, Tonalist started the 1.7/1 favorite for the Metropolitan Handicap over a mile at Belmont, facing a field which included Bayern, Wicked Strong and Honor Code. After being restrained in the early stages he made steady progress in the straight and finished second, three and three-quarter lengths behind the winner Honor Code. Four weeks later, Tonalist carried top weight of 123 pounds in the Suburban Handicap and started 9/20 favorite but was beaten a head into second by the James Jerkens-trained Effinex. The colt was the beaten favorite for the third time in succession when he contested the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga on August 8: on this occasion he finished strongly after trailing the field for most of the way to take third behind Honor Code and Liam's Map.
On October 3, after an eight-week break, Tonalist attempted to repeat his 2014 success in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and started favorite ahead of five opponents including Effinex, Wicked Strong and Constitution (Donn Handicap). After racing towards the rear he took the lead in the stretch and drew away to win by four and three quarter lengths from Wicked Strong, with Effinex almost seven lengths back in third. Clement commented "I've never lost my faith in the horse. I never thought he was disappointing, he was a bit unlucky for the year, but the way he won today was very impressive".
Following a fifth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic on October 31 and a win in the Cigar Mile Handicap on November 28, Tonalist was retired. Owner Robert Evans said at the time of Tonalist's retirement that the horse was still sound and he was planning to race him in 2016, but "the economic pressures make it hard to keep him in training."Tonalist will stand at Bill Farish's Lane's End Farm in 2016.
| Pulpit (USA)|
|A.P. Indy||Seattle Slew|
|Tap Your Heels (USA)|
|Ruby Slippers||Nijinsky II|
Settling Mist (USA)
| Pleasant Colony (USA)|
|Sun Colony||Sunrise Flight|
|Toll Free (USA)|
|Missy Baba (Family: 3-l)|
A.P. Indy was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic on his way to American Horse of the Year honors in 1992. His time in the Belmont Stakes tied Easy Goer for the second-fastest running in the history of the race, behind his damsire Secretariat.
Victor Espinoza is a Mexican jockey in American Thoroughbred horse racing who won the Triple Crown in 2015 on American Pharoah. He began riding in his native Mexico and went on to compete at racetracks in California. He has won the Kentucky Derby three times, riding War Emblem in 2002, California Chrome in 2014, and American Pharoah in 2015. He also won the Preakness Stakes three times, in those same years and with the same horses. He was the first jockey in history to enter the Belmont Stakes with a third opportunity to win the Triple Crown; his 2015 victory made him the oldest jockey and first Hispanic jockey to win the award.
Pulpit was an American Thoroughbred stallion who won the Fountain of Youth and Blue Grass Stakes before finishing fourth in the 1997 Kentucky Derby. Injured after that race, he retired to stud at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Kentucky where he became a successful sire. His descendants include leading sire in North America Tapit and multiple American Classic winners such as Tonalist and California Chrome.
James A. Jerkens is an American Thoroughbred horse trainer. His father, U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee H. Allen Jerkens, and brother, Steve Jerkens, are also trainers.
Joel Rosario is a jockey in American Thoroughbred horse racing, originally from the Dominican Republic. In the space of five weeks in 2013 he rode the winners of the Dubai World Cup and the Kentucky Derby.
The 2004 Kentucky Derby was the 130th running of the Kentucky Derby. The race took place on May 1, 2004 and was won by Smarty Jones, who earned a $5 million bonus. There were 140,054 in attendance.
Palace Malice is an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 2013 Belmont Stakes. After winning one minor race as a two-year-old he made steady improvement in the early part of 2013, being placed in the Risen Star Stakes and Blue Grass Stakes and running prominently in the Kentucky Derby before winning the Belmont Stakes, and the 2014 Metropolitan Handicap. He went on to win the Jim Dandy Stakes and finish second against older horses in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. As a four-year-old in 2014 he won his first four races including the Gulfstream Park Handicap, New Orleans Handicap and Metropolitan Handicap. After two races in 2015, he was retired as a five-year-old and sent to stand at stud at Three Chimneys Farm.
California Chrome is an American Thoroughbred racehorse. He was named the 2014 and 2016 American Horse of the Year. He won the 2014 Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the 2016 Dubai World Cup. In 2016, he surpassed Curlin as the all-time leading North American horse in earnings won.
Wicked Strong is an American Thoroughbred racehorse. He established himself as a contender for the 2014 Kentucky Derby with a win in the Wood Memorial Stakes. He finished fourth in both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes before winning the Jim Dandy Stakes.
The 2014 Belmont Stakes was the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes. It was run on June 7, 2014, and was televised on NBC. California Chrome had a chance to complete the third leg of the Triple Crown after his victories in the 2014 Kentucky Derby and the 2014 Preakness Stakes. However, it was Tonalist who won the race. Commissioner placed second and Medal Count took third. California Chrome finished in a tie for fourth with Wicked Strong.
Untapable is an American Thoroughbred racehorse. She showed promise as a two-year-old in 2013 when she won two of her four races including the Pocahontas Stakes and was placed in the Starlet Stakes. In 2014 she emerged as a top-class racehorse, winning the Rachel Alexandra Stakes, Fair Grounds Oaks, Kentucky Oaks, Mother Goose Stakes, Cotillion Handicap and Breeders' Cup Distaff and was named American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly.
Bayern is an American Thoroughbred racehorse. In 2014, he won the Grade I 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic, following wins in the Haskell Invitational and the Pennsylvania Derby. He is owned by Kaleem Shah, who purchased him as a two-year-old, based upon the advice of his teenaged son. He was named after Shah's favorite soccer team, FC Bayern Munich. The horse was trained by Bob Baffert, and was retired in 2015.
Bird Town is an American Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. After showing some promise when winning one of her four starts as a two-year-old in 2002, she emerged as one of the best North American fillies of her generation in the following summer with wins in the Kentucky Oaks and the Acorn Stakes. She also finished second in the Test Stakes and the Beldame Stakes before being retired at the end of the season with a record of four wins in twelve races.
Liam's Map is an American Thoroughbred racehorse. Unraced as a juvenile, he won three of his four races in 2014 without being tested against top-class opposition. As a four-year-old he emerged as one of the best horses in North America with win in the Woodward Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. He was retired at the end of the season with a record of six wins and two places in eight starts.
Mohaymen is an American Thoroughbred racehorse. As a two-year-old in 2015 he was unbeaten in three races including the Nashua Stakes and the Remsen Stakes. In the following year he established himself as a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby with wins in the Holy Bull Stakes and the Fountain of Youth Stakes.
Creator is a retired American Thoroughbred racehorse, best known as the winner of the 2016 Belmont Stakes and Arkansas Derby.
Frosted is an American Thoroughbred racehorse. In 2016, he set a stakes record while winning the Metropolitan Handicap in a "dazzling performance" and followed up with a win in the Whitney Handicap. Prior to that, despite winning several stakes races, he was best known for finishing behind American Pharoah four times, including a runner-up performance in the 2015 Belmont Stakes.
The 2016 Breeders' Cup Classic was the 33rd running of the Breeders' Cup Classic, part of the 2016 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships program. It was run on November 5, 2016 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California with a purse of $6,000,000.
Cupid is a retired American Thoroughbred racehorse who won multiple graded stakes races despite several interruptions to his training. At age three, he was a leading contender for the 2016 Kentucky Derby until he developed a breathing problem and missed the race. Returning later in the year, he won the Indiana and West Virginia Derbies before finishing eighth in the Pennsylvania Derby. After an eight-month layoff, he returned in May 2017 to win the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita. He finished his career with six wins from thirteen starts and earnings of $1.7 million.
Tapwrit is a retired American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 2017 Belmont Stakes. He first attracted attention when he set a track record winning the Tampa Bay Derby, but disappointed in the Blue Grass Stakes and Kentucky Derby. Skipping the Preakness Stakes, he then became his sire Tapit's third winner of the Belmont Stakes in the previous four years. Retired in 2018, Tapwrit stands at Gainesway Farm for the 2019 season.