July 5, 2016
At three, the G1 Belmont S. and G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. At four, a sparkling defense of the Gold Cup, and the G1 Cigar Mile.
Without a doubt, TONALIST crafted one of the most dominant resumes of any horse racing in New York over the past two decades.
How good was this brilliant son of Tapit in the Empire State?
Facing the best competition the nation had to offer, TONALIST won four Grade 1 races in New York. He beat no fewer than 8 individual Grade 1 winners in those starts, including the likes of Horse of the Year California Chrome, the top sprinter/miler Private Zone, and the individual winners of the Wood Memorial, Florida Derby, and the Clark and Donn Handicaps.
TONALIST was so dominant on the tough NYRA circuit that one has to go back 16 years to find a male horse who won more Grade 1’s in New York.
(That horse was LEMON DROP KID, who parlayed his 5 Grade 1 wins into a stellar career as a sire. It is, incidentally, worth noting the similarities between the two. Both TONALIST and LEMON DROP KID won the Belmont at 1 1/2 miles, and won important Grade 1’s in New York at a flat mile and at the American Classic distance of 1 1/4 miles.)
If LEMON DROP KID was the last horse to eclipse TONALIST’s mark, only one other horse in the past 16 years—Private Zone—has matched TONALIST’s feat of four Grade 1 wins on the main track in New York.
Not Curlin. Not Ghostzapper. Not Saint Liam. Not even our own terrific Horse of the Year MINESHAFT.
In all, TONALIST made 12 combined starts at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga. In addition to his four Grade 1 wins, he captured the G2 Peter Pan S. and the G3 Westchester S., and placed in the G1 Met Mile, G1 Travers S., G1 Whitney H., G2 Suburban H. and G2 Jim Dandy. Those performances shaped a career that saw him win 7 of 16 starts and earn over $3.6 million.