TapitFebruary 18th, 2021
It's time for another installment of Collections Connections with Foal Patrol! Today's post highlights a distant relation and collections connection to our featured stallion of the season. Tapit is a direct sire line descendant of the great Bold Ruler, whose mother dam was Miss Disco. She descends from Sweep Out, whose grandsire Sweep is a son of Hall of Fame horse Ben Brush. Hall of Fame jockey Willie Simms was Ben Brush’s regular rider and rode him to victories in the 1896 Kentucky Derby and the 1897 Suburban Handicap (the racing program from the collection featured here with a jockey pin), among others. Born in Georgia in 1870, Simms began riding at the East Coast tracks in 1887. In 1893, he won the Belmont Stakes with Comanche and followed it up with another victory with Hall of Fame horse Henry of Navarre a year later. To date, only eight other riders have won consecutive runnings of the Belmont since Simms. Following his Belmont victories, he won two editions of the Kentucky Derby (1896, 1898) and the 1898 Preakness, becoming the first - and to this date, only - African American jockey to win all three Triple Crown races. Simms was the American champion jockey by wins in 1893 and 1894. Ben Brush entered the Hall of Fame with the Class of 1955, and Willie Simms entered with the Class of 1977.