Taiba, 3-time G1 winner by Gun Runner, retires, available for inspection
September 18, 2023
Zedan Racing Stables’ Taiba, winner of the Santa Anita Derby (G1), Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and Malibu Stakes (G1) as a 3-year-old a year ago, has been retired from racing and taken up residency at Spendthrift Farm, where he will begin his stud career in 2024.
Taiba will stand for an introductory fee of $35,000 S&N and is available for inspection by appointment.
“There are very few stallion prospects that tick all the boxes, to use the old cliché. Taiba is certainly one of those horses that possesses everything commercial breeders are looking for today, and we believe he will be wildly popular,” said Spendthrift general manager Ned Toffey. “We are grateful to Mr. Zedan for the opportunity to stand such an exciting horse.
“Taiba will be afforded every resource necessary to have a successful stallion career, and we think he has a big chance to hopefully replicate some of the good fortune we’ve had in recent years in terms of developing young sires. We invite all breeders to make an appointment with one of our sales guys to come out and see him. He’s really a stunning individual,” added Toffey.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Taiba was a leading 3-year-old in North America in 2022, finishing second to Epicenter in the Eclipse Awards voting for Champion 3-Year-Old Male. A $1.7 million 2-year-old purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale, the talented chestnut broke his maiden on debut by 7 ½ lengths at Santa Anita, stopping the clock in 1:09 4/5 for six furlongs and earning TDN Rising Star honors. He also earned a gaudy 103 Beyer Speed Figure, putting the performance among the fastest maiden wins this century.
In another feat, Taiba returned five weeks later to win the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in just his second start and first around two turns. His dominant 2 ¼-length victory in 1:48 2/5 for 1 1/8 miles earned him a 102 Beyer and a berth into the Kentucky Derby (G1) as the fastest horse going into last year’s coveted Run for the Roses. No horse had ever won the Santa Anita Derby off a six-furlong maiden win.
After narrowly losing a stretch duel to Cyberknife in the Haskell (G1), a more-seasoned Taiba turned the tables in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1), defeating Zandon and Cyberknife with a decisive three-length victory. He ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 3/5 and recorded a 108 Beyer. Taiba finished on the board behind Flightline in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland, earning a career best 110 Beyer at the 1 ¼-mile distance.
Taiba closed out his successful 3-year-old campaign by cutting back to seven furlongs in the Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita and dominating by 4 ¼ lengths in 1:21 3/5. He earned a 106 Beyer, giving him triple-digit Beyer numbers in all but one lifetime performance, from six furlongs to 1 ¼ miles. His three Grade 1 victories came by an average margin of over three lengths.
“Taiba is a special horse to us,” said Amr Zedan of Zedan Racing Stables. “He is the first horse to jump from a six-furlong maiden to immediately winning the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. I knew he was special and that is why I insisted he make that jump. He rose to the calling like the true champion he is and made us proud.”
Out of the 14-time stakes-winning Flatter mare Needmore Flattery, Taiba retires as Gun Runner’s only three-time Grade 1-winning son to date. He earned $2,356,200. For more information about Taiba, or to schedule an inspection, please contact Des, Mark, or Brian at 859-294-0030.