EDITED WALMAC PRESS RELEASE
Pappacap, the Florida-bred winner of the Grade 2 Best Pal in 2021 at Del Mar and a near-millionaire son of Horse of the Year and leading stallion Gun Runner, has been retired and will stand the 2024 breeding season at Gary Broad’s Walmac Farm, the farm announced Tuesday.
His stud fee has been set at $12,500 S&N.
A homebred for George and Karen Russell’s Rustlewood Farm in Reddick, Fla., Pappacap proved an eye-catching two-and-three-quarter-length winner of a Gulfstream Park maiden special weight in his career debut as a 2-year-old before shipping to the West Coast.
In an exceptional performance in the $200,000 Best Pal with Joe Bravo aboard, Pappacap raced well-placed behind the pacesetter in the early going of the six-furlong event. He struck the front in upper stretch and kicked clear with a furlong remaining to score by a never-in-doubt four-and-three-quarter lengths from subsequent stakes-winner Finneus to remain unbeaten in his first two career starts for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse.
In his initial two-turn start, Pappacap was a game runner-up to eventual Eclipse Champion 2-Year-Old Male Corniche in the Grade 1 American Pharoah going a mile-and-a-sixteenth at Santa Anita after being forwardly placed throughout. Pappacap closed out a stellar juvenile campaign with another strong second-place finish to that rival in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar following an eventful trip. Forced to check off heels into the first turn in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Pappacap settled into stride along the inside and chased the undefeated winner home in a determined effort.
At three, Pappacap competed almost exclusively against the best of his generation, finishing second to top sophomore Jack Christopher in both the Grade 1 Woody Stephens and the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile, and third in the Grade 3 Lecomte to Call Me Midnight and Epicenter.
Epicenter went on to capture the Grade 1 Travers after placing in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve and Grade 1 Preakness and was crowned Champion 3-Year-Old Male at season’s end.
All told, Pappacap won or placed in eight of 12 lifetime starts and earned $842,430.
Standing at Walmac in a deal brokered by Matt Bowling of Bowling Bloodstock, Pappacap is by Gun Runner, 2017 Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male and a six-time Grade 1 winner who amassed earnings of $15,988,500. Gun Runner was the record-setting leading First-Crop Sire of 2021 with progeny earnings of more than $4.2 million. Pappacap was one of just two colts by the esteemed stallion to win a graded stakes as a 2-year-old that year.
Gun Runner is represented by such top-shelf runners as Echo Zulu, 2021 Eclipse Champion Juvenile Filly; Preakness-winner Early Voting; multiple Grade 1-winner Taiba; and Grade 1-winners Gunite, winner of this year’s Grade 1 Forego, and Cyberknife.
Pappacap is produced from the graded stakes-placed Scat Daddy mare Pappascat, who finished second in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap in 2013 at Churchill Downs. Pappacap hails from the family of Group 1-winner Al Qasr, Champion imported older horse twice in Peru and champion imported stayer twice, multiple-stakes winner Delicate Dynamite, and graded-stakes winner Boston Bull.