Taiba lived up to his $1.7 million price tag with a TDN Rising Star-worthy performance in his debut Saturday at Santa Anita Park. The 3-year-old son of Gun Runner rolled to a 7 ½-length win in the six-furlong race, stopping the timer in a rapid 1:09.97 on a fast track.
A chestnut like his sire, Taiba is Gun Runner’s fourth TDN Rising Star, a designation also granted to last year’s 2-year-old champion filly Echo Zulu. After finishing 2021 as the nation’s leading First-Crop sire, Gun Runner is off to a red-hot start in 2022 with a trio of stakes winners and seven stakes horses to date.
Taiba was in an early duel with fellow Bob Baffert-trained Mauritius before easily shaking clear at the top of the lane, then drew off powerfully for the easy victory.
Taiba is owned by Zedan Racing Stables, Inc., who made the colt the sales-topper of 2021 Fasig-Tipton March 2-year-old sale following his pre-sale breeze of :10 1/5.
Taiba was bred by Bruce Ryan in Kentucky. The colt’s dam Needmore Flattery won 14 stakes in her career.