LEXINGTON, KY (Sept. 11, 2017) – A daughter of Tapit who is a full sister to Grade 1 winner Cupid sold to M.V. Magnier for $2.7 million about two hours after the 3 p.m. ET start of the premier Book 1 of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The amount is the highest price paid for a yearling sold at public auction this year and the most paid for a filly at the September Sale since 2008.
The filly, out of the Beau Genius mare Pretty 'n Smart, was consigned by VanMeter-Gentry Sales, agent, and is one of six million-dollar yearlings sold so far during the session.
“We’re really excited," Tom VanMeter said. "She is a beautiful filly. She had probably the best pedigree in the book. It was an awesome price and we’re excited. That mare has been very good to us. I think we have sold something like $7 million (worth of sales horses) out of her.”
"She's a very well-bred filly and she's very good-looking," Magnier said. "Let's hope she's anywhere as good as he (Cupid) is."
A Tapit colt from the family of champion and sire Saint Liam and 2017 Grade 1 winner Gun Runner sold to Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm for $2.6 million.
“I love Tapits as I buy them, breed them and sell them," Pope said. "I have other members of this family and I know it is going to be a continuing successful family. He is a strong horse with good bone and substance. He seems to be very good-minded. I am hoping he will be another Gun Runner. I figured the price would be around $2 million so I stretched a little further. I really believe in this family. This is the most I have spent on a colt.
Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned the $2.6 million colt, who is the first foal out of the stakes-placed Medaglia d'Oro mare Miss Besilu. She is a half-sister to Saint Liam and to Quiet Giant, the Grade 2-winning dam of Gun Runner.
"First of all, give the credit to Three Chimneys (Farm); they bred and raised the horse," Mark Taylor of Taylor Made said. "When we went out there we didn't really know what horses we were going to get to sell for them. When we saw this horse we were like, 'Wow.' We look at thousands of horses every spring, and when he came out I was like 'Yeah that's pretty close to the best one I've seen.' We knew he would be very popular.
"I'm happy for Mandy Pope. (He's a) beautiful horse, so we had really high expectations, but you never know. Once you get into seven figures it's just a matter of who wants them the most. If he runs the way he looks like he can, with that pedigree, he's one of the few horses that can command huge huge upside as a stallion. Anyway, he's got everything, now all he's got to do is just run to his looks."
Tapit also is the sire of the colt out of Grade 1 winner Tiz Miz Sue, by Tiznow, sold to Shadwell Estate Company Ltd. for $2.5 million. He was consigned by Paramount Sales, agent.
“Fantastic," Gabriel Duignan of Paramount said. "Coming in, we knew he would sell well but we didn’t expect that much. We knew we had all the right people on him. We were confident he was going to sell good but it all came together and we are delighted.
“This is for my longest client, Mrs. Ran Ricks (whose CresRan bred and raced Tiz Miz Sue)," he added. "This is the third generation of horses I have raised for her. As I tell her ‘She is not my oldest client; she is my longest client.
Taylor Made also consigned the War Front colt out of Grade 1 winner Iotapa that sold for $1.9 million to Donato Lanni, agent, early in the session.
”He’s a nice horse," Lanni said. "That is what they cost. He looks like a good horse, a strong horse, an athletic horse. He was high up on our short list."
Larry Best's Oxo Equine paid $1.25 million for the Medaglia d'Oro filly out of Canadian Horse of the Year Sealy Hill. A half-sister to Canadian champion Hillaby and Grade 3 winners Belle Hill and Gale Force, she was consigned by Gainesway, agent.
Best said he thought the filly would bring a high price.
"(She's) a beautiful Medaglia d'Oro filly, and the first dam is very productive," Best said. "(She's) just a horse I liked. A year ago I bought my first Medaglia d'Oro filly here. I love the filly I have, (she's) doing very well in training. Yes I like Medaglia d'Oros. Most likely (her) first stop will be Eddie Woods Training (Center) down in Ocala. He takes all my horses and does all my breaking. And then we'll see from there."
“This filly has always been nice," Gainesway's Brian Graves said. "We brought her to the market, and she brought more than we thought she would.
Selling for $1.2 millon was a War Front colt out of Group 3 winner Theyskens'theory consigned by Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services, agent. and purchased by Shadwell Estate Company Ltd.
The world’s largest sale of Thoroughbred yearlings, the September Sale catalog represents the cream of the North American yearling crop and attracts the industry’s major buyers from across the U.S. and around the world. This year’s sale covers 12 sessions through Saturday, Sept. 23.