09/12/2013 1:50PM

Keeneland September: Gainesway, Stonestreet partner on Tapit colt for $1.2 million


A Tapit colt sold for $1.2 million to Antony Beck's Gainesway Farm and Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Farm, the latter of which continues to make high-profile buys in partnership, early in Thursday's fourth session of the Keeneland September yearling sale.

The colt, consigned by Valkyrie Stud as agent for breeder Oakbrook Farm, is the first seven-figure foal to sell at public auction out of the Grade 3-placed Cryptoclearance mare Ava Knowsthecode. She is the dam of five stakes winners, including Justin Phillip, winner of the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga Race Course. She is also the dam of Grade 2 winner Keyed Entry, Grade 3 winners Successful Mission and Algorithms, and stakes winner Alex's Allure, as well as stakes producers Ava Darling and Code Variance.

“Honestly, he's probably the best-looking animal I've ever raised,” Catherine Parke of Valkyrie Stud said. “He's just all man. He was just a real athlete, very muscular and big and strong. I had to have my best guy leading him around. He's just tough. He'll be one heck of a racehorse.”

Yesterday, Stonestreet purchased a Medaglia d’Oro colt who is a half brother to Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver for $1.7 million, in partnership with B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm; and a $1.55 million Tapit colt in partnership with Nat Rea’s Regis Farms. Banke explained that buying colts in partnership allows both parties to minimize their risk.

“I’d prefer to have partners in colts,” Banke said. “That way, if it works out, it’s great for everybody, and if it doesn’t work out, then you share the pain.”

While Rea is a new player in the major auction markets this year, Banke characterized both Beck and Hughes as “old friends,” and in fact has campaigned horses with both in the past.

“I’ve partnered in horses with Antony before,” Banke said. “I’m part of [Gainesway stallion] Afleet Alex, and we have a beautiful colt, a 2-year-old [in training together].”

Gainesway stands the colt’s sire, popular young commercial stallion Tapit.

“I'm delighted to have Barbara back as my partner. We've had a few,” Beck said. “The progeny of Tapit are being so well-accepted by the market, and the market seems to be very, very strong.”