09/16/2015 1:49PM

Keeneland September: Tapit colt sells for $2.1 million


by Joe Nevills and Nicole Russo

A Tapit colt created major fireworks Wednesday afternoon at the Keeneland September yearling sale, going to Mandy Pope for $2.1 million following a prolonged bidding war.

The colt was consigned by Gainesway, as agent, marking the operation's third seven-figure yearling of the session. The colt surpassed the $1.65 million Roy and Gretchen Jackson, in partnership with Three Chimneys, paid for another son of Tapit earlier in the day. They were the first two seven-figure yearlings of the week for Tapit, North America’s reigning leading sire, who stands at Gainesway in Lexington, Ky.

"He's got it all," Gainesway's Michael Hernon said of the colt. "He's got all the potential in the world. We've had a great day. I will tell you the reserve was below a million, and it just shows you in the right place at the right time with the right product, this is what we all are in this business for."

Pope came away with the colt following a long run of bidding that ended with her and owner Kaleem Shah, in conjunction with trainer Bob Baffert, facing off. After a long pause in the action, Shah upped his bid to $2 million, making the colt the first of the week to reach that bar. Pope quickly counter-punched with a $2.1-million bid that closed the deal.

"I thought he was one of the nicest colts in the sale, and being by Tapit moved him up," said Pope, who last year bought this colt's full sister, Tapping Colors, for $700,000. "He has a gorgeous stride on him, lovely hip and shoulder, great attitude. I bought his full sister last year for $700,000. She hasn't made it to the races yet, but she's going to. I'm all-in on that family.

"The Tapits, you just can't buy one," Pope continued. "I've been trying to buy them all day long, and you cant buy one. All of a sudden, I'm buying this one."

The colt is out of the Mr. Greeley mare Silver Colors, whose only foal to race is a winner. The mare was produced by Winning Colors, one of only three fillies to ever win the Kentucky Derby. Winning Colors went on to a solid career as a broodmare, producing stakes-placed winners Golden Colors and Ocean Colors. Golden Colors and another daughter, Stormin Winnie, are both stakes producers in their own right.

Pope said she has no plans as to who will train the colt, who will head to Florida in the immediate future.

"That's a long way down the road," she said. "Anything can happen, but he'll have a good trainer, obviously. He'll go to Whisper Hill Farm and have some turnout for a few months and get broke, and then go to GoldMark Farm for his training, and we'll figure out when he's ready to go to the races and who to send him to. They're in charge. They tell us when they're ready to go to the track, so we leave it up to the horse."

Moments after the colt went through the ring, a filly by War Front sold for $1 million, with bloodstock agent David Ingordo signing the ticket. She was the fourth seven-figure yearling of the week for Claiborne Farm sire War Front, who, along with Tapit, has been a major force in the commercial market over the last several years. The two high-ticket sales pushed the total number at Keeneland September this year to 10.

The War Front filly is out of the placed Unbridled's Song mare Siren Serenade, making her a half-sister to Grade 1-placed Luminance. Siren Serenade is out of Grade 1 winner and outstanding broodmare Versailles Treaty, making her a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Saarland, multiple Grade/Group 1 placed George Vancouver, and others.