09/11/2017 4:44PM

Keeneland September: Tapit colt sells for $2.6 million

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A colt by leading sire Tapit and from the family of Horse of the Year Saint Liam and multiple Grade 1 winner Gun Runner sold for $2.6 million to Mandy Pope to lead the Keeneland September yearling sale in its early going.

The colt was consigned, as agent, by Taylor Made Sales, which also sold the second most-expensive offering in the opening 90 minutes of North America's bellwether yearling auction. A colt by War Front fetched $1.9 million, with bloodstock agent Donato Lanni signing the ticket for an undisclosed client.

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The Tapit colt is the first foal out of the Grade 1-placed Medaglia d'Oro mare Miss Besilu. Out of Grade 2 winner Quiet Dance, she is a half sister to 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam, whose only crop sired before his premature death due to an accident included 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace.

Miss Besilu is also a half sister to Grade 2 winner Quiet Giant, Grade 3 winner Congressionalhonor, stakes winner Dance Quietly, and Grade 2 placed American Dance. More importantly, several of those half sisters are stakes producers in their own right, led by Quiet Giant, dam of four-time Grade 1 winner Gun Runner. Another half sister, Beatem Buster, is the dam of Grade 1 winner Buster's Ready, and Quiet Now produced stakes winner Lull.

"He's a very strong horse," Pope said. "There's a little bit more to him than some of the Tapits. He's got good bone, and a little bit more substance than some of them. He seems very good minded, which is always important. Tapits can be a little fragile in the brain sometimes. He passed the vet very well and we're hoping he can be another Gun Runner."

The War Front colt is the first foal out of the multiple Grade 1 winning millionaire Iotapa. The daughter of Afleet Alex was a $2.8 million purchase by China Horse Club at the 2014 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

-- additional reporting by Joe Nevills