09/16/2015 11:31AM

Keeneland September: Tapit colt takes over as sale leader at $1.65 million


by Joe Nevills and Nicole Russo

A Tapit colt took over as the top price of the Keeneland September yearling sale when he sold for $1.65 million to Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stable on Wednesday afternoon.

Consigned by Gainesway, as agent, the colt is the third foal out of the multiple Grade 1-winning Pure Prize mare Pure Clan. She was a Grade 1 winner on both coasts, taking the American Oaks at Hollywood Park and the Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park. Following her retirement, she topped the 2012 Keeneland November breeding stock sale when sold for $4.5 million to Goncalo Torrealba of Three Chimneys Farm.

After signing the ticket, Roy Jackson disclosed that Three Chimneys would retain an interest in the colt.

"We have been involved with Three Chimneys in one other partnership and they're going to retain an interest in the colt. It's just the two of us," Jackson said.

"We thought he was the nicest colt in the sale, and we were just glad were able to buy him," Jackson continued. "He'll be be broken and we'll go from there. He's going to Bill Recio in Ocala, and will be broken there."

Out of Grade 3 winner Gather the Clan, Pure Clan is a half sister to multiple graded stakes winner Greater Good and to Grade 1 producer Swift Girl.

The colt was the third yearling of Wednesday’s session to garner a seven-figure price tag, and the eighth of the auction overall. His price surpassed the $1.525 million paid for a Distorted Humor colt on Tuesday as the sale’s top price.

The colt was also the first seven-figure yearling of the week for Tapit, North America’s reigning leading sire, who stands at Gainesway in Lexington, Ky.

"[The colt] was a superb horse with pedigree and he floated to the top of the major buyers' list pre-sale, so we knew we were in a strong position," Gainesway's Michael Hernon said. "You've got the power of Tapit, you've got a beautiful horse out of a Grade 1 winner. He vetted very well, and he had a following, and this is what the market said he was worth."

Hernon said Gainesway is "thrilled" with the opportunity to sell horses for Torrealba, who entered the U.S. market as a major player a few years ago and invested in Three Chimneys.

"Goncalo is friends with [Gainesway's] Antony Beck and a couple of years back, he was out at Gainesway and Goncalo was very fond of our stallion Afleet Alex," Hernon said. "Obviously, he was buying mares and was going to have progeny to sell, and while he was there one afternoon in the fall, I said to him when he was finishing up his stallion inspections, 'Goncalo, we'd really like the chance to sell for you.' He looked me straight in the eye and said, 'You will be selling for me.' This is our first go-round."

Hernon also recognized the Three Chimneys staff for its work in the process of selecting and preparing the yearlings for sale.

"I've worked with [Three Chimneys'] Chris Baker on this process, they gave us these good horses to sell and we appreciate the opportunity," Hernon said. "I want to recognize the Three Chimneys staff led by yearling manager Wayne Smith, who prepped these horses just to the minute. I've been out there several times, we've conferred, and Doug Cauthen, part of the Three Chimneys operation, was on board with the process. It's a big responsibility, however, I think Gainesway has stepped forward in the yearling market. It's very serious business and we take it seriously."