09/11/2017 6:20PM

Keeneland September: Tapit trio lead elite session of sale

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Three-time reigning leading sire Tapit continued to powerhouse through the elite Book 1 portion of the Keeneland September yearling sale on Monday evening in Lexington. A yearling filly sold from his group of representatives now ranks among the top prices at an auction he has led by gross sales each year since 2012.

Coolmore's M.V. Magnier signed the ticket for a full sister to the stallion's Grade 1-winning son Cupid for $2.7 million, one of three yearlings by the Gainesway stallion sold for $2.5 million or more through the auction's first three hours. Magnier's filly moved into a tie for Keeneland September's ninth most-expensive filly of all time. The others were fillies by Kingmambo and Mr. Greeley, respectively, both sold in 2005.

The filly, consigned by VanMeter-Gentry Sales, as agent, is out of Grade 2-placed Pretty 'n Smart, whose progeny include Cupid, Grade 3 winners Heart Ashley and Ashley's Kitty, and stakes winner Indianapolis. Cupid, who himself was a $900,000 purchase by the Coolmore team out of this sale, has won both his starts this season, including the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita. He won three Grade 2 events in 2016.

"We talked to Bob Baffert over the last couple of weeks, and he says there's a lot to come for Cupid over the next couple months, and we could have a fun winter with him," Magnier said. "She's a very well-bred filly, she's very good-looking, and let's hope she's anything as good as he was."

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A Tapit colt 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 earlier in the session.

The colt, who was consigned as agent by Taylor Made Sales, 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 lone crop sired before his young death 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.

"I love Tapits, so I buy them and breed them, and also sell them," Pope said. "I think Tapit's the best stallion that we have in this country, and top of the world. He's out of a pedigree in which Gun Runner is just phenomenal right now. Hopefully he'll be Horse of the Year and handicap Horse of the Year."

A Tapit colt out of Grade 1 winner Tiz Miz Sue, from the family of champion Cozzene, sold for $2.5 million to Shadwell. The colt was consigned by Paramount Sales, as agent.

Tapit's three high-ticket yearlings led a half-dozen sold for seven figures through the first three hours of the sale. The others were a War Front colt out of Grade 1 winner Iotapa, purchased by bloodstock agent Donato Lanni for $1.9 million on behalf of an undisclosed client; a Medaglia d'Oro filly out of Canadian champion and championship producer Sealy Hill, purchased by Larry Best's OXO Equine for $1.25 million; and a War Front colt out of Grade 1 winner Theyskens' Theory, purchased by Shadwell for $1.2 million.

-- additional reporting by Joe Nevills