09/15/2016 2:40PM

Tapit, War Front dominant in Book 1

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Keeneland Photo
This colt is one of 28 Tapit yearlings that sold for more than $28 million combined at the Keeneland September yearling sale select sessions.

Commercial rivals Tapit and War Front once again led the way during the Keeneland September yearling sale’s Book 1 portion, which closed Wednesday.

Tapit had 28 yearlings sold for $18,560,000 during the three days of select sessions, an average price of $662,857. He bested War Front in both categories, as the latter had 18 yearlings sold for $11,865,000, an average of $659,167. The two combined to sire six of the sale’s eight seven-figure yearlings, with four by Tapit.

Tapit, who stands at Gainesway Farm, has been North America’s leading general sire the past two years and again leads that list by a wide margin. The stallion has led the Keeneland September sale by gross each year since 2012. Leading juvenile sire War Front, who stands at Claiborne Farm, led by average price last year.

“Tapit, he’s the king, he’s unique,” Gainesway’s director of sales, Michael Hernon, said. “You breed to Tapit or you buy a Tapit yearling, you really have a great chance to [have] a graded stakes winner, if not a Grade 1 winner. They run on all surfaces, colts, fillies, they go short, they go long. He’s thoroughly proven, he’s in international demand, and he’s becoming a collector’s item. He filled [his book] this year at $300,000, he bred 125 mares. We look after the customer base with those kind of numbers, we look after the horse. And I think we’re going to see a whole lot more by Tapit.”

The late Coolmore stallion Scat Daddy checked in third by gross, with 24 sold for $9,860,000, led by the $3 million half-brother to Beholder.

Rounding out the top 10 sires by gross were Medaglia d’Oro, Speightstown, Pioneerof the Nile, Malibu Moon, Tiznow, Bernardini, and Giant’s Causeway. Medaglia d’Oro was the only other stallion to sire a seven-figure horse.

Following Tapit and War Front by average, among those with three or more sold, were Speightstown, Ghostzapper, Scat Daddy, Galileo, Medaglia d’Oro, Pioneerof the Nile, Malibu Moon, and Candy Ride.

The top price for a first-crop stallion was $575,000 for a colt by juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby purchased by Mayberry Farm. Shanghai Bobby stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky.