08/09/2017 11:56AM

Tapit yearlings see high buyback rate at Saratoga sale

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Fasig-Tipton photo
Tapit's highest-priced yearling at Saratoga was this $675,000 filly out of Grade 2 winner Colonial Flag.

Tapit broke the single-season North American progeny earnings record for the first of three consecutive years in 2014, led by his champion, Untapable, and Belmont Stakes winner, Tonalist. His stud fee subsequently doubled to $300,000 at Gainesway Farm, making him the most expensive stallion on the continent, a price point he has remained at since.

The economic challenges of selling a yearling produced on such a lofty stud fee became apparent as Tapit’s first yearlings conceived at that price point came to auction at this week’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale. Four of his eight yearlings sent through the ring did not meet their reserves – figures that are calculated not only with the goal of profiting on the stud fee, but factoring in what the owner has spent on broodmare care and raising and sale-prepping the resulting offspring over a two-year period.

All factors create a high bar to clear even for a commercial juggernaut such as Tapit, whose sale yearlings over the years have included $1.2 million Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit, sold at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga two years ago.

“It is a factor,” Gainesway director of sales Michael Hernon said of the stud fee. “There’s more production cost, for sure, but the results are there. He’s been the leading sire for three consecutive years.”

Tapit’s high-ticket buybacks were led by a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Diamondrella and several other stakes horses who left the ring with a high bid of $750,000, which would have ranked among the night’s top prices. His other buybacks checked in at $735,000, $685,000, and $575,000.

Tapit’s most expensive horse sold was a filly out of Grade 2-placed stakes winner Colonial Flag, sold to Kerri Radcliffe Bloodstock for $675,000. Gainesway consigned the filly, whose dam is a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Shared Account.

“She could run on both surfaces. Tapit gets you any kind of runner, as we know,” Hernon said. “I thought that she was well bought. I could have seen her bringing a bit more money, but we bring the horses here to sell them. They’re fairly reserved, and people know that, and they buy from Gainesway with confidence. A filly with her looks and that pedigree will hold very good residual value.”

Tapit’s other sales were a filly out of Grade 1 winner Last Full Measure who sold for $650,000 to Eclipse Thoroughbreds and Marty Schwartz; a filly from the family of champion Kitten’s Joy sold for $575,000 to White Birch Farm; and a filly out of Grade 1 winner Sweet Lulu sold for $500,000 to bloodstock agent Mike Ryan.

Tapit has 23 yearlings cataloged in the elite Book 1 portion of the Keeneland September yearling sale, which he has led by gross receipts each year since 2012. He also led by average price last year.