06/13/2017 9:44AM

Tapwrit joins seven-figure classic club

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Michael J. Marten
Fusaichi Pegasus, winner of the 2000 Kentucky Derby, was the highest-priced sales horse to win a classic, having sold for $4 million as a yearling.

Every year, a handful of horses are bought at auction for a seven-figure hammer price, and whether the buyer will admit it, the list of goals for the new purchase almost certainly includes winning Triple Crown races.

As uncommon as a million-dollar horse can be within a foal crop, one that goes on to win a U.S. classic has proven even harder to find. Tapwrit’s victory in the Belmont Stakes made him just the fourth horse to win a Triple Crown race after changing hands at auction for $1 million or more.

The son of Tapit sold to the high-powered trio of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Bridlewood Farm, and Robert LaPenta for $1.2 million at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale. Denali Stud consigned Tapwrit as agent for breeder My Meadowview Farm.

Three of the four seven-figure classic winners won the Belmont Stakes. Prior to Tapwrit, the most recent winner came a decade earlier, when Rags to Riches bested Curlin in the 2007 Belmont.

Rags to Riches, a daughter of A.P. Indy, sold to Demi O’Byrne on behalf of the Coolmore partnership for $1.9 million at the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale. Lane’s End consigned the champion filly, as agent, and she was bred by Stanley and Marcia Gumberg’s Skara Glen Stables. Rags to Riches and Tapwrit share a common thread in a relationship to A.P. Indy – the mare as a daughter of the Hall of Famer, and the colt as a paternal great-grandson.

A.P. Indy was the first seven-figure auction grad to win a U.S. classic when he prevailed over My Memoirs in the 1992 Belmont. He went on to be named Horse of the Year that season. A.P. Indy brought $2.9 million at the 1990 Keeneland July yearling sale. Bloodstock agency BBA Ireland purchased A.P. Indy as agent for Japanese owner Tomonori Tsurumaki.

Lane’s End consigned A.P. Indy as agent, and the operation was part of a partnership that bought a share of the horse after the Triple Crown season, and eventually stood him at stud.

The most expensive auction graduate to win a Triple Crown race is 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, who commanded $4 million at the 1998 Keeneland July sale.

Fusao Sekiguchi, also from Japan, was the winning bidder on Fusaichi Pegasus, a son of Mr. Prospector who came from the consignment of Stone Farm. Arthur Hancock III, owner of Stone Farm, co-bred Fusaichi Pegasus with Stonerside Ltd.