LEXINGTON, KY (Sept. 13, 2016) – The Keeneland September Yearling Sale on Tuesday recorded a new top-priced horse when a colt by leading sire Tapit out of Grade 1 winner and millionaire Hooh Why sold to J.J. Crupi, agent for Crupi’s New Castle Farm, for $1.2 million during a day marked by increases in average and median prices.
The $1.2 million paid for the Tapit colt exceeded the $1 million that Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier spent during Monday’s opening session for a Medaglia d’Oro colt.
On Tuesday, Keeneland sold 119 yearlings for gross sales of $37,959,000, which was down 11.65 percent from 2015 when 142 horses brought $42,965,000. The average price of $318,983 rose 5.42 percent from $302,570 recorded in the corresponding session last year. The median increased 18.37 percent from $245,000 to $290,000. A total of 203 yearlings were cataloged on Tuesday versus 242 last year.
“In addition to the $1.2 million session topper, today we had 25 yearlings that sold in the $500,000 to $900,000 range compared to 18 during last year’s second session,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “There is great strength at that level, and it is nice to see.
“We have a healthy market,” he continued. “We have a diversity of buyers. The buying bench is deep and spread out between international and domestic participants. That is very positive.”
Cumulatively, Keeneland has sold 227 yearlings for $72,490,000, down 17.26 percent from the comparable period last year when a total of 292 horses brought $87,607,000. Gains were achieved in average and median prices. The average of $319,339 was up 6.44 percent from last year’s $300,024, while the median jumped 12 percent, from $250,000 to $280,000.
Baccari Bloodstock, agent, consigned the session-topping Tapit colt who is the second foal out of Grade 1 winner Hooh Why. A daughter of Cloud Hopping, Hooh Why won Keeneland’s 2009 Ashland (G1) during her 54-race career in which she won 12 times and earned $1,244,809.
“The mare was a really good racehorse herself, and physically he’s a very special Tapit,” Chris Baccari of Baccari Bloodstock said.
“He has a beautiful body and a big walk,” J.J. Crupi said after signing the ticket for the colt. “We weren’t leaving here without him. I fell in love with him when I saw him come out of his stall. I thought he was gorgeous.”
Crupi said the yearling will be broken in Florida at New Castle Farm and probably would join trainer Todd Pletcher.
Two colts, one by Tapit and another by War Front, both consigned by Brereton C. Jones/Airdrie Stud, agent, commanded $900,000 each to be the second-highest sellers of the session.
“We are having a very fun Tuesday,” Jones’ son, Bret, said. “We sold two colts that we always thought were exceptional. Coming to the sale and getting (that belief) justified is an awful lot of fun. Both colts were raised on our farm and were out in the same field running against each other every day and getting competitive. Everyone at the farm did an amazing job. Richard Royster, our yearling manager, had them looking great. Everything came together at the right time. When they’re bred like that, you always have high hopes.”
William Mack and Robert Baker bought the Tapit colt, the first foal out of 2012 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Believe You Can, by Proud Citizen. Mack and Baker were in the partnership that raced Proud Citizen, winner of Keeneland’s 2002 Coolmore Lexington (G2) who went on to run second in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and third in the Preakness (G1).
“Tapit is a great sire, and this is a great-looking animal,” Mack said about their purchase. “We hope for the best.”
“I couldn’t be any happier,” said Brereton Jones, who bred and raced Believe You Can. “That is what we are trying to do: breed those kind of horses. From the very beginning, we knew he was special. I have always liked him.”
Teruya Yoshida’s Shadai Farm, a leading Japanese Thoroughbred breeding operation, bought the $900,000 War Front colt. Out of the Mazel Trick mare Don’t Trick Her, the colt is a half-brother to Grade 1 winners Include Me Out and Check the Label and stakes winner On the Menu.
Asked about what he liked about the colt, Yoshida said, “Nice conformation and very good pedigree, everything. War Front is a very successful sire. (The colt) had a very good, smooth body and nice conformation.”
Yoshida said the colt would be sent to Japan.
Sold to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Estate Co. Ltd. for $800,000, the session’s fourth-highest priced horse was a filly by Speightstown consigned by Paramount Sales, agent for Sierra Farm. She is out of the Grade 2-placed winner General Consensus, by Giant’s Causeway.
Shadwell Estate Co. Ltd. was the session’s leading buyer, acquiring six yearlings for $3,350,000.
The day’s leading consignor was Taylor Made Sales Agency, who sold 16 horses for $4,360,000.
The September Sale continues Wednesday, Sept. 14, with the third and final session in the premier Book 1 portion of the sale that begins at 11 a.m. ET. The entire auction, which runs through Sunday, Sept. 25, is streamed live at Keeneland.com.