By Ron Mitchell and Glenye Cain Oakford
A striking son of Tapit and a half brother to grade I winner Justin Phillip was sold for $1.2 million as the first seven-figure offering during the Sept. 12 fourth session of the Keeneland September yearling sale.
The buyer was Gainesway and Stonestreet Stables.
Consigned by Valkyre Stud, agent for breeder Oakbrook Farm, the colt is from the graded stakes-placed Cryptoclearance mare Ava Knowsthecode, also making him a half brother to graded stakes winners Keyed Entry, Successful Mission, and Algorithms . Justin Phillip won the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 4 and has lifetime earnings of more than $1.16 million.
"I liked his breeding very much and the way he moved," said Stonestreet owner Barbara Banke, who will partner with Antony Beck's Gainesway in the ownership. "I've been partners in horses with Antony before, and I own part of (Gainesway stallion) Afleet Alex . We have a beautiful colt, a 2-year-old named Pacific. I prefer to have partners in colts, because, that way, if it works out it's great for everyone, and, if it doesn't, then you share the pain."
"Obviously, Tapit being such an incredibly wonderful stallion, one always tries to get some good progeny of his to run," Beck said of the stallion who also stands at Gainesway.