Hip 51, by Tapit, sold for $1 million dollars.

Hip 51, by Tapit, sold for $1 million dollars.

Joe DiOrio

Tapit Colt Brings $1 Million at FT Sale

Second-highest price of $875,000 brought by Bernardini colt.

A handsome Tapit  colt commanded $1 million during the second hour of the  Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training. To that point, he was the highest-priced horse that had been sold during the auction, which is being held at Palm Meadows Training Center near Boynton Beach, Fla.

Bloodstock agent Nick Sallusto, representing Steven Marshall’s Black Rock Thoroughbreds, signed the sale ticket for the bay juvenile. Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher was the immediate underbidder. Trainer Chad Brown also tried to buy the colt.

“I just thought he was incredibly impressive physically,” Sallusto said. “He had great balance, great presence, and tremendous athleticism. He is extremely well-bred and he’s a great moving horse. He galloped out as good as any of the top horses in the sale and we just found him to be the most appealing horse in the sale.”

Sallusto and Hanzly Albina, who also was at the Fasig-Tipton auction, are managing Marshall’s Thoroughbred operation. According to Sallusto, they were ready and willing to spend a seven-figure amount for an outstanding racing prospect.

“When you want to buy the cream, you have to pay,” Sallusto said. “The difference between $700,000 and $1 million isn’t a big one. We’re trying to buy horses that can be stallions and Mr. Marshall said he would reach in and try to buy one or two of the top prospects; we think he (the colt) was one of them.”

The $1-million juvenile worked an eighth of a mile in :10 3/5 during the auction’s under tack show. He is a half brother to the winner Marvelous Monkey (by Saint Liam). Their winning dam, Liberty Flag (by Kingmambo) is a half sister to added-money winner Gold Streamer (by Forty Niner).

Stephens Thoroughbreds, agent, consigned the colt  for Eamon Cleary's Clearsky Farms. Stephens’ Thoroughbreds John Stephens said the 2-year-old was acquired privately for $75,000 after being bought back for $70,000 by consigner Lane’s End, agent, at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling auction. Caldara Farm bred the colt in Kentucky.

“I’m elated,” Stephens said.

During the early portion of the sale, the second-highest price of $875,000 was listed as paid by John Ferguson, agent for Sheikh Mohammed, for a Bernardini  colt. Consigned by Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds, agent, as Hip No. 40, the colt was produced from Jolie Boutique, a Northern Jove mare who has also produced stakes winner Millennium Storm.

“He’s a Derby horse; that’s what I think,” said Dean De Renzo of the bay juvenile. “He’s amazing. His stride is huge and he has a turn of foot (working an eighth in :10 1/5).”