At last year's Keeneland November breeding stock sale, the partners of Hunter Valley Farm took a big risk purchasing a Tapit colt for $500,000—a hefty price tag but one with a lot of potential.
Not only was the weanling colt sired by Gainesway's leading sire, he was a half brother to four-time grade I winner Princess of Sylmar, the 2014 Fasig-Tipton November breeding stock sale topper that sold for $3.1 million. Further enhancing the Tapit colt's potential value, his dam, Storm Dixie, also sold at Fasig-Tipton November for $1.9 million.
Nine months later, Hunter Valley's investment will be put to the test as one of three Tapits leading the previously sold pinhook group at this year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale Aug. 8-9 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The colt is consigned by Hunter Valley as Hip 164.
"Any time you give that sum of money for a weanling to pinhook you try to get as much in your favor as possible," Hunter Valley partner Fergus Galvin said. "We thought if there was such a thing as value in a half-a- million-dollar weanling, he was it."
Obviously, to command that kind of price as a weanling the colt had to be attractive, and Galvin said he has only continued to improve.
"He has great balance and moves very well," Galvin said. "We've had a handful of people see him before the sale and it has been nothing but positive vibes from everybody who has seen him."
Another son of Tapit, Hip 208 from the Denali Stud consignment of Craig and Holly Bandoroff, is the top previously purchased pinhook in the Saratoga sale, as a Mill Valley Racing buy for $600,000 from the Three Chimneys Farm consignment at last year's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale.
Bred by Three Chimneys, the colt was produced from Aubby K, a grade I-winning daughter of Street Sense who sold for $2.4 million at last year's Fasig-Tipton November auction. The colt's female family includes grade I winner Dream Lady and Argentine group I winner Zapata.
The third Tapit pinhook is Hip 27, a gray colt plucked from Woodford Thoroughbred's Keeneland November consignment by Exclusive Equine Investments on a high bid of $390,000.
Bred in Kentucky by SF Bloodstock, the colt consigned by Top Line Sales is a half brother to grade II winner Corfu. His dam Fashion Cat is a half sister to three-time grade I winner and sire Peace Rules and multiple stakes winner and stakes producer Wild Fashion.
Completing the top five Saratoga pinhooks are Hip 46, an Uncle Mo colt consigned by Dromoland who was purchased by Copper River Farm as a weanling for $370,000, and Hip 187, a daughter of The Factor consigned by Denali Stud. A half sister to grade I winner The Big Beast , the filly was bought as a weanling by Alex and JoAnn Lieblong for $350,000.