Owners Robert and Lawana Low, who campaign undefeated Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) contender Magnum Moon, spent $750,000 on their next two-turn hopeful April 25 and topped the second session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales April 2-year-olds in training sale.
"Tapit needs no introduction. He is a three-quarters brother to a horse that just missed an American classic in Commissioner. And there is a big update in the family, as he's a half brother to the dam of Vino Rosso," West said, referring to the Wood Memorial Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G2) winner. "It is a real stallion's pedigree with Tapit out of a Touch Gold mare. He can run all day. We are looking for two-turn classic horses, and that is what he was to us. We have had a lot of luck with May foals that have gone two turns, like Magnum Moon. It has worked out well for us."
WinStar Farm, where Commissioner stands, and Winchell Thoroughbreds co-bred the Tapit colt. They sent the colt to consignor Niall Brennan after he missed the yearling sale cycle.
"He is a horse that hasn't been rushed along, he was a May foal, but he's come here handily and breezed nicely," said Brennan of the colt's :10 2/5 work during the under tack show. "He is just a horse with a big future. I'm happy he sold that well, but he deserved to sell that well."
The colt will be sent to trainer Todd Pletcher, who also is the conditioner for Magnum Moon.
Regarding the Derby contender, West said he and the Lows have been counting their blessings every day since they bought the son of Malibu Moon for $380,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale from Claiborne Farm. The colt was bred in Kentucky by Ramona Bass.
"He's an incredible horse. He has done everything we have asked him to do and never batted an eye or turn a hair the wrong way," West said. "He'll work Friday tentative to the weather. We'll see how he comes out of that. We would not trade places with anyone."
Regarding Magnum Moon's chances against a deep Derby field, West said: "You can't knock an undefeated horse, especially a two-time graded stakes winner. The horse has never given a reason to not be confident. Going into the Rebel (Stakes, G2) and the Arkansas Derby (G1), we always felt he'd show up, and he did. Hopefully, he shows up on the First Saturday in May."
As for the rest of the second session, the OBS April sale continued the momentum it enjoyed on day one and set a Spring session record of $18,932,500 in gross sales from 180 sold. The comparable session of 2017 sold 167 for a gross of $14,111,500. The average price was $105,181, up 24.5% compared to $84,500 in 2017, while the median price was $56,000, a 40% rise compared with $40,000 a year ago. The buy-back rate was 22.4% compared to 20.8% for the second session last year.
"We are on pace to exceed last year, and there is strength and depth in the market," said OBS president Tom Ventura. "The top 20 horses were bought by 18 different buyers. We have not had the magic $1 million horse, but there is plenty of competition at the top."
Besides the session-topper, two other horses sold for $700,000 each—Hip 403, a Speightstown half brother to grade 1 winner and champion Good Magic bought by Narvick International on behalf of Katsumi Yoshida and partners out of Brennan's consignment; and Hip 534, a filly by Malibu Moon out of the family of champion and sire Boston Harbor bought by Peter Fluor out of the de Meric Sales consignment.
Other top sellers were:
- Into Mischief consigned by Paul Sharp, agent, was sold to B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farm for $650,000. The bay filly whose eighth-mile work in :9 4/5 April 18 was the session's co-fastest at the distance, is out of Loveofalifetime, by Medaglia d'Oro , a half sister to graded stakes winner Savorthetime.
- Justin Casse, agent, went to $525,000 for Hip 474, a bay colt by Candy Ride consigned by Eddie Woods, agent, who worked a quarter in :21 flat April 18. He's out of High On the Hill, by Fusaichi Pegasus, a half sister to graded stakes winner Lil's Lad.
- Hip 592, a son of Tapit consigned by Brennan, was sold to Calumet Farm for $500,000. The gray or roan colt, who breezed a quarter April 18 in :21 flat, is out of Lindsay's Way, by Giant's Causeway, a half sister to grade 1 winner Startac.
The sale continues April 26-27 and begins at 10:30 a.m. EDT daily.