November 25, 2020

Tapit exacta: $1 million colt, $950,000 filly lead Fasig-Tipton Saratoga opener

Tapit sired the top two yearlings and his son Frosted also made a splash (Photo courtesy of Gainesway's Michael Hernon via Twitter)

Leading sire Tapit rocked the pavilion at Monday night’s opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale. Not only did the Gainesway patriarch furnish the top two sellers, but the yearling duo toured the ring successively to barnstorm the leaderboard as a one-two punch.

First came Hip No. 80, a bay colt out of Grade 3 winner and multiple Grade 1-placed Feathered, who brought $1 million. Already named Flightline, the March 14-foaled bay was consigned by Lane’s End, agent, and David Ingordo of Lane’s End Bloodstock (L.E.B.) signed the ticket as agent for West Point Thoroughbreds.

With Hip 81 withdrawn, next up was Hip 82, a Tapit half-sister to Grade 2 victor Annual Report, and the March 14 dark bay threatened to cross the seven-figure threshold herself as bidding reached $950,000. But that was enough for Donato Lanni, agent for Heider Family Stables, to secure her from the consignment of Gainesway, agent.

Aside from their sire and shared birthday, the top colt and filly had another point in common: both descend from the noted Phipps matron Blitey. Flightline counts Blitey as his fifth dam, while she appears closer up on the page of Hip 82, as the third dam.

Flightline is the second registered foal from the Indian Charlie mare Feathered, whose first is an unraced juvenile filly by War Front named Good on Paper. Feathered scored her signature win in the 2015 Edgewood (G3), and she also placed in the Frizette (G1), Starlet (G1), and American Oaks (G1). She is a granddaughter of multiple Grade 1 vixen Finder’s Fee, herself out of Grade 1 winner Fantastic Find, a daughter of Blitey.

Hip 82 traces via another Grade 1-winning daughter of Blitey, Furlough, who produced Grade 3 scorer Happy Hunting. The yearling filly’s dam, Pension, is a full sister to Happy Hunting, both by Seeking the Gold. Pension is responsible for three stakes performers – Annual Report, the 2015 Futurity (G2) hero, along with stakes victor Giant Payday and multiple stakes-placed Flores Island.

The third-priciest yearling on the night was a $900,000 Medaglia d’Oro filly gaveled down to Kerri Radcliffe, agent. Offered by Eaton Sales, agent, as Hip 49, the dark bay is the second registered foal from Grade 1-placed stakes winner Light the City. The Street Sense mare previously produced a juvenile by American Pharoah, named First Grade Girl, who hasn’t made it to the races yet. This is the family of American Pharoah’s first stakes winner, Prix du Bois (G3) scorer Maven.

Speaking of American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown star had two yearlings on offer Monday. A chestnut filly out of Grade 1 winner Seattle Smooth, Hip 109, was purchased by Mike Ryan, agent, for $200,000. Hip 32 out of Jeweliana hammered for $425,000 but turned out to be an RNA.

Frosted had the distinction of siring the most expensive lot by a freshman, and in the process, extended the evening’s Tapit theme. His Hip 24, Silver Strand, fetched $575,000 from agent Ryan. Out of Grade 2 heroine India, the gray filly is a half to last year’s Yasuda Kinen (G1) winner Mozu Ascot.

Fasig-Tipton reported that 61 yearlings grossed $22,775,000, a decrease of 21.4 percent from the $28,965,000 realized at the 2018 opener, when 83 sold from a slightly larger catalog. Hence Monday’s average increased, as did the median. The average rose nearly 7 percent, from $348,976 to $373,361, while the $315,000 median climbed 5 percent from last year’s $300,000.

The Saratoga Sale’s final session is set for Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). Visit fasigtipton.com for live streaming, the catalog, updates, and complete results.