(A full sister to Cupid brings $2.7 million on first day of Keeneland September Sale)

It didn’t take people long to fall in love with a full sister to Cupid.  At least, not on the first day of Keeneland’s annual September Yearling Sale extravaganza.

Just a few hours into the premier Book 1 of the sale’s event, M.V. Magnier spent $2.7 million to purchase a daughter of the world’s most renown sire of this day, Tapit, and a full sister to the Grade 1 winner Cupid to launch the marathon sale.

The amount is the highest rice paid for a yearling sold at public auction this year, and the most paid for a filly at the Keeneland September sale since 2008.

“We’re really excited,” said Tom Van Meter, on behalf of the consignment offered by VanMeter-Gentry sales. “She is a beautiful filly. She had probably the best pedigree in the book. It was an awesome price and we’re excited. That mare has been very good to us. I think we have sold something like $7 million (worth of sales horses) out of her.”

The Tapit filly is out of the Beau Genius mare Pretty ‘n Smart and one of six babies that brought over $1 million in the first day of this year’s sale.  And, she was sought after by many — including the Magnier clan.

“She’s a very well-bred filly and she’s very good looking,” Magnier said. “Let’s hope she’s anywhere as good as he (Cupid) is.”

Cupid, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert for owners Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith, is a perfect 2-for-2 this year and now has 6 wins, and 1 second in 11 career starts. His career earnings have toppled $1.6 million and he is now being considered one of the top contenders for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be held on the first Saturday in November.

But she wasn’t the only off-spring of Tapit to make news on Monday.  A Tapit colt from the family of champion and sire Saint Liam, the the prohibitive favorite for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic in Gun Runner was sold to Mandy Pope and her Whisper Hill Farm for $2.6 million.

“I love Tapits as I buy them, breed them and sell them,” Pope was quoted as saying on the Keeneland website. “I have other members of this family and I know it is going to be a continuing successful family. He is a strong horse with good bone and substance. He seems to be very good-minded. I am hoping he will be another Gun Runner. I figured the price would be around $2 million, so I stretch a little further.  I really believe in this family This is the most I have spent on a colt.”

The Tapit colt was consigned by the Taylor Made Farm Sales Agency on behalf of a client, and the yearling is the first foal out of the Stakes-placed Medaglia d’Oro mare Miss Besilu. She is a half-sister to Saint Liam and to Quiet Giant, the dam of Gun Runner.

“First of all, give the credit to Three Chimneys (Farm); they bred and raised the horse,” said Mark Taylor. “When we went out there, we didn’t really know what horses we were going to get to sell for them. When we was this horse, we were like, ‘Wow.’ We look at thousands of horses every spring, and when he came out, I was like ‘Yeah, that’s pretty close to the best one I’ve seen.’ We knew he would be very popular.

“I’m happy for Mandy Pope. (He’s a) beautiful horse, so we had really high expectations, but you never know. Once you get into seven figures, it’s just a matter of who wants them the most.  If he runs the way he looks like he can, with that pedigree, he’s one of the few horses that can command huge, huge upside as a stallion. Anyway, he’s got everything, now all the’s go to do is just run to his looks.”

A third Tapit made noise, too.  A colt out of the Grade 1 winner Tiz Miz Sue, by Tiznow, sold to Shadwell Estate Company Ltd. for $2.5 million.  This Tapit was consigned by Paramount Sales, as agent.

“Fantastic,” said Gabriel Duignan, of Paramount, to the Keeneland press team. “Coming in, we knew he would sell well, but we didn’t expect that much. We knew we had a ll the right people on him. We were confident he was going to sell good, but it all came together and we are delighted.

“This is for my longest client, Mrs. Ran Ricks (whose CresRan bred and raced Tiz Miz Sue). This is the third generation of horses I have raised for her. As I tell her, ‘She is not my oldest client; she is my longest client.”