Keeneland’s Before the Hammer: Taylor Made Brings Quality and Variety to November


Mark Taylor | Keeneland photo

By Amanda Duckworth

Before the Hammer is a series presented by Keeneland that spotlights consignors, their stories of success and their featured offerings at the upcoming Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

While no one knows beforehand who the topper of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale will be, it’s always a safe bet that Taylor Made Sales Agency, a perennial leading consignor, will offer multiple worthy contenders.

“We have a great team, and we have really awesome customers that trust us year in and year out,” said Mark Taylor, the vice president of marketing and public sales operations, of the operation’s sustained success. “Additionally, we reach out to individual buyers and say, ‘We have this product that suits your program for these reasons.’ We are bringing the mares to market and are marketing them kind of like stallions. We let the mare have her own brand.”

This year is certainly no different as Taylor Made is presenting a consignment chockablock with a mix of top class racemares, young broodmares, and proven broodmares, starting with the very first hip in the sale.

Weekend Whim (Distorted Humor), who will kick everything off as Hip 1, is sure to draw her fair share of attention in the auction ring. The fact she is a full sister to the Grade I-winning stallion Any Given Saturday is enough to catch someone’s eye, but even more impressively, she is the dam of GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and GI Belmont Oaks Invitational winner New Money Honey. Additionally, Weekend Whim is in foal to Medaglia d’Oro, meaning she is carrying a full sibling to New Money Honey.

“She is a mare that I think has everything that somebody who wants a turnkey opportunity to play at the highest level could want,” said Taylor. “She’s got it all. She’s obviously already produced a top class filly in New Money Honey, and she’s still a young mare with a very bright future in front of her.

“Weekend Whim also has a really deep pedigree, it could be a sire-producing pedigree, and she could also produce you another foundation broodmare. She’s one of those mares that is instant access to the top of the market, and she throws gorgeous foals.”

Taylor is in a great position to know that, considering Taylor Made sold New Money Honey at the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $450,000 to Mike Ryan, agent.

Another key entry in this year’s consignment is Life Well Lived (Hip 84. The 10-year-old Tiznow mare is the dam of American Patriot, who won the GI Maker’s 46 Mile this spring at Keeneland, and she is a full sister to G1 Dubai World Cup winner Well Armed. Furthermore, Life Well Lived is being offered in foal to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

“She is another proven mare,” said Taylor. “This mare has a very deep family, she has already produced a Grade I winner, and she was covered really well. She keeps adding to her resume. I have loved the American Pharoah babies, and I think it is a great mating for her. I can’t wait to see what she is going to produce.”

Keeneland November is known for its international flare, and as such Taylor Made is conscious of consigning mares that appeal on a global level.

“The world is shrinking, and we are in a new age of Thoroughbred racing where horse transportation around the globe has become much easier,” said Taylor. “The Keeneland November sale brings the most important buyers from around the globe all into one place at one time. You need to have a variety of product for them to select from. That’s what so fun: trying to see who is going to buy what.”

One of the more turf-oriented offerings from Taylor Made this year is graded stakes winner Goodyearforroses (Ire) (Azamour {Ire}) (Hip 53. The Irish-bred mare, who has done most of her racing in North America, is being offered as a racing or broodmare prospect.

“She’s won a Grade II, but she gave Lady Eli a fantastic run back in the early part of the summer in California in the GI Gamely Stakes,” said Taylor. “It was really unlucky Lady Eli (Divine Park) decided to go all the way out West to take her on because otherwise she would already be a Grade I winner. Anybody that saw that race definitely increased their admiration for Goodyearforroses though because we all know Lady Eli is a legend.

“We are still weighing our options for the Breeders’ Cup. She’s a super talented turf mare that could have another year of racing in front of her, and she could have a Breeders’ Cup on her resume. If we decide to go there, I think she will run huge and account very well for herself there.”

Other turf-heavy horses Taylor Made will be consigning this year include Luxury (Hip 90, who is by Galileo, is a half-sister to European champion Shamardal, and is offered in foal to War Front. Then there is Rainfall Radar (Hip 130, who is in foal to four-time Group 1 winner Gleneagles and is a half-sister to GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up Lancaster Bomber (War Front), French highweight and multiple Group 1 winner Excelebration (Ire) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) and multiple Group 3 winner Mull of Killough (Ire) (Mull of Kintyre).

Taylor Made also has young mares who are just starting out in their breeding careers in its consignment, led by Joyful Victory (Hip 72. The Grade I-winning daughter of Tapit, who has produced three foals, is being offered in foal to Pioneerof the Nile.

“Joyful Victory is probably the best looking Tapit I have ever laid eyes on,” said Taylor. “She’s just a big, stunning physical specimen. If you want a conformation class, you have to come see this mare because she is one you can’t take your eyes off of. She’s gorgeous, and she is in foal to Pioneerof the Nile, so if someone is looking to win Classic races, that mating is one that could take you there.

“A tribute to her is that really sophisticated people with great eyes have always landed on her. Barry Berkelhammer bought Joyful Victory as a yearling and took her to the 2-year-old sale with Cary Frommer. Tom McGreevy picked her out for Fox Hill Farm. Those are some of the most talented people in the industry. It speaks to her quality. She was early on in Tapit’s career, and she was a sensational race mare.”

Another nod in her favor is that Berkelhammer liked Joyful Victory’s yearling Medaglia d’Oro filly so much, he put a group together and bought her privately.

Other featured offerings from the Taylor Made consignment also include Distinta (Summer Bird) (Hip 41, who is a graded stakes winner and comes from the family of Grade I winner Purim; Lady of Fifty (After Market) (Hip 77, a Grade I winner being offered in foal to Tapit; Oscar Party (Dixie Union) (Hip 114, a stakes winner who is a half-sister to Grade I winner Room Service and is also in foal to Tapit; and Street Fancy (Street Sense) (Hip 158, a Grade I winner who was sent to Medaglia d’Oro and is carrying her first foal.

“No matter what people say, the American Thoroughbred continues to produce all over the world,” Taylor said. “We sold a mare a few years back here named D’Wildcat Speed that Stonestreet bought from us, and she ended up being the dam of European champion Lady Aurelia. People continue to see those kinds of results.”


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