Keeneland’s Before the Hammer: Taylor Made Banking on Momentum in November

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Dream Tree | Sarah Andrew

By T. D. Thornton

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 November 5-16.

Taylor Made is banking on not only bringing A-list individual horses to this year’s Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, but is also aiming for its consignment to be well poised to capitalize on strong market conditions and the timing and location of this year’s Breeders’ Cup.

“There’s a lot of momentum in the market right now coming off two recent Triple Crown winners,” said Mark Taylor, vice president of marketing and public sales operations at Taylor Made. “And having the Breeders’ Cup back in Kentucky will create a lot of energy and momentum around the event. The Breeders’ Cup always helps with Keeneland November, but when it’s right there and close by, there’s just such a nice mix of people going back and forth between Churchill and the sales grounds. It gets buyers’ adrenaline pumping when they participate in the championships either as an owner or a spectator, and then have a chance to reload their inventory or to try to get to that level if they’ve never been there before.”

“Overall, the sales market is obviously very strong at the top. All the indicators that everybody looks at were in really good shape coming out of September,” Taylor continued.

Taylor cited four fillies and mares from the Taylor Made consignment that he expects will be attention-grabbers at Keeneland.

“I think the number-one filly that’s got the most intrigue is Dream Tree (Uncle Mo),” Taylor said of the 5-for-5 undefeated filly who returned off a seven-month layoff closing weekend at Saratoga Race Course to win the GII Prioress S. by 4 1/4 lengths. “Her comeback race was just monstrous in beating some of the best 3YO filly sprinters in the country, and it really stamped her as one of the top contenders for the [GI Breeders’ Cup] Filly & Mare Sprint.

“We’re selling her on behalf of Phoenix Thoroughbreds,” Taylor elaborated. “She’s going to be a turn-key opportunity for some of the biggest players, or even new players if they want to get in at a high level on a really, really elite racehorse that then has broodmare potential when the time is right. She’s just one of those rare opportunities, and she’s going to be really fun to promote.”

Five-year-old Insta Erma (Pioneerof the Nile) also rates highly on Taylor’s list.

“She’s a well-bred Pioneerof the Nile filly who’s a graded winner. She just won her last start in the GIII Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf S., a $500,000 race, and she’s getting ready to run back at Keeneland before the sale in a Grade I stakes. She’s another who has a lot of potential down the road as a broodmare, but is also a very nice prospect for somebody to go on and run another year. She’s one of the highlights of our group, and I think she’ll sell very well.”

Sassy Sienna (Midshipman) is another filly described as “an intriguing prospect” by Taylor.

“She beat Wonder Gadot (Medaglia d’Oro) earlier this spring in a Grade III at Oaklawn, and then was sixth in the GI Kentucky Oaks,” Taylor said. “She just came back and ran a very good second in the GIII Monmouth Oaks, and is training really well right now for a go in [Sunday’s] GI Spinster S. She’s a daughter of Midshipman, a beautiful filly, and she’s only a 3-year-old.”

Beau Recall (Ire) (Sir Prancealot {Ire}), who was fourth last Saturday, beaten only 3 1/4 lengths in the GI Rodeo Drive S. at Santa Anita Park, is also among the consignment’s top prospects.

“She’s a European filly that’s come over here and has won a Grade II and has been close in Grade I races, so she’s going to have appeal  She’s got a little bit of everything.”

Mokat (Uncle Mo) is being sold in foal to Medaglia d’Oro.

“Mokat is a Grade II winner, with graded talent on both dirt and turf, and just had a really hard-fought career where she ran very credibly against some of the best of her generation,” Taylor said. “We’re very excited for her because she’s going in there carrying her first foal. The mare is a big, good-looking Uncle Mo filly from a family that could really run. We think she’s kind of the whole package.”

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