By Sue Finley
A share in leading sire Not This Time figures to provide some fireworks when it kicks off the action Tuesday night at Saratoga. The sale of the share is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Not This Time is the sire of five Grade I winners from three crops to race, and is the leading fourth-crop sire of 2023.
The share includes all projected income from the 2023 breeding season. Shareholders receive one nomination annually, plus their proportional share of the excess book. (See complete details here.)
Not This Time is governed by a 50-share syndicate. “It's a very tightly held syndicate,” said Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales. “The Albaugh family has retained almost half of the shares in Not This Time. Taylor Made owns a chunk of shares, Coolmore owns a chunk of shares, and there are a few other single-share owners. The opportunity to buy these doesn't come along very often because none of those people who own blocks of shares are sellers. This is a unique opportunity.”
Though a fourth-crop sire, Not This Time is just nine years old, having started his breeding career at three.
“For a horse to have already accomplished what he's accomplished at nine is really rare,” said Taylor. “I mean, a lot of these good stallions didn't retire until they were five, start breeding at six or whatever, and by the time they have a chance to establish themselves, they're 13 or 14, whatever. That makes him unique.”
Not This Time's Grade I winners include Up To The Mark, winner of the GI Manhattan S. and the GI Turf Classic S. on turf. Epicenter won the GI Travers S. on dirt, and was second in the Derby and Preakness. Sibelius won the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen, a dirt sprint; Just One Time won the seven-furlong Madison S.; and Princess Noor won the GI Del Mar Debutante on the dirt at two.
That versatility in his offspring is, said Taylor, “the hallmark of a lot of the really, really great stallions. Some of them are pigeonholed more dirt, turf or sprint or distance. But if you look at his top horses, you've got Princess Noor who was a Grade I winner at two. She was a seven-figure 2-year-old-in-training. You've got Up To The Mark, who was a $450,000 Book 1 yearling bred off a $15,000 stud fee, and he's turned into a two-turn grass horse. But he was good on the dirt early on in his career. You've got Epicenter, who was champion 3-year-old on the dirt and with a little better circumstance, probably could have won the Kentucky Derby. And then you've got horses that are like Simplification, who was a top 3-year-old on the dirt last year.”
As if to underscore his point, Not That Time's Cogburn won the GIII Troy S., a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint, at Saratoga Saturday.
“Cogburn was good on the dirt last year, they brought him back, and now he looks like he's a real player for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint this year,” said Taylor. “He is a turf sprinter, so I think his versatility is unique. The fact that he gets 2-year olds, he gets route horses on the dirt, he can get turf horses going short or long, and the X-factor is he gets beautiful yearlings. I think anybody that's looking around the grounds this week at Saratoga is going to come away just saying, 'Wow. The product he puts on the end of the shank is very impressive.'”
Recent sales of his progeny have been strong; his 2022 Saratoga sale average was $425,000, with seven sold from seven offered. “His sales averages are now just really taking off, and the best mares by far are coming up in the subsequent crops,” said Taylor. “All his success has come off of mares that were bred on $15,000-and-under stud fees. Now he's got a yearling crop that was on a $35,000 stud fee. He's got foals that were on a $45,000 stud fee, and then he's got in-utero mares that were covered on $135,000. The pipeline is really loaded and I think the sky's the limit. He's a very fertile horse, which makes life easier when you're a shareholder and when you're breeding. It's a big deal in this day and age when people are trying to cover large books of mares.”
Taylor said that there were obvious advantages to putting the stallion share up for sale in a public format and at a marquee event. “It's a unique offering and I think the thought was that the vast majority of these stallions that retire to the bigger stallion farms are not syndicated. Finding a horse that's moving into the upper echelon of stallions that is syndicated makes it unique. If we put it in front of the public and let people bid on it, as opposed to just doing a private solicitation of people we think might be interested, we just thought we could get the word out, get more eyeballs on the opportunity. The seller came up with the idea and they asked our permission and we said, 'Yes.'” The seller, said Taylor is a private individual who wishes to remain undisclosed.
People often comment on Not This Time's good looks, and his name ties into that, Taylor said.
“His mother, Miss Macy Sue, was campaigned by the Albaughs. She produced Liam's Map, and in his year, he was arguably the best-looking yearling on our farm. They didn't plan on selling him, but we lobbied and said, 'Hey, there's a beautiful horse. You could really take a lot of chips off the table, and then there's a lot of years still to breed Miss Macy Sue. Why don't you put it in the sale?'
“They decided to do it, said Taylor. “He brings $800,000. And so when Not This Time came along, he was clearly the best-looking yearling on our farm. He was absolutely just stunning, this big dark bay Adonis of a horse. And so we said, 'Hey, this is another opportunity to take some chips off the table. Why don't we put him in the sale?” And they said, 'Uh-uh. Not this time.'”
Taylor said he believed that as promising as his first few seasons have been, the best is yet to come for Not This Time.
“The support he got this year from the best breeders around the world was really amazing. I mean, you can't name a really top breeder that didn't send mares to him this year. I think that the support he's getting now is hopefully just going to take him to the next level in his career.”
Bidding on the share is available in person at the sales pavilion at Saratoga, online, or via telephone.