The Taylor brothers were bred and raised in the horse business. Their grandfather lived on a farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, where he raised Standardbred race horses, and they spent their summers helping him prepare yearlings for the yearly fall sales in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Getting to miss school while they helped out at these fall sales and getting to ride up in the horse vans were major highlights of their young lives. Joe Taylor, their father, grew up on this same farm, born and bred, as were the brothers, with a deep and abiding love for animals and their care. At a young age, instead of going to college, Joe Taylor pursued his passion and went to work at the race track, doing his apprenticeship in every phase of racing. When he replied to an advertisement for a farm manager, he was hired to work for Clarence Gaines, founder of Gaines dog food, and together they built one of the best trotting-horse stables in the country.
Because of this alliance, the Taylor brothers grew up at Gainesway Farm, and their father's work ethic was part of their inheritance: they spent their free time raising tobacco, baling hay, raising cattle, and helping with the Gainesway yearlings and in the Gainesway breeding shed. Whenever possible, however, Joe Taylor made sure that his sons would profit not just from an hourly wage, but from the eventual sale of a product, and from a job not just completed but done well.
In this way, the brothers learned to have pride in their work, and learned how to succeed in business instead of merely completing tasks.
Pride in the quality of their work and in the success of their work was all-important, and at a very young age the Taylor Made Team concept was developed: the boys knew how to work together toward common goals from the start. As well, they observed and learned from their father's attentiveness to the clients of Gainesway and all of their needs, and his attentiveness as well to the care of each individual animal. These two aspects of business - the value of giving quality care to both each individual horse and each individual customer - became the cornerstones of Taylor Made's growth as a business. In 1976, Taylor Made Sales Agency was started to provide the service of caring for mares shipped to Kentucky to be bred to stallions standing there. Joe Taylor was manager of Gainesway Farm, and the brothers learned of the need for farms which would give quality care to the mares awaiting breeding to the Gainesway stallions. At this time, Duncan was 19, Chris was 17, Ben was 15, Frank was 13, and Mark was 7. With Mike Shannon, Duncan began the company they named "Taylor Made" for the purpose of boarding mares to be bred in Central Kentucky.
Taylor Made Sales Agency quickly developed a reputation for quality care, and in 1978 expanded its operations with its first Keeneland consignment. As it expanded, Taylor Made rented several farms to hold its growing clientele, among them Dromoland Farm (on Spurr Road) and Catawba Farm (on Muir Road), which formed the basis for the Taylor Made operation. But the Taylor Made reputation grew, for both boarding and consigning, and the brothers needed a larger base of operations. They expanded to a farm owned by Joe Taylor on Union Mill Road in Nicholasville, Kentucky, which is their home to this day. The Farm, which began as 120 acres, has grown to over 1,600 acres.
In the early "80s, Taylor Made sold three mares at Keeneland for over $1-million each - PASS A GLANCE, EXIT SMILING and PEARL NECKLACE were these million dollar girls, presaging the future of Taylor Made, which sold more sales toppers in the "90s than any other sales agency. Another milestone was reached in 1984, when the Taylor Made-raised and sold FIESTA LADY won the Grade I Matron Stakes at Belmont, fulfilling the dream of the brothers to produce well-grown and marketable yearlings that go on to become quality race horses. FIESTA LADY was sold by Taylor Made as a yearling for Louis and Nita Brooks, and was purchased by D. Wayne Lukas, thus exemplifying another primary Taylor Made goal - to have satisfied customers that Taylor Made can continue to serve year after year, with continued success.
The Taylor Made philosophy had its most triumphant day in 1999 at the Breeders' Cup. Three Taylor Made graduates won Breeders' Cup races that day - an
amazing and unparalleled feat -CASH RUN, foaled and sold by Taylor Made, won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies-G1 (she was also the highest priced filly at the 1998 Keeneland July Sale); ANEES, raised and sold by Taylor Made, was named Champion Two-Year-Old Colt after winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile-G1 and ARTAX, raised by Taylor Made, was named Champion Sprinter after he equaled MR. PROSPECTOR's track record winning the Breeders' Cup Sprint - G1. The probability of one farm producing three Breeders' Cup winners in one day is .000000000854!
Cajun Beat, a member of Taylor Made's 2001 Keeneland September draft, proved best in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint-G1. Selling alongside Cajun Beat that year was Vindication. After being purchased by Padua Stables for $2.15 million, the son of Seattle Slew went on to take the Breeders' Cup Juvenile-G1-as well as the two-year-old championship. The 2004 Breeders' Cup Sprint-G1 hero and Champion Sprinter Speightstown was a $2 million Taylor Made grad. Foaled and raised by Taylor Made, Folklore parlayed a victory in the 2005 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies-G1 into an Eclipse Award as Champion Two-Year-Old Filly.
Over the course of three years, another filly raised and sold by Taylor Made, Ashado, made an indelible mark on the Breeders' Cup. She ran second in the 2003 Juvenile Fillies-G1, then won the Distaff-G1 a year later on her way to the Three-Year-Old Filly championship.
A third in the 2005 edition of the Distaff-G1 was followed by another championship, this time in the Older Mare division. At the 2005 Keeneland November sale, Ashado again entered the ring as a Taylor Made consignee, this time with seven Grade I wins to her credit, including a tally in the Kentucky Oaks. The center of a furious bidding duel, Ashado was eventually landed by Darley Stable's John Ferguson, who paid $9 million for the two-time Eclipse winner. It was a new world record for a broodmare or broodmare prospect at auction.
The sale of Ashado serves to highlight the accomplishments of Taylor Made Sales Agency. In the last 11 years, Taylor Made has led all consignors by gross at Keeneland September eight times. Nine times in the past 15 years, Taylor Made was the leading consignor at Fasig-Tipton's July yearling sale.
In 2005, Taylor Made was the leading consignor at Keeneland's January, September and November sales, as well as at Fasig-Tipton's July and Saratoga Select sales. At the September sale, Taylor Made graduates grossed $60,997,400, a record for what's become the premier yearling sale in the world. Taylor Made's aggregate of $63,615,700 at the November sale was also a record, with the 303 horses sold by Taylor Made averaging $209,952.
But the records didn't stop there: 2007 brought even more success for Taylor Made and its clients, both in the Sales Ring and on the racetrack. Our overall averages eclipsed those of every sale we participated in - Keeneland January, Fasig Tipton July, Fasig Tipton Saratoga, Keeneland September and Keeneland November - and we were the #1 consignor at each of those sales. On the racetrack, Taylor Made's 25 graded stakes winning graduates were led by Grade 1 winners Any Given Saturday and Unbridled Belle.
Despite a downturn in the market, 2008 brought numerous successes for Taylor Made Sales Agency. Taylor Made was again the leading consignor at the Keeneland January, Fasig-Tipton July, Keeneland September and Keeneland November Sales. On the racetrack, our Sales graduates consisting of no less than 79 stakes winners, 23 of which were graded included Grade/Group 1 winners Commentator, Good Ba Ba, Intangaroo, Thorn Song and Zaftig. These figures further solidify Taylor Made'position as the perennial leader of consignors worldwide.
Since 1986, the farm has been owned solely by the Taylor Brothers, and has been built into one of the leading sales agencies in the world based upon the brothers' philosophy of quality care for each individual horse and each individual customer. Taylor Made Sales Agency has sold over $1,600,000,000 in horses since its inception over 30 years ago, thanks to its cornerstones of horsemanship, customer service and innovation. We thank you for visiting our Website, and look forward to seeing you at Taylor Made Sales Agency.
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