Windfields Farm, the historic Canadian nursery that announced in August it would disperse its remaining horses at this year’s Keeneland November breeding stock sale, has several promising prospects that are sure to stir up some excitement during the auction Nov. 10-11 in Lexington.
Founded in the Canadian province of Ontario by the late E.P. Taylor in 1936, Windfields has produced nearly 50 champions and more than 360 stakes winners. Included in that group was Northern Dancer, the 1964 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner whose success as a sire has had an indelible effect on international breeding over the past four decades.
Taylor became the first Canadian member of The Jockey Club in 1953 and was honored with Eclipse Awards as outstanding breeder in 1977 and 1983. His son, Charles P.B. Taylor, took over operations in 1980 and continued until his death in 1997. Judith Taylor Mappin, Taylor’s daughter, is serving as farm president until the operation’s closure following the sale.
"It's bittersweet to disperse at any time of course, but this is the decision that was made and we have to try and make the most of it in a very tough market," said Simon Cassidy, Windfield's director of operations. "Hopefully the few higher end lots will make up for the mid and lower end, which as we've seen in the past year will most likely sell for significantly less than they would have two years ago."
Of the farm's nine mares and four weanlings that are cataloged, two of the biggest sale standouts are the Hennessy mare Sweet and Careless (Hip No. 318), and her weanling colt by Elusive Quality (Hip No. 319). Sweet and Careless is a half-sister to dual grade I- winning millionaire Subordination (by Mt. Livermore) and another stakes winner, Domination (by Prized).
Sweet and Careless, who is carrying a foal by Tapit , is also the dam of the 3-year-old speedy filly Careless Jewel (also by Tapit), who was the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) Nov. 6.
Another attractive offering is the Dynaformer mare Barney's Mistress (Hip No. 1108). A $200,000-plus earner during her racing career, Barney’s Mistress is a daughter of the stakes-winning Hail Emperor mare Chief Mistress. Barney’s Mistress’ first foal, a Silver Deputy gelding named Deputiformer, captured the 2007 Cup and Saucer Stakes on turf at Woodbine and has earned more than $400,000. Barney’s Mistress is currently in foal to Dixie Union, who has sired 11 stakes winners this year, seven of which were graded, including grade I victor Hot Dixie Chick.
Later in the sale, the Cox's Ridge mare Zuri Ridge (Hip No. 4235) is sure to garner some attention, as her 4-year-old Silver Deputy colt Pool Play captured the Oct. 4 Durham Cup Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine. Another added aspect of interest is the fact Zuri Ridge is a half-sister to the Kingmambo mare Voodoo Dancer, a grade I-winning millionaire and a multiple stakes producer. As if that wasn’t enough quality, Zuri Ridge is in foal to successful young sire City Zip, who has had six stakes winners this year, including grade III victor Get Serious.
"It's very hard to predict (what these horses will bring) at this point and I'm not going to try," Cassidy said. "Needless to say, our expectations will have to be realistic. Despite our emotional connection to the farm and these last few Windfields horses, it's a buyers' market out there. People who are in the position to buy should be flocking to the fall sales this year."