November Sale Mares Leave Indelible Mark on Thoroughbred Breed

November Sale Mares Leave Indelible Mark on Thoroughbred Breed

In the eight decades since the inception of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, countless mares have made their way through the Lexington sales ring. Generations of mares of all calibers, race-records and pedigrees have exchanged hands for prices ranging from seven figures to four. 

With this history, it’s little wonder that so many breed-shaping mares are counted as Keeneland Sales graduates. In the past 20 years alone, eight mares sold at Keeneland November have earned the title of Broodmare of the Year. 

With more than 3,500 horses entered in the 2023 catalog, odds are high that the next mare to change the breed’s future can be found—like so many of her predecessors—in the Keeneland sales pavilion.   

Leslie’s Lady Defines Decades of Thoroughbred Runners

Leslie’s Lady made her third, and most consequential trip, through the Keeneland sales ring in 2006. At the time, the Tricky Creek mare was already 10 and offered in foal to Orientate. 

Purchased by Fred and Nancy Mitchell of Clarkland Farm for $100,000, her progeny include:

Beholder (2010), a four-time champion mare by Henny Hughes. Inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2022.

Mendelssohn (2015), a Grade 1 winner and stallion by Scat Daddy. Earned more than $2 million in purses. 




And of course, ‘Leslie’ is the dam of super stallion Into Mischief who stands at Spendthrift Farm. His breeding record has made him one of the most coveted stallions in the world: 

Four-time reigning Champion General Sire

Sire of 18 Grade 1 winners, four champions of six Eclipse Awards, and seven Breeders’ Cup winners (all on dirt) 

Broodmare sire of 11 black-type winners


At auction, foals out of Leslie’s Lady have generated more than $15 million in sales. She was named Broodmare of the Year in 2016 and remained at Clarkland Farm until her death in 2022.

I liked her because she had a gorgeous eye, a tremendous shoulder, girth, and enough of a hindquarter on her. When she stood out in a field up on a hill, and the sun was on her, that was what you would picture a Thoroughbred mare to look like.
Fred Mitchell, BloodHorse

Take Charge Lady Translates her Talent from Racetrack to Breeding Shed

A daughter of champion 2-year-old colt Dehere, Take Charge Lady looked poised to be an influential producer when she entered the sales ring at Keeneland November in 2004. A winner of 11 of 22 starts and more than $2.4 million in purses, she was purchased by Eaton Sales, agent, for $4.2 million in foal to Seeking the Gold. 

That Seeking the Gold filly, name Charming, sold at the 2006 Keeneland September Sale for $3.2 million. She is the dam of Grade 1 winner and stallion Omaha Beach as well as Champion Take Charge Brandi, who has been sold twice through the Keeneland November sales ring commanding $6 million in 2015.




Among Take Charge Lady’s other foals are:

Take Charge Indy (2009), a Grade 1-winning son of A.P. Indy and stallion who has sired three champions.

Will Take Charge (2013), a multiple Grade 1 winner by Unbridled’s Song who was named Champion 3-year-old Colt of 2013. 

Grade 1 winner As Time Goes By (2017) by American Pharoah. 


Take Charge Lady was named Broodmare of the Year in 2013.

The one thing I remember about Take Charge Lady was her beauty. She was the most stunning looking mare and she passed that on to all of her foals. I don't think she had a bad one.
Reiley McDonald of Eaton Sales, BloodHorse

Drumette Delivers Filly for the Ages in Monomoy Girl

In 2014, a 6-year-old Henny Hughes mare named Drumette was put through the Keeneland November Sale ring in foal to Tapizar. Purchased by Highfield Ranch for $75,000, the filly she foaled that spring was named Monomoy Girl. She who was later purchased as a yearling for $100,000 by BSW Bloodstock/ Liz Crow, agent. 


Monomoy Girl’s legacy remains one of the most impressive in the history of the sport. A two-time Champion and seven-time Grade 1 winner, her victories include the 2018 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and two runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in 2018 and 2020. From 17 lifetime starts, Monomoy Girl never finished worse than second. 

Monomoy Girl



Drumette was named Broodmare of the Year in 2020.

Other Broodmare of the Year winners to be sold at Keeneland November during the past two decades include Turko’s Turn (2001), Better Than Honour (2007), Oatsee (2011), Lemons Forever (2017) and Indian Miss (2021). 

Breed-Shapers Without Broodmare of the Year Honors

While the title of Broodmare of the Year is an incredible indicator of a mare’s current and future ability to alter the breed, there are plenty of mares who have walked through the Keeneland sales ring that have never been bestowed the title. Despite this fact, their contribution to the Thoroughbred gene pool has been no less significant. 

One of these mares is Mariah’s Storm. The Rahy mare was sold through the November Sale in 1996 by the Taylor Made Sales Agency where she was purchased by John Magnier in foal to Storm Cat for $2.6 million.

The foal she had carried in utero during the sale was eventually name Giant’s Causeway. A European Horse of the Year, Giant’s Causeway earned the moniker "The Iron Horse." Considered the best runner sired by Storm Cat, he was also his sire's best stallion son and was named leading sire in 2009, 2010, and 2012 and as leading broodmare sire in 2018.


Other foals out of Mariah’s Storm include: 

Freud, also by Storm Cat, a perennial leading sire in New York since he entered stud. 

Group 2 winner and mare You’resothrilling, dam of European classic winners Marvellous and Gleneagles as well as and Cartier Award champion Happily.

We knew she would sell well, but we had no idea she would bring what she did. I remember after the sale it was a jubilant time—beyond anything we could have expected. We have Not This Time standing here now at Taylor Made so it’s come full circle for us.

Another mare to remember is the Virginia-bred Unbridled mare Tap Your Heels, who was sold in foal to Pulpit in 2000 where she was purchased by Oldenburg Farm from Ashview Farm for $750,000. The foal she later produced was named Tapit, who is the No. 1 active sire by lifetime Grade 1 winner and graded stakes winners, and who remains the all-time leading sire by earnings. 

The Keeneland November sale really is the building blocks for everybody in this industry. … It’s what everybody looks forward to. There would be no Keeneland September if there wasn’t a Keeneland November.
Jacob West