(Originally published in the November 12, 2011 issue of The
Blood-Horse magazine. Feel free to share your own thoughts and
the bottom of the column.)
Breeders’ Cup World Championships weekend was a phenomenal milestone in the life of BryLynn Farm, a small, family-run Central Florida breeding operation started 26 years ago.
Three horses bred by BryLynn started in the Breeders’ Cup races held Nov. 4-5 at Churchill Downs. Having one Breeders’ Cup starter is a feat for any breeder, but BryLynn managed three in one year out of a broodmare band of 12 mares.
“It is really, really exciting,” said Toni Jones a few days prior to the Breeders’ Cup. She is the daughter of Joe and Phyllis Bryant, who bought the land for the farm in 1983 and turned it into a working Thoroughbred nursery by 1985. “I am thrilled because of the amount of money they have put into the farm and all the effort. To see them finally get to see this is amazing. The Breeders’ Cup is for breeders.”
BryLynn was represented in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I), the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT), and the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT).
Aikenite, a grade II-winning son of Yes It’s True out of Silverlado (by Saint Ballado), started in the Sprint. The 4-year-old colt is owned by Dogwood Stable and is trained by Todd Pletcher. Going into the Breeders’ Cup, he had five wins from 22 starts and career earnings of $766,635.
Millionaire Teaks North ran in the Turf. The 4-year-old gelded son of Northern Afleet—Teaksberry Road (by High Honors) has three wins out of eight starts this year including the United Nations Stakes (gr. IT). Teaks North is owned by Resolute Group Stables and trained by Justin Sallusto.
And finally, Jeranimo started in the Mile for owner B.J. Wright and trainer Mike Pender. The bay 5-year-old son of Congaree—Jera (by Jeblar) has been in the money four times out of eight starts this year and has career earnings of $660,400.
Of the three, Aikenite put in the best performance of the day, finishing fourth behind winner Amazombie, Force Freeze, and Jackson Bend. Jeranimo finished seventh and Teaks North finished eighth.
Teaksberry Road, who died in 2009, was a phenomenal mare for BryLynn, who had purchased her privately in 2000. She produced eight winners out of nine foals of racing age. Teaks North is her last foal and her second graded stakes winner.
BryLynn Farm bred Silverlado and kept her as a broodmare when she failed to bring her reserve at the 2002 Keeneland September yearling sale. She later sold as a broodmare in the 2007 Keeneland November breeding stock sale in foal to Bandini. She had already delivered Aikenite earlier in the year. Unfortunately, a year after she was sold, Silverlado colicked and died.
Jeranimo is the first stakes winner out of Jera, who has had two other stakes-placed runners. Jeranimo sold as a yearling for $50,000 out of the 2007 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s August sale, then sold at Barretts’ May 2-year-olds in training sale for $70,000 to agent Rick Taylor of Special T Thoroughbreds.
Jera will be offered in the Keeneland November breeding stock sale in foal to Eskendereya. Like many other farms during these challenging economic times, BryLynn is having to reduce its broodmare band.
“We thought Jeranimo was doing so well, this might be the right time to sell,” said Jones.
BryLynn has worked closely with Taylor Made Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., throughout most of its years in operation. The family-owned full service farm has helped the Bryants find good broodmare prospects and then later helped them sell their foals, usually as yearlings.
Until the Thoroughbred industry rebounds further, BryLynn is going to focus more on pinhooking and less on breeding, according to Frank Taylor of Taylor Made Farm.
“On the mares, we looked for some race record and production record, but we never compromised on conformation,” Taylor said. “As of right now, however, we want to simplify the operation. We are going to focus on pinhooking weanlings and in time we’ll build the broodmare band back up. They are great people and good assets to the game.”