Over the weekend of April 9 and 10, leading second-crop sire Gun Runner (by Candy Ride) picked up his fourth Grade 1 winner and 11th stakes winner when Taiba remained unbeaten in two starts with a victory in the Santa Anita Derby.
“Come on, Frank, don’t we have anything else to write about?”
“Not really, Ray. Gun Runner is setting the pace among young sires and is going to lead all sires if one of his 3-year-olds picks off a classic or two. What more do you want, maybe have the horse run for the Senate?”
“That’s a long-term consideration, but how about something newer, fresher than your weekly homage to the great god ‘Gun’?”
Well, the last two Grade 1 winners by Gun Runner are out of mares that have extensive racing careers. The dam of Arkansas Derby winner Cyberknife won a half-dozen stakes; the dam of Taiba won 14 stakes, mostly in Ohio-bred company, but earned $732,103 from 17 victories in 39 starts over four seasons of campaigning from ages two through five.
The mare’s name is Needmore Flattery (Flatter), and she was bred in Ohio by Bruce Ryan and Blazing Meadows Farm, which is the racing and breeding entity of trainer Tim Hamm.
Hamm said that Needmore Flattery “was a really talented filly. Bruce and I had worked together for 15 years, maybe more, and right at the end of the mare’s racing career, he wanted to buy me out. So I sold her in a private transaction.”
Ryan raced the mare for two more starts, then bred her first and second foals: an unraced Uncle Mo colt and Taiba. In 2019, Ryan sold Needmore Flattery at the 2019 Keeneland November sale to Leopoldo Fernández Pujals’s Yeguada Centurion for $195,000. Exported to France, Needmore Flattery produced a filly by Uncle Mo there in 2020.
Needmore Flattery is one of three stakes winners from Kiosk (Left Banker), whom Ryan acquired as a yearling individually before adding Hamm as a partner and trainer. For the pair, Kiosk won four races, was stakes-placed five times, and earned $115,649 from 31 starts.
That’s a useful regional racehorse, but as a producer, Kiosk was even better. Although Needmore Flattery was the broodmare’s best performer, she also produced a full sister, Flatter Her Again, winner of the Southern Park Stakes at Mahoning Valley, and a half-brother, Kiosk’s Cause (Noble Causeway), who won the Hoover Stakes at Belterra.
Each generation of this family produced a stakes winner until Kiosk exceeded expectations with three and a fourth foal who was stakes-placed. Of these, Needmore Flattery showed the most versatility and consistency, and with her son Taiba, there has come a sparkling improvement in speed and class.
A $140,000 sale at the Fasig-Tipton fall auction in October 2020, Taiba came from the Buckland Sales consignment and sold to Hartley/de Renzo Thoroughbreds. Hartley/de Renzo put the colt in training and brought him to the Fasig-Tipton March sale in south Florida in March 2021. Breezing a furlong in :10 1/5, Taiba looked good throughout the work, then again when showing back at the barn, and the solidly constructed chestnut brought $1.7 million, the second-highest price of the auction.
Gary Young, agent for Zedan Racing Stables, selected the colt and signed the ticket, and the chestnut colt went into training with the Bob Baffert operation in California. Taiba debuted on Mar. 5 as an odds-on favorite at Santa Anita and won by 7 1/2 lengths in 1:09.97 for the six furlongs.
Shifted to the barn of trainer Tim Yakteen when Baffert began serving a suspension, the Santa Anita Derby was the colt’s second start.
Taiba is the 21st stakes winner for Flatter (A.P. Indy) as a broodmare sire.
A.P. Indy is broodmare sire of Nest (G1 Ashland), and his son Bernardini is broodmare sire of Speaker’s Corner (G1 Carter). A.P. Indy’s son Flatter made the weekend a trifecta for the A.P. Indy line as broodmare sires of G1 winners. In addition over the weekend, A.P. Indy’s son Pulpit is the broodmare sire of Mo Donegal (G2 Wood Memorial), and the latter’s son Tapit is broodmare sire of Nostalgic (G3 Gazelle Stakes). Bernardini was broodmare sire of a second graded winner (Matareya, G3 Beaumont). Those are just the graded winners with A.P. Indy-line broodmare sires.
As sires, Tapit’s son Cupid had G2 Santa Anita Oaks winner Desert Dawn, and Tapit’s son Constitution sired G3 Distaff Handicap winner Glass Ceiling. There were multiple stakes placings for the members of this line as sires or broodmare sires.