THAT you do not have to be an outstanding racehorse to be a top sire has been demonstrated again by the very successful career to date in America of the Spendthrift Farm, Kentucky located A.P. Indy sire Malibu Moon, the source this month of the Kentucky Derby winner Orb.
A product of a Group1 winner by Mr. Prospector, Malibu Moon only raced twice, appearances at two resulting in a win in a maiden over five furlongs at Hollywood Park and a second placing.This has not stopped him being considered one of the best among the imposing list of successful A.P. Indy sires.
On a fee of $70,000 this year, this16-year-old has to date supplied over 500 winners (140 2yos,70 stakes winners) of 1600 races and $54million. However, until Orb won the Kentucky Derby, all his earlier eight Group1 winners had been fillies.
Two of these were successful in the Ruffian Invitational, a race named after the ill-fated Ruffian, one of America’s great race fillies of last century. A relation of Orb, this massive 17.0 hands daughter of the Bold Ruler sire Reviewer and the Native Dancer mare Shenanigans won her first ten starts in effortless fashion and then, the next time out, in a match race against that year’s Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure, she smashed sesamoid bones in her right leg and later had to be put down.
Named champion at two and three, a winner by margins of up to 15 lengths and average of 8 1/3rd lengths, she set new stakes time records in each of her first eight races and equalled two track records.
Her dam Shenanigans, an American Broodmare of the Year, had all her six foals win, three of them successful in major races, and two of them, Buckfinder and Icecapade, sire of Group1 winners.
Another of her foals, Ruffian’s three-quarter sister Laughter (by Bold Ruler) was a handy race filly and then a high class broodmare, producing five stakes winners, including Steel Maiden (by Damascus), the third dam of Orb. Steel Maiden’s unraced sister Laughing Look produced three stakes winners, including $2million earner and good sire Coronado’s Quest (by the Mr. Prospector sire Forty Niner).
This year’s Kentucky Derby winner Orb is from Lady Liberty, a good non stakes winner by Unbridled (by Fappiano), a Kentucky Derby and Breeder’s Cup Classic winner.
Orb was the second leg of America’s principle Classic double for the A.P. Indy sires as 24 hours earlier Princess of Sylmar, a representative of the first crop of his son Majestic Warrior, rose up above two Listed wins and Group 2 second in six earlier starts to succeed in the Kentucky Oaks over nine furlongs.
A resident at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky, the sire Majestic Warrior ran seven times for two wins at two at Saratoga, including the Group1 Hopeful Stakes. Out of a two-times Group1 winner In Dream Surprise, a daughter of the Mr. Prospector sire Seeking the Gold, he got off to an impressive start with his 2-year-olds last year, leading the juvenile statistics numerically with 30 winners (69 runners) and on earnings finishing fourth top first season sire.
Majestic Warrior is currently America’s leading two crop sire with contributors including four stakes winners headed by Oaks heroine Princess of Sylmar. Inbred 4×4 to Mr. Prospector and 4×3 to the Influential Northern Dancer sire Dixieland Band and from mare by the Storm Cat sire Catienus, she is the first Group1 winner in the family in six generations.
A son of the Bold Ruler male line champion racehorse and sire Seattle Slew and the Secretariat mare Weekend Surprise and himself a Horse of the Year and outstanding sire, A.P. Indy, the paternal grandsire of this year’s winners of the Derby and Oaks winners, and also the sire of the dam of
Kentucky Derby third Revolutionary (by Widden Stud’s briefly shuttled War Pass), has an illiustrious honour board. He has had 142 stakes winners, including 29 successful at Group1 level, but none of them have claimed the Kentucky Derby.
Possibly because of a lot usage, A.P. Indy has had a lot of success with mares representing the Mr. Prospector male line.Three, in addition to Malibu Moon and Majestic Moon, produced on this cross are Pulpit (dam by Mr. Prospector; eleven Group1 winners) and Hunter Valley shuttlers Bernardini (dam by Mr. Prospector grandson Quiet American; five American Group1 winners) and Congrats (Mr. Prospector; America’s Leading First Crop Sire 2010, two Group1 winners 2012).
Bernardini, a visitor to Darley (from 2008), was assessed World Co-Champion 3YO and American Champion 3YO in 2006, while Congrats, a Vinery Stud sire from 2011, was a tough performer whose efforts included a Group 2 win by 5.5 lengths and two Group1 places.
Story by Brian Russell