The following post first appeared at Paulick Report.
The first time I saw Malibu Moon was at the Pons family’s Country Life Farm in Maryland in the fall of 1999, just before the colt entered stud the following year.
There was not much to know about the young horse, a winner and second in his only two starts as a juvenile, but he clearly had a first-rate pedigree. And in person, Malibu Moon (by A. P. Indy) was even more impressive. Tall, scopey, strong, and blessed with considerable bone, Malibu Moon was a fine specimen, and it was easy to see the attractions that brought him to stud, even with a minimal race record.
More than a decade later, Malibu Moon is a household name for those of us with an interest in racing and breeding, and the stallion stood at Spendthrift Farm in 2013 for a fee of $70,000 live foal for owner-breeder Wayne Hughes.
If one wanted to criticize the stallion, the hole in his sire record was the absence of a classic-winning colt. And then Orb filled the blank with a flourish in the Kentucky Derby. The bay colt will next carry the Janney family’s red and white silks in this Saturday’s Preakness as he attempts to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown for Janney and the Phipps Stable.
Should Orb succeed at Pimlico, he will attempt to complete the elusive triple, and there he will meet another son of Malibu Moon, Freedom Child. The latter won the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday by 13 1/4 lengths in the time of 1:49.09 on a sloppy racetrack, and he will be one entry given due consideration in three and a half weeks when the final classic is run.
Bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm, Freedom Child went to the Saratoga select yearling sale in New York conducted by Fasig-Tipton two years ago and brought a final bid of $350,000 from St Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds, with Spendthrift retaining a percentage of the colt.
Spendthrift Farm’s general manager Ned Toffey said, “We own a third of the horse. He was a really big, obvious-looking sort of yearling. He is correct, had a big, easy walk. We thought he would do well as a sales yearling and then were able to stay in for a piece. To their credit, West Point gave him plenty of time because he was a big, growthy colt. He was probably at the training center a little later and finished later than some horses.”
Good size and growthiness is not uncommon among the A. P. Indy-line stock, and Freedom Child got some of that from the other side of his pedigree too.
The dam of the Peter Pan winner is the 10-year-old Deputy Minister mare Bandstand. A winner in one of her 10 starts on the racetrack, Bandstand sold to Spendthrift for $520,000 (pre-depression bucks) at the 2007 Keeneland November sale. The mare was carrying her first foal to a cover by the Unbridled stallion Eddington, and Freedom Child is the mare’s third foal, third winner, and first stakes winner.
Toffey said, “We bought her based primarily on her pedigree and her looks. She is good-looking and is a good-sized mare with length. We’ve been pleased with the foals she’s produced, and Freedom Child has combined those looks with graded stakes success.
“We bought her carrying Eddie’s Band (Eddington). He looked to have a world of ability, and we saw the horse work bullet after bullet, but that hasn’t translated into much success,” with a single win from 16 starts to date.
Freedom Child was a May 18 foal, and Bandstand did not have a foal the following year. Toffey said, “You wouldn’t normally take a May foal to Saratoga, but that tells you what sort of individual he was. The yearling full sister is really nice, but we haven’t decided what to do with her yet.” The mare has a yearling bay filly by Malibu Moon and is carrying her 2013 foal on a cover to Tizway (Tiznow). “She would be bred to Malibu Moon, although we might just end up waiting till next year because she is a mare who tends to go long on her pregnancies,” Toffey said.
Bandstand is out of Grade 1 winner City Band, one of the very best racing daughters of the important stallion Carson City (Mr. Prospector). Showing her best form at two, City Band won the G1 Oak Leaf Stakes and G3 Golden Rod, and then finished second in the G1 Hollywood Starlet in 1996. As a broodmare for Overbrook Farm, City Band produced stakes winners Weather Warning (Storm Cat) and Foolishly (Broad Brush) and is the second dam of G3 winner American Lion (Tiznow), who is at stud in Kentucky at Darby Dan Farm.