One of the most exciting contests among the 2013 preps for the Triple Crown was the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Orb (by Malibu Moon) and Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) fought out the finish, with the bay son of Malibu Moon winning from the near-black son of Medaglia d’Oro.
Orb went on to win the G1 Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby; Violence never ran again. Both retired to stud for the 2014 season, and the yearlings of 2016 are from their first crops of foals.
At the Fasig-Tipton July sale, Orb is represented by a pair of yearlings: a filly cataloged as Hip 163 and a colt who is Hip 312. The latter is the first foal of the unraced Speightstown mare Mullins Bay, a full sister to graded stakes winner Bridgetown.
Bridgetown is one of three stakes winners out of the Tabasco Cat producer Ellesmere. She is out of the unraced Alydar mare Empress Aly, a full sister to Kentucky Derby winner Strike the Gold. So this colt has winners of Churchill Downs’s big event top and bottom.
In addition to the recommendations of his racing class, Orb has an outstanding pedigree.
His sire is one of the leading sons of the breed-shaping stallion A.P. Indy, a Horse of the Year and son of Triple Crown winner and leading sire Seattle Slew.
A.P. Indy has transmitted size, body mass, high athleticism, and class to a notable number of his descendants, and they are passing along these desirable traits, as well as speed in the cases of Malibu Moon and Pulpit, as well as the latter’s son Tapit.
Malibu Moon struck gold as a sire with his juvenile champion Declan’s Moon, who proved to astute horsemen that his sire was an important influence on the breed. That recognition moved Malibu Moon to Kentucky, where he stands at Spendthrift Farm, and that move allowed a deeper pool of top mares access to the horse.
Among those was the Unbridled mare Lady Liberty, who descends from one of the best Janney families. Sent to Malibu Moon, Lady Liberty produced Orb.
A good-sized, well-balanced horse who stayed 10 furlongs quite well, Orb could perhaps be faulted for lacking just a touch of brilliance, of raw, wild speed. Judging from the yearlings on offer in July, breeders have come to the horse with mares that boast a supply of these traits.
Hip 312 has a family with high-class speed close up, and the filly, Hip 163, possesses a family of exceptional speed and juvenile development. Her second dam is the Mr. Prospector mare Yarn, the dam of English highweight 2-year-old colt Minardi (Boundary) and the very fast racer and good sire Tale of the Cat (Storm Cat). In addition, their half-sister, Myth (Ogygian), produced international juvenile champion Johannesburg (Hennessy), whose speed and early maturity made him a champion in England, France, Ireland, and the U.S.
With solid physical attributes and high racing class, Orb projects as a young horse who could become a major stallion and may get stock somewhat more precocious than himself.
Results from the two hips at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky’s July sale:
Hip 163 Out
Hip 312 Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners $190,000