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DRF Breeding: Lure, Housebuster, and Invasor sire analysis
By Nicole Russo
Although two of the three newly inducted horses into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame who went on to stud careers failed to make a major commercial impact, both Housebuster and Lure—whose own breeding career was truncated by fertility issues—have produced Grade/Group 1 winners and successful sons at stud. Fellow inductee Invasor's second career as a stallion is still in its nascent stages.
Lure, who raced for breeder Claiborne Farm, captured the Breeders' Cup Mile in both 1992 and 1993 and added another Grade 1 score in the 1994 Caesars International Handicap. Also a Grade 2 winner on dirt, he retired with earnings of $2,515,289.
A son of prominent sire Danzig, Lure entered stud at Claiborne in Paris, Ky., in 1995, but fertility problems led the farm to cash in an insurance claim on the stallion. He was purchased from the insurance company by the Coolmore group to stand at its Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky. He was pensioned and returned to Claiborne at the age of 14 in 2003.
From nine limited crops, Lure produced 72 winners, including seven stakes winners, from 106 starters for total earnings of $4,705,969. As might be expected from a prominent turf runner, Lure's progeny found success internationally, winning stakes races in England, France, and Australia.
Among Lure's most successful offspring is Orpen, who developed into a successful international sire. In a brief but accomplished career, Orpen won the Group 1 Prix Morny in France and also finished third in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas.
Now standing in France, Orpen has sired champions in four countries. He was Argentina's leading general sire in 2011, when his multiple Group 1 winner Lingote de Oro was named that country's Horse of the Year. He followed up with two Argentinean champions in 2012, siring champion grass mare La Laguna Azul and champion female sprinter Dona Ley.
Orpen led the sire list in Slovakia in 2008, as his son Teddy Ready won the Slovakian Derby and was later named Horse of the Year.
Orpen is also the sire of Invincible Son, a champion in Turkey; Saudi Arabian champion Speyside; Rocks Off, a champion in South Africa; and War Artist, a million-dollar earner who won the Group 1 Mercury Sprint in South Africa and group stakes in France, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates. Overall, Orpen is the sire of 850 winners from 1,297 starters for total progeny earnings of $41,221,791. His 77 stakes winners include 49 graded or group winners.
Lure also sired England's Legend, a stakes winner in France who shipped to the U.S. to capture the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes in 2001 and also won two other graded stakes in the U.S.
Housebuster earned the Eclipse Award as champion sprinter in 1990 and 1991. The Mt. Livermore horse, who captured three Grade 1 events, earned over $1.2 million.
Housebuster, who died in 2005 at age 18, produced 454 winners from 605 starters for earnings of $46,524,144 from 14 crops. His 39 stakes winners include 15 graded or group winners.
Emulating their sire's speed, Housebuster's best offspring excelled in sprint or mile events. The stallion's chief earner is Electronic Unicorn, who earned $3,784,844 over seven seasons of racing. The three-time Group 1 winner was Hong Kong's Horse of the Year in 2002, and was the nation's champion miler in both 2002 and 2003.
Housebuster's most accomplished son to stand in the U.S. was the late millionaire Morluc, whose racing career took him to England, Hong Kong, the U.S., and the United Arab Emirates. Group 2 placed in Hong Kong, the multiple course record setter became a Grade 3 winner in the U.S.
Morluc initially stood at Buck Pond Farm in Versailles, Ky., before moving to Trophy Club Training Center in Arkansas in 2010. He finished fourth in the state's general sire standings in 2009, and also finished in the top 10 in 2010 and 2011. Through April 25, he had sired 22 winners from just 45 starters; his best runner and only stakes winner is Illinois-based Princeville Condo.
Morluc's final crop races this season.
Housebuster's gelding Bahamian Pirate made 104 starts over ten seasons. The standout sprinter captured the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes and also finished second in the Group 1 July Cup in England; finished second in the Group 1 Prix De l'Abbaye de Longchamp Majestic Barriere in France; and won the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes in Ireland.
Housebuster also sired Midnight Bet, a Group 2 winner in both Hong Kong and Japan, who earned $2,992,105.
Invasor, this year's youngest inductee, was a Grade or Group 1 winner on three continents and a champion on two. He was named Uruguay's Horse of the Year in 2005 after sweeping that country's Triple Crown, and then followed up with Horse of the Year honors in the U.S. in 2006 after winning four Grade 1 events, capped by the Breeders' Cup Classic. After winning the Grade 1 Donn Handicap and Dubai World Cup in 2007, he retired with 11 wins from 12 career starts and earnings of $7,804,070.
The 9-year-old Candy Stripes horse entered stud in 2008 at Shadwell Farm in Lexington, Ky., where his fee for 2013 is $4,000.
From his first two crops of racing age, Invasor has been represented by 27 winners from 61 starters, including five stakes-placed runners. His progeny earnings through April 25 total $1,446,196.
His five stakes-placed winners include Saint Arthur, Ausus, and Midnight Vader, all of whom are multiple stakes-placed; and Five Sixteen, who started in the Belmont Stakes and went on to run second in the Curlin Stakes.