06/12/2017 3:30PM

Earth wins debut, gives sire Orb first victory

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Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Earth wins his debut at Gulfstream, giving Orb his first victory as a sire.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb got his first winner Sunday, as Earth won his debut on the Gulfstream Park turf.

Earth wore down Pocket Book to win by a neck, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 75 for the five-furlong race. That is tied for the third-highest figure of the year among 2-year-olds, behind He Hate Me’s 79 in winning the Tremont Stakes at Belmont Park and the 77 earned by Gold Label in a Lone Star Park maiden race.

Earth, bred by Calumet Farm, is out of the unraced Mullins Bay, a full sister to multiple Grade 3-winning turf sprinter Bridgetown. He was a $190,000 purchase by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners out of last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale.

“I’ve been a big fan of Orb since he was a 2-year-old. Now, I get to ride some of his babies,” said Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard Earth for Todd Pletcher. “The horse was very professional. Todd and his team do such a great job. He was ready to run today. I just had to get him around there.”

Orb’s first crop has been well received commercially, led by a $1.25 million colt at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March sale of 2-year-olds in training. That transaction made the son of Malibu Moon the first freshman sire to put a seven-figure juvenile through the ring at a North American auction since 2012. At last month’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale, Orb was represented by a $710,000 colt sold to Dennis O’Neill.

“He’s kind of my Uncle Mo from a couple years ago,” O’Neill said. “I haven’t seen too many bad Orbs. He’s the one this year. They look great – they’re really athletic, they’re strong, they’ve got great minds.”

Orb has seven juveniles cataloged at this week’s OBS June sale, which wraps up the North American auction season for 2-year-olds in training. His group includes a colt out of Renee’s Titan, who sold for $1.1 million carrying this colt at the 2014 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Meanwhile, Orb’s own family gave signs that it will continue to produce on Friday, as his 3-year-old full brother Emancipation rallied for a debut win at Belmont. The colt, trained by Shug McGaughey for the Phipps and Janney families, was 10th in the field of 11, with 11 1/2 lengths to make up, with three furlongs remaining in the seven-furlong maiden race. He kicked on late and reeled in the high-priced Marshall Plan to win by three-quarters of a length.

The connections who campaigned Orb to three graded stakes wins in 2013 will have other foals to look forward to out of Lady Liberty, a winning Unbridled mare whom the family boards at longtime associate Claiborne Farm. Following Emancipation, she delivered another full brother now named Personal Time. The 2-year-old has been working steadily at Fair Hill for McGaughey since transferring from the Ocala farm of trainer Niall Brennan, who also broke Orb.

After delivering Personal Time in May 2015, Lady Liberty was given a year off from breeding. In February, she had a colt from the first crop of champion Honor Code, who, like Malibu Moon, is a son of A.P. Indy.