09/09/2016 9:00AM

Orb, Shanghai Bobby take competition to Keeneland sales ring

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Barbara D. Livingston
Shanghai Bobby, the 2012 champion juvenile male, stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky. His first foals are yearlings.

Orb and Shanghai Bobby’s stars rose in opposition on the racetrack. Shanghai Bobby was the star of 2012, turning in an unbeaten juvenile campaign that earned him an Eclipse Award. However, he was sidelined with a pelvic stress fracture while finishing fifth in the next spring’s Florida Derby – a race Orb won as a springboard to his triumph in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, which made him one of the household names of that year.

Now at stud in Kentucky, the two are lighting up the board in tandem with their first crops of yearlings and will be among the major players at the Keeneland September yearling sale, which begins Monday, Sept. 12. Orb and Shanghai Bobby’s strong early commercial results lead the way for a solid, sizeable group of first-year yearling sires who were quite accomplished on the racetrack. Orb is one of five classic winners represented for the first time at Keeneland September; Shanghai Bobby is one of three Eclipse Award winners. The bellwether sale will be a true test for all in a very selective market that tends to favor established sires.

Orb was foaled and raised at Claiborne Farm and returned there for stud duty after a racing career in which he won the Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby and finished third in the Belmont Stakes. The son of Malibu Moon recorded the highest price for a first-year stallion at the boutique Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale last month, when a filly out of stakes winner Miss Atlantic City sold for $450,000 to Juddmonte Farms. Overall, he was represented by five sold for an average of $190,000.

:: DRF BREEDING LIVE: Real-time coverage of the Keeneland September yearling sale

Orb has 62 yearlings cataloged at Keeneland September, with his select Book 1 offerings including a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Authenticity, and colts out of graded winners Just Louise and Renee’s Titan.

Shanghai Bobby won 6 of 8 career starts, with four stakes scores in 2012 culminating in his championship-clinching victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The son of Harlan’s Holiday was well received with his first yearlings at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga, as all six of his offerings brought to the ring sold, with none going for less than $180,000. Overall, his half-dozen averaged a solid $235,833, led by a $380,000 filly out of a winning Forestry mare, sold to bloodstock agents Alex Solis and Jason Litt.

Shanghai Bobby stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud. His 52 yearlings at Keeneland September include a colt who is a half-brother to graded stakes winner Intense Holiday and multiple Grade 1-placed Money Multiplier.

Also among the champions and classic winners of this group is Animal Kingdom, one of the most versatile runners of recent years. In addition to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup, the Leroidesanimaux horse placed in multiple Grade 1 stakes on turf, including a runner-up effort to two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, and won a Grade 3 race on Polytrack. These are Animal Kingdom’s first Northern Hemisphere yearlings as the Darley stallion began his career on Southern Hemisphere time in Australia before standing in Kentucky for the first time in 2014. He has 63 yearlings at Keeneland September, and his Book 1 selections include a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Shared Account and a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Drefong.

Oxbow, a son of Awesome Again standing at Calumet Farm, won the Preakness and was second in the Belmont Stakes while competing in the same crop as Orb. Oxbow, who is represented by 20 September yearlings, had five sold at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky selected yearling sale in July, four for six figures, for an average price of $137,000.

Also with his first yearlings this year is Spendthrift Farm’s Awesome Patriot, Oxbow’s full brother. Popular Grade 1 winner Paynter, who stands at WinStar Farm, is from the same family and is one of two well-bred Grade 1-winning first-year sires representing WinStar this season, along with Take Charge Indy. Paynter drew a solid book of mares in his first year. His 48 representatives at Keeneland September include a filly out of Kentucky Oaks winner Summerly, a colt out of Grade 1 winner Awesome Humor, and half-siblings to Grade 1 winners Starship Truffles and Rolling Fog.

Grade 1 winner Violence is from the same crop as Orb, Oxbow, and Shanghai Bobby – and, in fact, defeated Orb in the debut for both. The Medaglia d’Oro horse, who stands at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm, had a wild coming-out party at Fasig-Tipton July, putting two yearlings among the top 10 prices against established sires with prices of $335,000 and $235,000. Six of his eight yearlings offered sold, for an average price of $119,833. Violence has 72 yearlings at Keeneland September.

Other standouts represented for the first time this season are Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day, who adds to Hill ‘n’ Dale’s hand, and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, who began his stud career for Adena Springs in Kentucky before shifting to Florida. Adena Springs also stands multiple Grade 1 winner Point of Entry at its Kentucky base.

Declaration of War, whose first crop was European-conceived before he moved to Ashford Stud, will be among the international stallions represented at the Keeneland September yearling sale, which tends to draw buyers from a number of markets over its two weeks. Other major European stallions with their first yearlings coming to the United States in September include multiple classic winner Camelot and French Derby winner Intello.

Other Grade 1 winners with first-crop yearlings at Keeneland September include Data Link, Emcee, Flat Out, Graydar, I Want Revenge, Jimmy Creed, Justin Phillip, Liaison, Morning Line, Overanalyze, Power Broker, Swagger Jack, The Lumber Guy, and Treasure Beach.