05/14/2015 4:04PM

Orientate leads changing of the guard in Maryland


When the 2015 breeding season began, Northview Stallion Station of Chesapeake City, Md., looked ideally positioned for a continued reign in the region, with perennial leading Maryland sire Not For Love on the active roster. However, the 25-year-old Mr. Prospector horse, a cornerstone of the state’s breeding program for nearly two decades, was pensioned in March, about a month into the season, due to a reproductive hematoma.

But waiting in the wings for Northview was Orientate, who now assumes the mantle as Maryland’s leading active sire, even before his first state-sired foals reach the races. The 17-year-old Mt. Livermore horse arrived at Northview for the 2013 breeding season after launching his career at Gainesway in Lexington, Ky.

Orientate, whose progeny bankrolled $2,375,680 in 2014, helps Northview maintain its dominance on the Maryland stallion rankings. He edges out two of his fellow Northview sires atop the active stallions list, as Lion Hearted finished 2014 with $1,752,966 in progeny earnings, and Dance With Ravens recorded $1,704,384.

Orientate rose to national prominence in 2002 by winning six stakes races for owners Robert and Beverly Lewis and trainer D. Wayne Lukas, with a summer campaign highlighted by the Grade 1 Forego Handicap at Saratoga. That fall, he capped his campaign with a win in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Arlington Park, earning him the Eclipse Award as champion sprinter. He won 10 of 19 career starts for earnings of more than $1.7 million.

Orientate, who entered stud in 2003, has sired 469 winners, including 43 stakes winners, through May 10 for progeny earnings of $41,020,959. His eight graded stakes winners are led by Lady Joanne, whose career was highlighted by a win in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes in 2007. She also won the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes and Grade 3 Dogwood Stakes and was twice Grade 1-placed, bankrolling $987,094.

Orientate also is the sire of Intangaroo, who scored a trio of Grade 1 victories in 2008, taking the Santa Monica Handicap, Humana Distaff, and Ballerina Stakes. Declassify won the Grade 1 Triple Bend Stakes last year to help him become his sire’s top earner for 2014. Orientate’s other standouts as a sire include the Grade 2 winners Greenspring, Great Hot, and Kara’s Orientation and the Grade 3 winner Successful Outlook.

The influence of Not For Love, who debuted at stud in 1996, will continue to be felt, as the stallion still is represented by active runners. He is the sire of 607 winners, including 81 stakes winners, through May 10. His progeny have earned $68,994,667, making him Maryland’s career leader by lifetime progeny earnings. He also is the state’s leading sire by career juvenile earnings.

Not For Love finished atop Maryland’s general sire list by earnings 10 straight years from 2003 to 2012. The multiple leading turf sire also is the leading sire by winners at the state’s Maryland Millions program with 32 victories, including the featured Maryland Million Classic six times.

Three of those Classic victories belong to the millionaire Eighttofasttocatch, a 12-time stakes winner. The stallion’s 13 graded winners include the Grade 2 winners Duckhorn and Love of Money.

Not For Love made national headlines last year as the broodmare sire of Horse of the Year and dual classic winner California Chrome, who is the first foal out of Love the Chase. The sire’s other notable representatives as a broodmare sire in recent years include the Grade 1 winner Starship Truffles and the multiple graded stakes-placed Eskenformoney, recently a runner in the Kentucky Oaks.