05/18/2013 6:30AM

Preakness Stakes contenders: Pedigree profiles

NYRA/Coglianese Photos
Homebred Kentucky Derby winner Orb tops the field of nine for the Preakness Stakes.

A field of nine, headed by Kentucky Derby winner Orb, will contest the Preakness Stakes, second leg of the Triple Crown, Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.

Below is a closer look at the individual pedigrees and backgrounds of this year's entrants, in post position order.

Orb, b. c., Malibu Moon - Lady Liberty, by Unbridled
Breeder: Stuart S. Janney III (Ky.)

Kentucky Derby winner Orb delivered the signature victory long missing from the résumés of the extended Phipps and Janney families and their longtime trainer, Hall of Fame member Shug McGaughey. The Malibu Moon colt, who will look to take the next step toward the elusive Triple Crown in the Preakness Stakes, is campaigned in partnership by Stuart S. Janney III and his cousin Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps, both of whom followed their parents into the sport.

Orb's pedigree represents the long working relationship between the Phipps and Janney families and the Hancocks of Claiborne Farm, where he was raised. The colt's first four dams are all mares bred by the Janney families and sired by Claiborne stallions. The family tree began with sixth dam Bold Irish, a mare acquired from A.B. "Bull" Hancock, Jr.

Orb is one of two winners from three foals to race out of the winning Unbridled mare Lady Liberty, who in turn was produced by the Grade 2-winning Cox's Ridge mare Mesabi Maiden. Third dam Steel Maiden was a half-sister to four stakes winners, including Grade 1 winner and sire Private Terms. Fourth dam Laughter was a half-sister to the brilliant but ill-fated filly Ruffian; as well as to Icecapade, who sired Wild Again, winner of the inaugural Breeders' Cup Classic.

Dinny Phipps suggested selling Lady Liberty after her broodmare career got off to a slow start. However, Janney, with the advisement of Seth Hancock, convinced his cousin that they ought to keep the mare—giving the family its first Kentucky Derby winner.

Goldencents, b. c., Into Mischief - Golden Works, by Banker’s Gold
Breeders: Rosecrest Farm and Karen Pirrello (Ky.)

Santa Anita Derby winner Goldencents, who was never a factor while finishing 17th over a sloppy track in the Kentucky Derby, represents second-crop sire Into Mischief, who stands at B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky., for $20,000. Into Mischief made a late move up the North American freshman sire rankings last fall and figured prominently on the winter and spring road to the classics as both Goldencents and Vyjack emerged as graded stakes winners.

Goldencents was bred by Charles and Lyra Miller’s Rosecrest Farm in Paris, Ky., and Karen Pirrello. The Millers became involved with the Thoroughbred industry during the 1980s and began operating Rosecrest in 2005. Goldencents is out of the winning Banker’s Gold mare Golden Works, and his female family tree through two generations is comprised largely of Assiniboia Downs-based stakes winners.

With a modest pedigree and by an unproven sire, it was not surprising when Goldencents sold for a mere $5,500 to Webb Carroll, as agent, at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale. Carroll broke the colt at his St. Matthews, S.C., training center and sold him the following summer for $62,000 to Dennis O’Neill, brother of 2012 Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O’Neill.

Titletown Five, dk. b. or br. c., Tiznow - D'Wildcat Speed, by Forest Wildcat
Breeder: Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (Ky.)

The ownership group of Titletown Five, which purchased the colt for $250,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale, is likely to get its fair share of attention as the Preakness approaches. The colt is owned by a partnership of six, including Pro Football Hall of Fame members Paul Hornung and Willie Davis, former Green Bay Packers teammates; Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, a Wisconsin native and longtime friend of Hornung's; and Ed Martin, David Miller, and Margaret Shade.

The stakes-placed Tiznow colt is out of the Forest Wildcat mare D'Wildcat Speed, who was awarded champion imported 3-year-old filly in Puerto Rico. Her dam, Velvet Panther, was champion older mare in Puerto Rico. D'Wildcat Speed is a half-sister to two stakes-placed winners.

Departing, b. g., War Front - Leave, by Pulpit
Breeder: Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider (Ky.)

Illinois Derby winner Departing is the latest stable star for the productive partnership of Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, which has co-bred and raced runners such as Grade 1 winner and sire Arch and his son, Breeders' Cup Classic winner and champion Blame. Departing was raised at Claiborne alongside Orb, and will now try to spoil his former playmate's Triple Crown bid in the Preakness.

Departing's pedigree is full of Claiborne's influence. His sire is the popular young commercial stallion War Front. The Danzig horse leads the farm's stallion roster this year at a fee of $80,000. Departing's dam, Leave, is a daughter of late Claiborne sire Pulpit, a multiple Grade 2-winning homebred who returned to his birthplace for a productive stud career.

Leave is a full sister to stakes winner Laity, as well as a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Trip and to stakes winner Joke, dam of multiple Grade 1 winner Zensational.

Mylute, gr. or ro. c., Midnight Lute - Stage Stop, by Valid Expectations
Breeder: Mike G. Rutherford (Ky.)

Louisiana Derby runner-up Mylute launched a mild rally to finish fifth in the Kentucky Derby, beaten less than four lengths by victorious Orb. The Derby winner aside, Mylute is the top-placing finisher from the May 4 classic to return for the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Sire Midnight Lute will be represented by two Preakness starters from his first crop of racing age, as his son Govenor Charlie is also set to run. Champion sprinter in 2007 and winner of back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Sprints in ’07 and ’08, the Real Quiet horse is one of 2013’s top second-crop sires, also represented by runners such as Grade 2 winner Shakin It Up and stakes winners Midnight Lucky and Midnight Ballet. He stands at John G. Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Lexington, Ky., for $15,000.

Mylute is out of the stakes-winning Valid Expectations mare Stage Stop and is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner She Digs Me. Other family members include stakes winners Winning Move, Valid Move, Addy’s Appeal, and Smoke Mountain.

The colt was purchased by T. Paul Buhlman’s GoldMark Farm for $150,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale. The prominent Ocala, Fla.-based training and rehabilitation center, managed by Todd Quast, has produced horses such as Shackleford, Dullahan, and Pluck, among others, in recent years.

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Oxbow, b. c., Awesome Again - Tizamazing, by Cee's Tizzy
Breeder: Colts Neck Stables LLC (Ky.)

Oxbow, who faded to finish sixth in the Kentucky Derby after looming a danger on the rail at the top of the stretch, is bred on the same cross that has produced several high-level runners in recent history.

The son of Adena Springs stallion Awesome Again is out of the unraced Cee's Tizzy mare Tizamazing, making him a full brother to stakes winner and Grade 3-placed Awesome Patriot. Tizamazing is a full sister to 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow, the only two-time winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic. Other full siblings include Grade 2 winners Budroyale, runner-up in the 1999 Breeders' Cup Classic; Grade 2 winner Tizdubai; and stakes winner Tizbud.

Tizamazing is also a full sister to productive broodmare Tizso, dam of 2012 Haskell Invitational winner and Belmont Stakes runner-up Paynter; Grade 3 winner Tiz West; and stakes winner Tizakitty.

Bred by Colts Neck Stables, Oxbow was a $250,000 purchase by Brad Kelley, who races under the famed Calumet Farm banner after assuming control of the historic property last year, at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Will Take Charge, ch. c., Unbridled's Song - Take Charge Lady, by Dehere
Breeder: Eaton (Ky.)

Will Take Charge appeared to match strides with Orb while rallying in company with the eventual winner around the far turn of the Kentucky Derby. However, he was forced to check to avoid a retreating rival and lost steam, eventually finishing eighth.

The Unbridled's Song colt, a $425,000 purchase out of the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale, is out of the multiple Grade 1-winning Dehere mare Take Charge Lady, dam of four winners from five starters. Her offspring include 2012 Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy, who posted an impressive victory in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes on Derby weekend at Churchill Downs.

Out of the unraced Rubiano mare Felicita, Take Charge Lady is a half-sister to stakes winner Commendation; stakes winner Eventail, dam of Grade 2 winner Straight Story; and Jessi Take Charge, dam of Grade 2-placed Northern Giant. It is the family of Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Chamberlain Bridge.

Govenor Charlie, dk. b. or br., c., Midnight Lute - Silverbulletway, by Storm Cat
Breeder: Michael E. Pegram (Ky.)

Owner and breeder Mike Pegram, who is seeking his third victory in the Preakness Stakes, has been involved with several generations of Govenor Charlie's family.

The owner purchased and campaigned the colt's paternal grandsire, Real Quiet, to come within a nose of winning the Triple Crown in 1998. Midnight Lute, a son of Real Quiet, won back-to-back editions of the Breeders' Cup Sprint and earned an Eclipse Award for Pegram, and is now represented by two Preakness starters from his first crop of racing age.

Second dam Silverbulletday, a two-time Eclipse Award winner, is the dam of three stakes-producing mares for Pegram. Among these is Silverbulletway, who, in addition to Govenor Charlie, is the dam of stakes winner Crisis of Spirit.

Silverbulletday is also the dam of Silver Bullet Moon, dam of Grade 2 winner Shakin It Up, by Midnight Lute; and Silverbulletfolly, dam of stakes-placed Mile High Magic. It is the family of Grade 1-winning stakes producers Forest Secrets and Cindy's Hero.

Itsmyluckyday, dk. b. or br. c., Lawyer Ron - Viva La Slew, by Doneraile Court
Breeders: Liberation Farm and Brandywine Farm (Ky.)

Itsmyluckyday, who returns after finishing a non-threatening 15th in the Kentucky Derby, is a product of the successful breeding partnership comprising Jim and Pam Robinson’s Brandywine Farm and Rob Whiteley’s Liberation Farm. The Robinsons and Whiteley divide up responsibilities with their jointly-owned broodmare band, with Whiteley concentrating largely on breeding and the Robinsons on selling the offspring. Liberation and Brandywine sold Itsmyluckyday at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale to Nick Hines, as agent, for $47,000, and Florida-based trainer Eddie Plesa, as agent, bought the colt for $110,000 the following March at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. select 2-year-olds in training auction.

Lawyer Ron, champion older male of 2007, was euthanized after colic surgery in 2009. His two crops from his brief sire career at Stonewall Farm Stallions in Versailles, Ky., have yielded seven other stakes winners to date besides Itsmyluckyday, including Grade 1 winner Drill and Grade 3 winner Stealcase.

Itsmyluckyday is out of the stakes-placed Doneraile Court Viva La Slew mare and is from the family of Florida Derby winner and sire Vicar and French 2,000 Guineas winner and sire Astronomer Royal, among several other stakes winners.