05/16/2013 3:45PM

Preakness Stakes: Homebreds outnumbered by sale horses

Barbara D. Livingston
Departing is among the homebreds who will contest the Preakness Stakes.

Similar to the Kentucky Derby, the number of horses sold at public auction will once again trump the homebred entries in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes.

Of the nine horses entered in Saturday’s race, six changed hands through the auction ring at least once, while three were bred by their current owners.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb falls into the latter category, homebred in Kentucky by Phipps Stable and Stuart Janney. After Orb’s classic victory, co-owner Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps admitted that he had not been a fan of the colt’s previously-unproven dam, the winning Unbridled mare Lady Liberty, and wanted to sell her prior to producing Orb.

Janney, however, was able to talk his cousin into keeping the mare around with the help of Claiborne Farm owner Seth Hancock, and the decision paid great dividends.

“Seth Hancock was very helpful in taking my side of the argument, because he said, ‘Look, she’s a good-looking mare, she’s by Unbridled, Unbridled is getting to be a good broodmare sire, and we need to give her some more chances,” Janney said, describing the thought process behind Orb’s conception. “I kept saying to Seth, ‘What about Malibu Moon?’ and there was one year where he said, ‘Not yet.’ Then, the next year, I raised Malibu Moon as [a breeding option], and he said, ‘I think he has shown he’s a top sire,’ and we’ve seen that he is, in fact, a top sire. That’s pretty much it.”

Claiborne Farm will saddle its own homebred in Departing, a War Front gelding out of the second-generation Claiborne broodmare Leave. The third homebred is Govenor Charlie, a Midnight Lute colt out of the Storm Cat mare Silverbulletway, a daughter of two-time champion Silverbulletday.

As he was in the Derby, Will Take Charge is once again the most expensive sale horse in the field, selling to owner Willis Horton for $425,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling sale.

Consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, the Unbridled’s Song colt is out of multiple Grade 1 winner Take Charge Lady, whose foals have proven highly successful on the track and in the auction ring, highlighted by Grade 1 winner Take Charge Indy.

Among the fresh horses coming in for the Preakness, Titletown Five drew the highest bid at auction, selling to NFL Hall of Famer Paul Hornung for $250,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September sale. Bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, Titletown Five is out of Puerto Rican Horse of the Year D’Wildcat Speed. He was consigned by Warrendale Sales, as agent for the breeder.

Itsmyluckyday is the only horse in the Preakness field that sold as a 2-year-old. The Lawyer Ron colt, out of the stakes-placed winning Doneraile Court mare Viva La Slew, brought $47,000 from bloodstock agent Nick Hines at the 2011 Keeneland September sale as part of the Brandywine and Liberation Farm consignment. He was then purchased for $110,000 at the 2012 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training by Eddie Plesa, as agent for David Melin.

Itsmyluckyday was consigned at the OBS sale by Eisaman Equine, agent.