03/13/2013 3:26PM

Texas: Oratory, leading general sire

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Eureka Thoroughbred Farm manager Bill Tracy describes Oratory as an “eye-catching” stallion who passes his good looks on to his offspring.

“I always joke [to people who own his foals], ‘If you don’t want to run them, you can always take pictures of them,'" Tracy said. “And they look really good in a win photo.”

[MORE: See a list of Texas’s leading sires from 2012]

Oratory, currently standing his second season at the Fredericksburg, Texas, farm, is now turning heads for a reason other than good looks. The 11-year-old Pulpit horse has quickly risen to prominence, leading the Texas general sire list in 2012 for the second time.

Oratory recorded 33 winners, including 18 repeat winners, from 62 starters in 2012 for seasonal earnings of $1,486,771. That total outpaced Lane’s End Texas stallion Too Much Bling, whose runners earned $1,340,082.

Oratory was represented on the track in 2012 by a pair of stakes winners in the Mid-Atlantic region. Tujoes captured the Roanoke Stakes at Parx before finishing third in the Maryland Million Classic. Pagan Priestess gave her sire a victory on that card, winning the Maryland Million Ladies Stakes.

Miz Maggie Mae was Oratory’s chief earner in 2012, bankrolling $139,330 while winning four of 14 starts in her 5-year-old campaign. Now in her fifth season of racing, the mare has amassed $359,580 for her career.

From his first three crops of racing age--excluding juveniles of 2013--Oratory is the sire of 75 winners from 99 starters through March 10 for total earnings of $4,966,774. His average progeny earnings are $50,169.

Oratory won three of five career starts, capped by a 4 3/4-length score in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park in his stakes debut. He suffered a condylar fracture while pointing for the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes, forcing his retirement. Never worse than second, he retired with earnings of $189,000.

“I think that his will to win was very present in his racing career, and I see that with some of his runners,” Tracy said. “They’re hard triers.”
Oratory entered stud in 2006 at Country Life Farm in Maryland, leading that state’s freshman sire list in 2009. He moved to Eureka Thoroughbred Farm for the 2012 season, and will stand for $3,500 this year.

Oratory is a son of the late Pulpit, who, following in the footsteps of his sire, A.P. Indy, developed into a sire of sires. The Claiborne Farm homebred is represented by popular commercial sire Tapit, with his other sons at stud including Sky Mesa, Parading, Corinthian, Stroll, Purge, and the late Sightseeing.

“I think that with the success of Tapit and some of the other Pulpit sons, that bodes very well for Oratory,” Tracy said. “The trick, of course, is to get some nice mares to him, and we’ve been doing that so far.

“The babies we’ve got on the ground so far look very much like him,” Tracy added. “They have long necks, big shoulders, good hindquarters.”

Oratory is out of the Dehere mare Arrested Dreams, a four-time stakes winner who finished second in the Grade 1 Matron Stakes in 1998. Arrested Dreams, also the dam of stakes-placed winner Preach It, is out of Grade 1 winner Moment to Buy. It is the family of dual Grade 3-winning sprinter Ravalo, as well as Dolce Vita Yug, a champion in Yugoslavia and the Slovak Republic.

Too Much Bling, who finished second on the general sire list, was Texas’s leading juvenile sire for the second time in 2012. He led the state with six stakes winners in 2012. Valor Farm stallion Early Flyer, third on the general sire list by earnings, led the state with 44 winners.

Checking in fifth on the list was state stalwart Valid Expectations. Now in his 14th season in Texas, the Lane’s End Texas stallion became the all-time leading Texas-based sire by progeny earnings in February 2013.