Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable’s homebred Kentucky Derby winner Orb has been retired from racing and will enter stud at Claiborne Farm in 2014. The son of Malibu Moon will stand for an advertised fee of $25,000.
Orb had been under consideration to start in the Grade I Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on November 30 but his Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey stressed last week those plans were “in pencil”.
“The decision to retire Orb was made with mixed emotions,” said co-owner Janney. “While I believe he would have had a very successful 4-year-old campaign, and Phipps Stable and I would have loved being a part of that, Orb is a wonderful stallion prospect. We look forward to supporting him and to racing his offspring.”
Orb propelled himself to the top of the 3-year-old early in the year thanks to a five-race winning streak that started in the fall of his 2-year-old season and included victories in the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes and a 2 3/4 length triumph in the Grade I Florida Derby.
Said streak culminated with an impressive 2 1/2-length win in the Kentucky Derby that saw the bay colt made a huge sustained run around the far turn and draw off to give his storied connections their first victories in the first leg of the Triple Crown.
“I was thoroughly amazed at the progress this colt made from January to the first Saturday in May,” said McGaughey. “I was quietly very confident on Derby day, and he proved without a doubt what kind of horse he was in a race of great magnitude. He is retiring completely sound, and while I’m sorry to see him move on, it seems like an opportune time for him to begin his next career.”
Pegged as a legitimate Triple Crown hope, that Derby win would prove to be Orb’s last victory of his 12-start career. The bay colt ran fourth in the Preakness Stakes two weeks later and third in the Belmont Stakes before being freshened for a start in the Grade I Travers. Though he finished an admirable third in that race, his came home last in the eight-horse field in the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 28.
Foaled and raised at Claiborne Farm for owner/breeders Janney and Phipps, Orb is out of the Unbridled mare Lady Liberty and is from a distaff family that has been owned by the Janney family for five generations. He retires with five wins from 12 starts and $2,612,516 in earnings.
“It’s exciting to have a Kentucky Derby winner coming to the farm,” said Claiborne representative Bernie Sams, “It’s even more exciting when it’s a horse that was raised here for people like Stuart Janney and the Phippses. We couldn’t be more pleased.”