The 3-year-old colt who inspired a summer fervor for Maryland horse racing by winning five straight races, including the 2013 Kentucky Derby, is entering retirement.
Orb, owned by Baltimore native Stuart S. Janney III and home-bred at Phipps Stable, will enter stud at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky next year, finishing his career as a millionaire and multiple Grade 1 stakes winner.
“I have very mixed emotions about it, because I really would have loved to run him next year,” Janney said. “But he is a terrific stallion prospect, and I just felt, in weighing it all up, it was probably the right thing to do.”
Orb's 2 1/2-length win at the Kentucky Derby made him the latest Triple Crown hopeful, looking to replicate the success of his great-grandsire, Seattle Slew, who won the Triple Crown in 1977. But those hopes were dashed with disappointing showings of fourth place in the 2013 Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes.
The thoroughbred was foaled and raised at Claiborne Farm, the son of Malibu Moon, the sire of a dozen stakes winners this year. Orb will stand for $25,000 live foal stands and nurses.
Janney said Orb’s ascent in the racing community was extraordinary.
“I still remember as if it happened yesterday,” he said. “It’s probably tougher for someone else who is not in the breeding part of racing, because when you stop, it’s more of a monetary decision. For me, though, it’s also the fact of looking forward to seeing what his offspring are like.”
Shug McGaughey, Orb’s Hall of Fame trainer, said Orb retired a “sound horse,” without injury. The horse was the Lexington, Ky., native’s first Derby winner after more than 30 years as a trainer.
In his career, Orb earned $2,612,516 with five wins and three third-place finishes in 12 starts.
“It's exciting to have a Kentucky Derby G-1 winner coming to the farm,” Claiborne representative Bernie Sams said in a Tuesday statement, “and it's even more exciting when it's a horse that was raised here.”
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