Oratory, winner of this year's Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) in stakes-record time in the silks ofSheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable, arrived at the Pons family's Country Life Farm near Bel Air, Md., Aug. 30 to take up stud duties for 2006. The son of Pulpit
suffered a condylar fracture of the right front cannon bone July 1 in a workout for the July 4 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II). Surgery was performed by Dr. Stephen Selway to insert screws into the cannon bone. Oratory enters stud with a record of three wins and two seconds in five starts and earnings of $189,000. His fee is $5,000.
"Since re-locating Malibu Moon
to Kentucky two years ago, we've looked for an exciting A.P. Indy-sire line colt," said Michael Pons, who manages Country Life. "Oratory's sire, Pulpit, is by A.P. Indy
, as is Malibu Moon. Pulpit's sons Sky Mesa
have been well-received in Kentucky, and Oratory will appeal to the best breeders in the Mid-Atlantic region."
Oratory won the 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan by 4 3/4 lengths in stakes record time of 1:46.35, about two-fifths of a second faster than the stakes record set in 1983 by Slew o' Gold. Oratory's Beyer Speed Figure of 114 in the Peter Pan is the co-third-highest Beyer for a 3-year-old of 2005, behind Bellamy Road's 120 and Lost in the Fog's 116.
"Our goal after the Peter Pan was the Travers," said Oratory's trainer, Tom Albertrani. "He just took a bad step in a work. The way he won the Peter Pan, he looked like a very special colt. With a little racing luck, he'd be undefeated. His two seconds were narrow losses, one to older horses. I was very excited and confident about taking him to Saratoga for his preparation for the Travers."
Bred in Kentucky by Louie Roussel III, Oratory was sold at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale for $100,000 to Carl Bowling's Straightaway Farm. agent. Darley acquired him privately prior to his first start.
Oratory's dam, the Dehere mare Arrested Dreams, won four stakes and was beaten a nose in the Matron Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. Oratory's second dam is grade I winner Moment to Buy.