Malibu Moon

Malibu Moon

Joy B. Gilbert

Another A. P. Indy Line?

Malibu Moon's most promising offspring have their first foals about to race.

If you think the industry is being overwhelmed with the dominance of A.P. Indy as a sire, hang on; there are more to come. He has a son out there whose own sons have yet to show their potential—and each of the most promising ones has his first foals about to race.

Malibu Moon ’s sons Orb  (Kentucky), Freedom Child  (Maryland), and Prospective  and Corfu (both in Florida) have had, or will have, their first progeny parading before us at the 2-year-old sales. From the first two sales (Fasig-Tipton at Gulfstream and the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March venue), we have had an open window only into the potential of Orb, who won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) in 2013, and who has 99 members in his first crop. Prospective’s first crop is 59 while Freedom Child and Corfu have 36 and 28, respectively.

Both sales had entrants by Orb and Prospective. Orb had four at Gulfstream, three were scratched, and the other sold for $500,000; Prospective had one, which was scratched. At OBS March, Prospective had six entered; three went through the ring for an average of $71,666. Orb, on the other hand, had 15 entered, 12 of which breezed, five of those were scratched after breezing, and five of the other seven sold for an average of $476,000, topped by a somewhat skewing $1.25 million sale (without that one, the average was $282,500). 

This is notable because Orb was—and still is—considered without a great deal of speed. Indeed, conversations around the barns and pavilion indicated he was a bit of a surprise in this respect; but as consignor Niall Brennan (who has many Orbs in training) observed to us, this is still a two-turn sire in the making. In addition, our observations concluded the Orb “type” to the eye, if not actual biomechanical phenotype, is very much in the mold of Malibu Moon. That would be much like A.P. Indy (and the full brothers Congrats  and Flatter ) as opposed to the “type” often observed in offspring of his grandson, leading sire Tapit , which tend to be more powerful, like his sire Pulpit.

So it might come as a surprise to some who follow our BreezeFigs™ program that of those 12 Orbs that breezed, eight were in our top two groups and two others quite close. This is impressive for any sire, especially a freshman sire for whom expectations might have been the opposite.

Phenotypically, Malibu Moon is quite different from others in the A.P. Indy line, which tend to have more power than stride elements to their physical make-up, except for the founder who is virtually balanced between power and stride elements. (If you want to think in analogous dosage profile terms, power is more brilliance and stride is more classic, with some intermediate thrown in for both.)

Malibu Moon is one of the few active stallions whose physical make-up is more geared toward stride rhythm, much like Secretariat and Alydar, for example. Stallions such as these are often at a disadvantage these days because the breed has “overshifted” to power in the past 20 years. Physically Malibu Moon possesses size and scope similar to that of Deputy Minister, Majestic Light, and Easy Goer.

On the other hand, Orb has a good deal more power to his physical make-up—he is closer in size and scope to Ghostzapper , Scat Daddy, and Street Cry.

Interestingly, if you were to draw a line and place Orb, A.P. Indy, and Malibu Moon on it, Orb and Malibu Moon would be equidistant from A.P. Indy. He’s passed a lot of himself on to both horses.

It will be a treat to follow Malibu Moon’s three other freshmen sons at the upcoming sales in Florida and Maryland to see whether they might join Orb in a push to spin off another of what is becoming a seriously powerful sire-line.