Appropriately, the 20-year-old son of A.P. Indy—Macoumba, by Mr. Prospector, would hit the century mark in Maryland where he launched his stallion career at the Pons family's Country Life Farm in 2000. Shimmering Aspen earned black-type status in the Alma North Stakes at Laurel Park for Hillwood Stable's owner Ellen Charles, whose mother bred and raised Thoroughbreds in Maryland and her father was a steward at the state's tracks.
Malibu Moon had much to prove as a first-year stallion. He possessed a sterling pedigree being a son of group 1 winner Macoumba (by Mr. Prospector), but injury prevented him from adequately proving himself on the racetrack. The B. Wayne Hughes homebred finished second in his first start and broke his maiden a month later at Hollywood Park before his racing career was derailed.
Hughes and the Ponses stood Malibu Moon initially for $3,000 and made sure he got off to a solid start. Malibu Moon bred 101 mares in his first book and 112 the following year. When his first foals began running in 2003, their collective success put him sixth on the leading freshman sire list. Perfect Moon was his top runner that year with wins in the Best Pal Stakes (G2) and the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (G3).
Malibu Moon's precocious first runners earned him a change of venue and bump in stud fee. He was relocated to Castleton Lyons near Lexington for the 2004 breeding season, where he stood for $10,000. The stallion is still owned by a partnership that includes Spendthrift, Castleton Lyons, and Country Life Farm.
He was moved again to Spendthrift in 2008, four years after Hughes acquired the farm. Since being relocated to Spendthrift, Malibu Moon got a Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner with Orb in 2013, and his stud fee peaked at $95,000.
"He is a fun one for us because he is a homebred, and he has now risen to the highest level," said Ned Toffey, general manager of Spendthrift. "He has been a very good stallion for a very long time, so it doesn't change how anyone perceives him, but it is one more feather in his cap and helps solidify his place in history."
Malibu Moon has sired 40 graded/group winners and is ranked sixth on the 2017 BloodHorse general leading sire list through June 18. He has three graded stakes winners this year: multiple grade 1 winner Gormley, who won the Santa Anita Derby (G1); Farrell, who won the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) and TwinSpires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2); and, Ransom the Moon, who won the Kona Gold Stakes (G2).
Bred in Kentucky by Nancy Terhune, Ernest Frohboese, and Candyland Farm, Shimmering Aspen has steadily climbed the ranks in 2017. She is the second foal and first black-type winner produced by multiple stakes winner Aspenglow (Lion Hearted). Aspenglow was bred in West Virginia by Terhune and Frohboese and then raced by Terhune.