Preach, the dam of G1 winner and prominent sire Pulpit.
Preach, a cornerstone of the Claiborne Farm broodmare program and dam of the highly influential sire Pulpit, has died due to the infirmities of old age at 31 years old, per Claiborne’s social media channels.
A homebred for the Claiborne operation, Preach was by another of the farm’s pillars – the mighty Mr. Prospector – out of the Grade 3-winning mare Narrate, herself a home-grown Claiborne product.
Preach wasted no time carrying the Claiborne gold colors into the winner’s circle, winning on debut as a juvenile, then taking the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes two starts later before running in the 1991 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs.
She came back at age three to win the listed Bourbonette Stakes at Turfway Park and run third in the G1 Test Stakes and G2 Prioress Stakes. The end of her on-track career came in January of her 4-year-old season, finishing with four wins in 15 starts, all with trainer Shug McGaughey, for earnings of $304,656.
Preach retired early enough in the 1993 breeding season to make it into the first book of 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy. The ensuing foal was Pulpit, whose abbreviated racing career saw him win the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes and Blue Grass Stakes, then run fourth in the 1997 Kentucky Derby before being retired due to injury.
Like his dam, Pulpit’s greatest contribution to both Claiborne Farm and the greater scope of Thoroughbreds came in the breeding shed. Pulpit sired Grade 1 winner and commercial juggernaut stallion Tapit, who set the single-season record for freshman sire progeny earnings with his first crop of juveniles, then broke the single-season record for total progeny earnings before eclipsing his own high-water mark in each of the following two years.
Other horses of note sired by Pulpit include Lucky Pulpit – himself the sire of two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome – Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Corinthian, and Grade 1 winners Ice Box, Mr Speaker, Pyro, Power Broker, Purge, Sky Mesa, and Stroll.
Preach had two more black type earners under her produce record: English Group 3-placed Urban Poet (by Dynaformer) and U.S. stakes-placed Tell It (by Storm Cat).
Beyond the success of Pulpit, Preach kept her name on pedigree pages for generations to come through her daughters. The list of runners that list Preach as their second dam include Grade 3 winner Wild Shot, Grade/Group 1-placed Endless Chatter and Whitecliffsofdover, and stakes winners Dream Nettie and Nunnery.
“Though known for her tough and often stubborn demeanor, Preach has always been a farm favorite and will be deeply missed by all of us at Claiborne,” the farm wrote in a Facebook post.
Even after her death, Preach’s impact could be felt on the Claiborne property. Soon after her passing, the star mare became the second dam to another foal, per the Twitter account of Claiborne president Walker Hancock.
Orate, a winning full-sister to A.P. Indy, had an Empire Maker filly, who will herself be a member of her sire’s final crop. Orate is arguably the most successful of Preach’s daughters as a broodmare, having produced both Endless Chatter and Whitecliffsofdover.
— Walker Hancock (@WalkerHancock) February 20, 2020
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