- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 30, 2002

Our Emblem, sire of Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner War Emblem, was sold yesterday to a Kentucky syndicate by a Maryland breeder.
Murmur Farm accepted an undisclosed offer from Windstar Farm and Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, Ky., six months after buying the underachieving 11-year-old stallion for $250,000. Murmur declined a $4.5million offer by a Japanese syndicate before War Emblem won the Preakness on May 18.
Murmur Farm owner Allen Murray termed the sale bittersweet but felt Our Emblem needed to return to Kentucky to attract leading broodmares unavailable in Maryland. Our Emblem will leave after breeding season ends in July.
"It was nice owning the No.1 sire in the country, but the horse deserves to go where he gets the best mares,'' Murray said.
The Darlington, Md., farm made national headlines for its good fortune. The stallion's first five crops weren't impressive, causing renowned Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky., to drop his $7,500 fee to $4,000 before selling the son of champions Mr. Prospector and Personal Ensign. The Murrays purchased Our Emblem expecting his regal bloodline would draw well in Maryland. Indeed, 85 mares were booked.
When War Emblem and Our Emblem both won major Kentucky Derby preps April 6, the stallion suddenly was fashionable again. War Emblem's Derby victory at 20-1 brought the first offer within minutes. Several Kentucky farms sought the stallion, who is now ranked No.1 nationally in offspring earnings.


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