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Nags to Riches
Rick Reilly
June 03, 2002
Don't you love it when, just for a change, the salmon eats the bear? The VW Bug squashes the bus? Radar O'Reilly gets the girl and George Clooney goes home alone?
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June 03, 2002

Nags To Riches

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Funny how two minutes can change your life, huh? Then again maybe not. An hour after the Derby the Murrays were delivering another foal. Within a week they got an offer of $4.5 million for Our Emblem.

They thought hard about the offer—the Murrays won't divulge who they are negotiating with—and decided they'd wait and see what happened at the Preakness. Good idea. War Emblem won that, too. Suddenly, Our Emblem was the No. 1 money-winning sire in the country, King Stud. Head Hoss.

At week's end the standing offer was $6.6 million. "We think we're going to wait and see what happens at the Belmont," says Allen, 69. Probably another good idea.

Back at Claiborne Farm the hotshot bloodstock experts were wondering how IBM got schnogged by Ma and Pa Kettle. "Well," grumbles Gus Cook, the head of stallions, "that's the horse business."

If War Emblem wins the Belmont on June 8, he'll be the first Triple Crown winner in 24 years. That means Our Emblem could fetch upward of $10 million. His stud fee would go from $4,000 for a five foal to as much as $75,000. And Allen and Audrey Murray would have a new lifestyle to ponder.

But here's the best part: They've thought about what they'd like to do with all that loot and realized something cool. They were already doing it. "We've got a great life," says Allen. "We live on a farm, in an old stone house. It's quiet. There's no hassle. At night we sit on the porch and relax. We're doing exactly what we want. Makes it fun to get up in the mornings."

Meanwhile, Our Emblem, ex-slacker, is the hottest bachelor in racing. He's booked to mate with mares every day for the next five weeks, twice a day, beginning at 9 a.m., breaking the previous record set by Wilt Chamberlain.

You talk about fun to get up in the morning.

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