unbeaten malathaat is proving the dream is real for owner shadwell, as well as breeder stonestreet

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Superstar stallions have the highest stud fees, not for their good looks, but for the number of their racers who show up on the weekend cards for the premier races. Once again, Curlin, Into Mischief, and Tapit scored heavily over the Easter weekend of racing, with the highly regarded Bernardini and Candy Ride picking up major stakes on opposite coasts, as well.

At Keeneland on Saturday, April 3, the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes went to Malathaat (by Curlin). Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet and sold to Shadwell for $1.05 million at the 2019 Keeneland September yearling sale, Malathaat remained unbeaten with this victory in her fourth start, and she became the third generation of Grade 1 winners for her female line.

Malathaat is out of the A.P. Indy mare Dreaming of Julia, who won the G1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park as a 2-year-old and then ran second in the G1 Mother Goose the following year.

Malathaat became the third generation G1 winner in her female line with victory in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland on April 4. The bay daughter of Curlin is now unbeaten in four starts at 2 and 3. (Bloodstock in the Bluegrass photo)

After retiring to stud, Dreaming of Julia was sent first to Horse of the Year Ghostzapper (Awesome Again) and produced a colt who was not named. In 2017, the mare produced Golden Julia (Medaglia d’Oro), who also died, and Malathaat is the third foal from Dreaming of Julia.

Of Golden Julia, Stonestreet adviser John Moynihan recalled: “We kept the Medaglia d’Oro filly the year before Malathaat, and Golden Julia was phenomenal. When we sent her to the training center in Florida, Ian [Brennan, trainer at the Stonestreet Training and Rehabilitation Center] said she was light years ahead of the rest in the crop, was phenomenal at every stage. As these things in racing do, however, she ended up getting hurt in a stall, she had a pelvis injury, and we lost her. It was heartbreaking because she was a Grade 1 horse if I ever saw one; I told Barbara that she’d have been one of the best we’d ever raced.”

The mare’s 2-year-old is an unnamed colt by Medaglia d’Oro; she has a yearling full sister to Malathaat, a filly foal of 2021 by Medaglia d’Oro at Stonestreet, and goes back to Curlin.

As a Grade 1 winner, Dreaming of Julia was the most accomplished foal of her dam, Grade 1 winner Dream Rush, and she won half of her eight starts at two and three.

But, there would be some who might argue that the mare’s other graded stakes-winning daughter, two-time Grade 3 winner Dream Pauline (Tapit), was just as good. A winner in four of five starts, Dream Pauline won the G3 Hurricane Bertie and Sugar Swirl Stakes at Gulfstream.

Both are broodmares at Stonestreet, and Dream Pauline had her first foal, a chestnut colt by Curlin, in February.

Their dam, Dream Rush, has produced three stakes winners, the two fillies above and the colt Atreides (Medaglia d’Oro), who likewise won four of his five starts, then went to stud in Kentucky at Hill n’ Dale Farm (now at Xalapa).

On the racetrack, Dream Rush was one of three black-type performers out of the Unbridled mare Turbo Dream, who was unraced. Turbo Dream also is the dam of Adream (Bernardini), dam of the G3 winner Song of Spring (Spring at Last).

There is no question that Dream Rush was much the best of all the foals from Turbo Dream. Dream Rush won both her two starts as a juvenile, then advanced impressively as a 3-year-old to win the Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream, the G2 Nassau County at Belmont, place second in the G1 Acorn, then win the G1 Prioress and Test Stakes before finishing unplaced in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Filly Sprint.

That race was Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park, and nine days later she was in the ring at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton November sale.

As agent for Halsey Minor, Debbie Easter bought Dream Rush for $3.3 million after a spirited bidding battle, and the then-3-year-old was sold as a racing or broodmare prospect.

Easter said, “She was a big, long, beautiful mare, and with a pair of Grade 1 victories. This was his first venture into broodmares, and she was what we were looking for as a foundation mare. Dream Rush was one of the most beautiful mares I’ve ever seen, had such a lovely attitude, and was a great athletic individual.”

Unfortunately, Dream Rush didn’t reproduce her earlier form, coming back to race at four and five, but only placing third in the G1 Princess Rooney and second in the G2 Vagrancy.

“The point of the purchase,” Easter said, “was to acquire a foundation broodmare and that has worked out beautifully.”

The plan worked out for Stonestreet, rather than for Minor, who dispersed his stock after getting stuck in the Great Recession.

On acquiring Dream Rush from Minor, Moynihan recalled that “a year or two after the Fasig sale, he called, said that he remembered our bidding for Dream Rush, and asked if we’d be interested in buying the mare privately.

“When we bought her, it was about this time of year, and we were still waiting days to see if she was in foal from a cover to A.P. Indy,” and she was.

Dream Rush produced her first foal for Stonestreet in 2010, and that was Dreaming of Julia.

Since then, Dream Rush has had eight more foals, and after a pair of barren years in 2019 and 2020, the 17-year-old mare had a filly by Bernardini earlier this year. Moynihan noted that “we were trying to get a filly to carry on the line from Dream Rush,” and they got one.

Some dreams never go away, and some even come true.

australian noholme found a home and a place in bloodstock history

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While researching the female family of Travel Column, I came across a stallion whose history intersected my own. Specifically, Travel Column’s fourth dam, the Italian highweight Carnauba, is one of the best racing daughters of the Australian-bred racehorse and important stallion Noholme, a son of Star Kingdom and full brother to the great Australian champion Todman.

What many people don’t realize is that Noholme was regarded as a champion there also. In 1959, Noholme won the Cox Plate and the Epsom Handicap against older horses and was considered an unofficial Horse of the Year in 1959. Possessing speed, class, and a good pedigree, one would expect the Aussie breeders to have embraced Noholme enthusiastically.

Noholme was a son of leading Australian sire Star Kingdom out of Oceana, who produced three other important sons by the same stallion, including the star racer and important sire Todman.

That was not the case, however, because he was 15.2, too small to make a stallion, it was believed, although his equally unappreciated full brother Todman proved them wrong too. The young Noholme came on the market in 1960 for the remarkably reasonable price of 10,000 guineas. Gene Goff bought Noholme and 40 other horses as a group, and as things developed, there was a difference of opinion about how much Noholme’s price contributed to the overall figure.

Goff bought Noholme with a view to racing him, but the Australians definitely got the better of that part of that deal. Noholme left his best racing Down Under, and his most important efforts came when he placed second in the Stars and Stripes Handicap at Arlington, Bougainvillea Turf Handicap at Hialeah, and the Chicago Handicap at Hawthorne.

There is no doubt, however, that he was worth more than the lot from the viewpoint of bloodstock history. Retired to Goff’s Verna Lea Farm outside Fayetteville, Ark., Noholme became a bloodstock legend and a gold mine.

With a first crop from 14 mares of 13 foals and 11 winners, Noholme got off to a quick start, and Goff, an oilman from Arkansas, had backed up his faith in the horse with the purchase of enough mares to enlarge Noholme’s second book and have a second crop of 40 foals.

From these came 24 juvenile winners, which was a record number at the time, and it made Noholme the leading sire of 2-year-olds by number of winners in all of North America. The spotlight was on the smallish horse with the light chestnut coat.

And Noholme did not disappoint. With a mass of winners from his first two crops, Noholme was syndicated for $1 million in 1967 and moved to Bob Marks’s Robin’s Nest Farm outside Ocala, Fla.

Also from that second crop came handicap champion Nodouble and Hometown News, who became the champion 3-year-old filly in Canada in 1968. They fulfilled the test of quality that elevated Noholme from a fancy little sire of winners to the sire of major league racehorses.

Nodouble won the 1968 Arkansas Derby and was third in the Preakness. The angular and tough chestnut came into his own later and won the Metropolitan Handicap, Santa Anita Handicap, Hawthorne Gold Cup, Brooklyn Handicap, and Californian Stakes, with seconds in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Hollywood Gold Cup, Strub, and Woodward.

With the “Arkansas Traveler” churning out headline results at the racetrack, Noholme was doing his part at Robin’s Nest.

From the stallion’s 1970 crop came one of his best racers, champion sprinter Shecky Greene, who set the pace in the 1973 Kentucky Derby and proved a top-class sprinter. Shecky Greene was more than that, winning also the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream, and he sired a top European juvenile and topweight miler in Green Forest, who won the Grand Criterium at 2, the Prix de Moulin at 3, and became a good sire.

Shecky Greene was the champion sprinter of 1973, and his sire moved to Dan Lasater’s Lasater Farm in 1974. Noholme spent the rest of his life there.

The farm’s general manager was the late John Fernung, and his brother Brent was getting involved in the horse business when Noholme came to the farm.

Brent Fernung recalled: “I rubbed Noholme for a while, because I started out as a groom at the farm, getting to know the business from the ground up. This was a time when the farm had Nodouble, Cutlass, Great Above. But Noholme was an old horse by the time I got there. He had a real big dip in his back, his pasterns were slack, feet were pretty bad.

“But Noholme was a breeding machine even at that age. You’d bring him into the breeding shed, he’d drop down, cover in one jump, and out of there. He was such a cool old horse.”

Even as age lowered his back and pasterns, it hadn’t dented the stallion’s fertility.

Fernung recalled, “When Lasater had B.W. Pickett and J.L. Voss come to the farm to check stallion fertility, they checked a dismount sample from Noholme, and after they had put it under the microscope, Dr. Voss stepped out of the clean room and came over to look at him.

“Dr. Pickett was a PhD, and the veterinarian was Dr. Voss. They wrote the book on stallion fertility and led the research on stallion reproduction at Colorado State University. They had come all the way from Colorado to do some work for Lasater, mostly wellness care, because, back then, 75 mares was a lot of mares for most stallions, and we were regularly breeding Noholme to more than a hundred.

“John said, ‘Anything wrong, doc?’ The vet said, ‘I was just checking to see this was a horse and not a hog. His semen is off the charts.’ The horse’s fertility was so good that Dr. Pickett and the boss estimated you could have bred 60 to 70 mares from a single ejaculate.

“So far as semen quality, I’ve never seen a horse like Noholme,” Fernung said. “It had Pickett and Voss scratching their heads about him but favorably impressed.”

Noholme has lived on in pedigrees through Nodouble, who was leading general sire in 1981, through Shecky Greene and Green Forest, and especially through hundreds of daughters, such as Italian highweight Carnauba, who is the fourth dam of 2021 Fair Ground Oaks winner Travel Column (by Frosted).

On May 17, 1983, Noholme was euthanized at age 27 on Lasater Farm near Ocala due to the infirmities of old age and was buried there.

At the time, I was an intern at Verna Lea Farm outside Fayetteville, where I was finishing up my schooling at the University of Arkansas. Mostly, I led, fed, and picked stalls, but this was work with honest to god Thoroughbreds, and I thought it was more exciting than anything.

So it was a sad day at the farm in Arkansas when they learned that the best stallion ever retired to “The Land of Opportunity” had died.

Although I worked with a number of his sons and daughters at Verna Lea, I knew the old boy only by the legacy of awe and excellence that he had left behind. Working at Verna Lea, however, earned me a reference that brought me to work in Kentucky and eventually edit copy and write at the Thoroughbred Record, where I was able to meet some of the great bloodstock commentators of the time, including Abram S. Hewitt, Tony Morris, Tim Capps, John Sparkman, Bill Munn, and David Dink.

The Record exists only in bound volumes in libraries nowadays, but it was a springboard to learning and writing and a lifetime of work in a sport that I loved. So, memories of Noholme are good.

known agenda ties past to the future in this year’s classic quest for st elias stables

In the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 27, Known Agenda lunged to the fore and won the race by 2 3/4 lengths, placing himself in the thick of competition for the Kentucky Derby a scant five weeks later.

Bred in Kentucky by the St. Elias Stables of Vincent and Teresa Viola, Known Agenda was produced by one of the first broodmares acquired by St. Elias more than seven years ago. Her son Known Agenda is the first Grade 1 winner bred by the operation, although it has raced several others, including 2019 champion older horse Vino Rosso (Curlin), 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming (Bodemeister), 2015 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Liam’s Map (Unbridled’s Song), and 2018 Carter Handicap winner Army Mule (Friesan Fire).

John Sparkman, bloodstock and matings adviser to St. Elias, recalled the mare’s acquisition.

“Very early in building a high-class broodmare band, this mare came our way,” Sparkman said, “and the way to start a top broodmare band is with mares of high racing class.”

Byrama, the dam of Known Fact, won the G1 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park and was second in the G1 Madison at Keeneland for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners in 2013, then was auctioned at the Fasig-Tipton November sale, where she was an RNA for $725,000.

St. Elias made a deal to purchase the mare post sale, and the new owners raced her the next year before retiring the English-bred daughter of Byron to stud in 2015. Known Agenda is the mare’s third foal.

In selecting Byrama for racing class, Sparkman said, “Her head, neck, and shoulder reminded me very strongly of Sir Ivor, who is in the third dam, and when something like that comes through, I pay attention. She had speed, class, and is a very elegant mare,” and she clearly makes an excellent match with some of the large, hardy stallions in the Kentucky stallion pool.

The foal by Curlin was so nice that St. Elias sent him to the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale, but retained him as a $135,000 RNA.

Sparkman recalled “when we were going over the inspection statistics with consignor Gerry Dilger, we were pretty surprised that Known Agenda was at the bottom of the list. When we asked about that, Gerry said, ‘Nobody even wants to look at him because he’s out of a turf mare.’

“Looks pretty good on dirt, to me,” Sparkman concluded.

Indeed, the chestnut colt has progressed notably from his good juvenile form, where he won a maiden and was a respectable third in the G2 Remsen Stakes. This year, he won an allowance at Gulfstream, then was unplaced in the Sam F. Davis. In assessing the difference between the prior race and the Florida Derby, Sparkman gave praise to the work done by trainer Todd Pletcher in getting the colt to focus more effectively in his racing, and it showed at Gulfstream.

“Todd said that Known Agenda reminded him a lot of Vino Rosso,” also campaigned by St. Elias, “in lacking mental maturity,” Sparkman said. But the physical attributes of the colt have always been there, and he is a progressive colt who will profit from added time and distance.

The Kentucky Derby is expected to be the next start for Known Agenda.

If all goes well, the Derby would be the seventh start for Known Agenda; for his sire, Curlin, the Derby was his fourth career start, and Curlin went into the Derby unbeaten after an extraordinary maiden success, then victories in the G3 Rebel and G2 Arkansas Derby. Curlin finished third in the Kentucky Derby, won the Preakness from Derby winner Street Sense, and was a head second in the Belmont Stakes to the lovely filly Rags to Riches. Late-season successes in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders’ Cup Classic brought divisional honors and the Horse of the Year award to Curlin.

A repeat as Horse of the Year in 2008 sent Curlin to stud with excellent racing credentials, although he wasn’t universally popular as a physical specimen, being a big, robustly made animal of generous proportions. From his first crop, however, Curlin showed he could sire individuals of greater quality allied with his scope and classic ability. St. Elias brought him a first-rate match with Byrama, as a racemare of high ability, allied with quality and refinement.

“Breeding to a horse like Curlin is obvious for a quality mare who matches on pedigree,” Sparkman said, “and he also has a cross of Sir Ivor in the fourth generation that seemed like a positive repetition.”

Although sometimes considered only as a turf horse because of his first-class record in Europe, Sir Ivor was a top 2-year-old who progressed to become a top classic colt, winning the 1968 2,000 Guineas and Derby, then finishing a gallant second to Vaguely Noble in the Arc de Triomphe. In his final start, Sir Ivor returned to the States and won the Washington DC International before retiring to stud at Claiborne Farm.

Considered simplistically, Sir Ivor was a “turf horse” because he showed exceptional form on the surface. “But all horses can run on turf,” Sparkman said. “All horses can run on dirt. Some have a preference one way or another, but it’s almost always pretty slight.”

Considering the horse on racing character, physique, and athleticism, Sir Ivor was much more than a turf horse. He’d have been among the favorites for the 1968 Kentucky Derby, had he been on this side of the Atlantic, and he might well have won the race too.

Bred in Kentucky at Mill Ridge Farm by Alice Chandler and sold to Vincent O’Brien on behalf of owner Raymond Guest at the Keeneland July sale, Sir Ivor proved a serious international sire after his classic-winning race career. The good-sized plain bay sired some quick juveniles, some classic competitors, and high-quality performers on turf and dirt. His early crops included Arc de Triomphe winner Ivanjica, and among his later foals came Eclipse champion older horse Bates Motel.

There weren’t any “turf” performers of great acclaim among the immediate ancestors of Sir Ivor, but O’Brien saw an athlete. Quick, strong, and competitive, Sir Ivor proved the judgment of his mentor to be eminently correct.

 With a known agenda for the classics, Sir Ivor’s descendant is taking steps of his own for classic recognition.

a timely rescue in italy 45 years ago continues to impact racing today

Frosted, a son of leading sire Tapit and a winner of the Metropolitan Handicap, had his first graded stakes winner in the North Hemisphere when Travel Column won the Fair Grounds Oaks. (Godolphin photo)

Forty-five years ago, a specific incident was essential to the existence of Travel Column (by Frosted), winner of the 2021 Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks on March 20. That was the recovery of the filly’s fourth dam, champion filly Carnauba, from a knacker’s yard in Italy, scarcely 24 hours before the filly would have become rather less-valuable chops and such.

In the dead of night in August 1975, Carnauba had been secreted out of the training yard of Luigi Turner. He was the racing trainer in Italy for Nelson Bunker Hunt, the international oil tycoon and financier who owned the filly and had purchased her as a yearling at the 1973 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale for $20,000.

For Hunt, Carnauba had won eight of 14 starts at two and three, and she was ranked as the top filly in Italy both seasons. At three in 1975, Carnauba had won the Group 1 Oaks d’Italia and had ventured afield to win the G3 Fred Darling Stakes at Newmarket. As a big, dark-coated daughter of leading sire Noholme, Carnauba was a valuable racer and a high-quality broodmare prospect, as well.

So, her disappearance was a stunning blow to the filly’s immediate connections, and then the thieves demanded a ransom. Variously reported as $250,000 or more, the ransom was never going to be paid by Hunt, who reportedly feared he would be encouraging more mischief of this sort and resolved not to reward the theft.

The great columnist Red Smith expanded on the situation after Carnauba’s recovery and wrote that, “Turner kept in contact with the kidnappers, and finally he made a deal to pay $13,000,” to get her back. Turner arranged with the police to pretend to get money from a bank, then actually to place bundles of newsprint in a valise, which was thrown over a hedge to be recovered by the thieves. This worked effectively enough to capture them, and a half-dozen were jailed as a result.

Carnauba, however, had not been found.

The trainer’s son, Frank Turner, had made a mission of tracking down the filly, and eventually, he got a tip about a horse that seemed out of place. The thieves had sent the race filly to a riding academy, cropped her mane, and removed her racing plates to make her less obviously a racehorse; she had not prospered there because the young riders couldn’t handle a high-energy racehorse, and either out of spite or desperation, the thieves had sent Carnauba to a butcher’s yard, where Turner discovered her in January 1976, reportedly just 24 hours before she would have gone up to auction for meat.

Identified and returned to her owner, Carnauba was flown back to the States, and in March 1976, the young mare was covered by Hunt’s great Arc de Triomphe winner Vaguely Noble (Vienna). Carnauba got in foal on a single cover.

The result was a filly named Spirited Away, who did not race. The mare’s next two foals, Rich and Riotous (Empery) and Lyphard’s Holme (Lyphard) were winners, but by the time of the silver market crash that claimed Hunt’s fortune, Carnauba had a modest production record. So, at the dispersal of the Bluegrass Farm stock at Keeneland in 1988, Carnauba brought only $35,000 from Harry Mangurian, who knew a bargain when he saw one.

Having slipped twins to Hunt’s stallion Dahar (Lyphard), Carnauba was even less attractive as a commercial proposition, but Mangurian bred racing stock, as well as some sales horses, at his Mockingbird Farm in Florida. The mare’s first foal for Mockingbird was the stakes winner Valid Carnauba (Valid Appeal), whom Mangurian sold as a yearling for $35,000 at the 1990 OBS August yearling sale, then was resold for $60,000 at the Fasig-Tipton February auction of 2-year-olds in training in 1991. Valid Carnauba became a winner later that year, then progressed to win a stakes at three and place in two more, earning $110,292. She later sold, in foal to champion Unbridled, for $290,000 at the 1996 Keeneland November sale.

Valid Carnauba became one of four daughters of Carnauba to produce stakes winners; the others were Spirited Away, Rich and Riotous, and Lyphard’s Holme. One who did not was Pay the Ransom (J.O. Tobin), who did not race and did not produce even a black-type horse. Her best winner was Free Ransom (Our Native), and this mare produced a pair of stakes winners, including Swingit (Victory Gallop), the dam of Travel Column.

Bred in Kentucky by Bayne and Christina Welker, Travel Column was an $850,000 Saratoga select yearling in 2019, and she has earned more than a half-million with three victories in five starts, including the G2 Golden Rod Stakes last year at Churchill Downs. Swingit also produced Neolithic (Harlan’s Holiday), who earned $2.2 million and is at stud. She has a 2-year-old colt, Corton Charlemagne (American Pharoah), who sold for $1.25 million last year, and a yearling colt by City of Light (Quality Road). She was bred back to Audible (Into Mischief).

the tide is rising for southwest stakes winner concert tour, as well as breeders gary and mary west

There is a tide in the affairs of horses, which taken at the flood, leads on to the Kentucky Derby.

With apologies to Shakespeare, there’s more than a grain of truth in that sentence. Breeders begin the quest for the classics with purchases, sometimes quite expensive ones. Then come attempts at the major races and the stages of building a breeding operation to produce young prospects for the classics. If allied with confident planning, nerve, and patience, breeders have the potential to flower a breeding program that produces classic prospects with some regularity.

Such is the case with Gary and Mary West.

In 2019, the West stable had a pair of classic prospects, one on each coast, and both made it to the Kentucky Derby. Unbeaten in four previous starts, their homebred Maximum Security (by New Year’s Day) wintered in Florida, won the Grade 1 Florida Derby, and led the field past the wire in the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Although subsequently disqualified, Maximum Security was named champion of his division for the annual Eclipse Award.

In the same classic, the Wests’ other Derby performer was the 2018 juvenile champion Game Winner (Candy Ride), based in California with trainer Bob Baffert. Although beaten in the Kentucky Derby, Game Winner had the scope and ability of a classic colt. The dark bay had been bred by Summer Wind Farm in Kentucky and sold to the Wests for $110,000 at the Keeneland September sale in 2017.

This year, the Wests again are closely connected to a pair of colts prepping for the classics. The first is one that they sold; the Into Mischief colt Life is Good, who is unbeaten in three starts, was auctioned to China Horse Club and Maverick Racing for $525,000 at the 2019 Keeneland September sale.** (see note below)

The colt that the Wests kept is Concert Tour (by Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense), who is likewise unbeaten in three starts, including the G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on March 13. Bred in Kentucky by Gary and Mary West Stables Inc., Concert Tour is out of the Tapit mare Purse Strings.

The Wests bought Purse Strings through their racing manager and bloodstock representative Ben Glass for $240,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale. At the races, Purse Strings raced a dozen times in maiden special company, winning the last of those at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29 as a 4-year-old. Glass recalled that Purse Strings “had all the talent in the world and should have broken her maiden a half-dozen times. But she was never fully sound,” he said.

Instead, “she always had little problems: a shin, a suspensory, and so forth that kept her from being early to the races and from staying in hard training so she could show her best.”

A winner of $105,960, Purse Strings had contested a series of good maiden races, finishing second a half-dozen times and third twice before graduating to the winner’s circle. Sent to the paddocks for the 2016 breeding season, Purse Strings produced Concert Tour as her second foal.

The chestnut Purse Strings was notably the best racer from her dam, the Mt. Livermore mare My Red Porsche, who is a half-sister to the stakes winner, My White Corvette (Tarr Road). The latter produced champion Stardom Bound from the first crop by Tapit (Pulpit), and that gray filly’s five Grade 1 successes prompted a mating between My Red Porsche and the great sire.

The result was Purse Strings, and even with physical issues, she clearly was a useful filly and has passed on more than that to her progressive son Concert Tour. The mare has a yearling colt by champion Lookin at Lucky and is in foal to American Freedom (Pulpit), who won the G3 Iowa Derby, was second in both the G1 Haskell and Travers, and is now a stallion at Airdrie Stud in Kentucky. Due in mid-April, Purse Strings will be bred back to Street Sense.

To produce horses of this caliber with consistency, the Wests and their advisers are responsible for balancing optimism and pragmatism, for considering both physique and pedigree. The responsibilities for all this are considerable. Pedigree adviser Sid Fernando noted that “Werk Thoroughbred Consultants advises on matings, and we’re happy to be part of the team for Gary and Mary West, Ben Glass, and their other elite support staff.”

One of the benefits of managing well the many facets of breeding racehorses is the satisfaction when the results go as planned.

A birth notice of note: Beach Walk, the dam of unbeaten Life is Good, foaled a half-brother by Candy Ride on March 15. The mare will be bred back to Into Mischief, the sire of Life is Good.

**Editor’s note: Since the article was written and first published at Paulick Report last week, Life is Good has been removed from the list of prospects for the Kentucky Derby. In a six-furlong workout (1:11.40) at Santa Anita on March 20, Life is Good worked very well but cooled out after the work with some tenderness in his left hind ankle.

The next day, trainer Bob Baffert noted that the colt would be sent to Kentucky for further examination from veterinarian Larry Bramlage. Whatever the outcome from the exam, “we’re looking at 60 days, which takes him out of everything,” including the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes.

In addition, if the colt does require a full 60 days without training, there would be a nearly equal amount of time to bring him back to full fitness for racing. That would put a projected return for the colt in late summer or early fall, depending on how the uncertain factors all work out for the colt. Baffert said, however, that he expects Life is Good to be ready for the Breeders’ Cup in November.

idol takes home another major race trophy for a family with a history of elite race success

Leading sire Curlin (by Smart Strike) picked up another first-time stakes winner over the weekend, and the victory came in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. Idol was making his sixth start, and the Santa Anita Handicap came as the bay colt’s third success from six starts, with two seconds and a third, for earnings of $416,464.

The 75th stakes winner by Curlin, Idol was bred in Kentucky by My Meadowview LLC and sold as a yearling for $375,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Lincoln Collins, the bloodstock adviser for My Meadowview, said that “Idol was always a strong, good-looking young horse who looked like he would mature into a colt who would thrive at 10 furlongs, and we had great hopes for him.”

The big bay did not immediately, however, prove out those high hopes for his success.

Unraced at two, Idol made his debut last year at Churchill Downs on Sept. 5 as a 3-year-old and finished second going six furlongs. The colt moved up to seven furlongs for his second start, on Sept. 26 at Churchill, and with the help of a swift early pace, he mowed down the opposition to win by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:22.04.

An allowance victory on Nov. 8 at 9.5 furlongs brought a new Churchill Downs track record of 1:55.95 as Idol won off by 5 3/4 lengths as the odds-on favorite at .50-to-1. The colt’s three subsequent starts have all been in graded stakes at Santa Anita: the G2 San Antonio (second), G2 San Pasqual (third), and the Santa Anita Handicap.

Not only has Curlin made his name as a sire by producing high-quality performers at more than a mile but also having stock that stay sound and succeed as they mature. Idol has clearly followed the memo.

Collins said, “One of the challenges of breeding a horse like this is that one is treading a fine line between a horse that stays and a horse that is slow. And especially here in the States, a horse that stays has to be very high class; otherwise there’s no place for him to race.”

By a two-time Horse of the Year, Idol is the third foal out of the listed stakes winner Marion Ravenwood (A.P. Indy), and he is the mare’s first stakes winner, although her second foal, the Midnight Lute colt Ark in the Dark, has current earnings of $193,023.

The mare has an unraced 3-year-old colt by Pioneerof the Nile named Dr Jack. He sold for $250,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale as a weanling, then resold as a 2-year-old in training at the OBS spring sale last year (April sale in June) for $170,000.

Marion Ravenwood herself sold for $400,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November auction when Idol was a weanling. The mare was in foal to Pioneerof the Nile with Dr Jack at the time. In addition to the colt above, the mare’s 2019 filly was a full sister to Idol who sold for $350,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September sale.

Last year, Marion Ravenwood produced a colt by Violence and she was bred to City of Light for 2021.

Although Idol missed out on the classics, he comes from a family with a grand classic tradition. The colt traces in the female line to Boudoir, a daughter of English Derby winner Mahmoud. Her most important foals were Your Host (Alibhai, by English Derby winner Hyperion, by wartime English Triple Crown winner Gainsborough). Your Host became the sire of five-time Horse of the Year Kelso, and Your Host’s full sister Your Hostess was stakes-placed and became a famous broodmare.

Your Hostess produced four stakes winners, including T.V. Commercial (T.V. Lark), who won 15 of 55 races, including the Arlington-Washington Futurity and the Breeders’ Futurity; Gallatia (Gallant Man), who won the Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga; and Corragioso (Gallant Man), who won the Alcibiades and five other stakes.

More importantly for our story was the fourth foal of Your Hostess: Gay Hostess (Royal Charger). This striking mare produced Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Majestic Prince (Raise a Native), as well as the English highweight juvenile colt Crowned Prince, also by Raise a Native. Their full sister Meadow Blue was the last foal out of Your Hostess and was not raced.

At stud, Meadow Blue produced a stakes winner and a pair of stakes-placed racers. All five of her daughters produced stakes winners. The most immediately important was the Believe It mare Really Blue, who became the dam of champion Real Quiet (Quiet American), winner of the 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, 1997 Hollywood Futurity, and the 1999 Pimlico Special and Hollywood Gold Cup.

Meadow Blue’s stakes-winning daughter Nureyev’s Best (Nureyev) is the third dam of Idol. Her best foal was the G2 stakes winner Andujar (Quiet American), who won the Milady, was third in the G1 Vanity at Hollywood Park and in the G1 Go for Wand at Saratoga. Andujar is the second dam of Idol, and her two stakes winners are Marion Ravenwood (A.P. Indy), dam of the Idol, and Abstraction, by A.P. Indy’s high-class son Pulpit and a winner of the Federico Tesio Stakes.

*Editor’s note: Movie and racehorse trivia – Marion Ravenwood is the female lead in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark, played by Karen Allen. Twenty-one years later, Allen played the same character in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

sons of tapit on the trail to the kentucky derby have a special birthday present for their sire

For his chronological 20th birthday, Tapit received the ultimate presents from his crop of 3-year-old colts: victories in a pair of trials that put Greatest Honour and Essential Quality at the top of nearly every Kentucky Derby list.

In the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream on Feb. 27, Greatest Honour powered to victory in a visually impressive effort against a field of speedy prospects; also on Saturday, last year’s champion juvenile colt, Essential Quality, made his 3-year-old debut, and the G3 Southwest Stakes became his fourth victory without a loss. Both colts had to overcome the typical hurdles of classic racing: pace, traffic, and weather.

Now the three-time leading sire in North America has a pair of top-quality prospects for the Kentucky Derby, and it’s all the sweeter because, despite having a trio of Belmont Stakes winners, Tapit has never gotten a winner of the Derby.

In part, that is the work of chance. The odds for any single horse to win the race are long, and even leading sires rarely get more than a single classic winner. Right now, for instance, Tapit is tied with Northern Dancer for Kentucky Derby winners with zero. (And yes, I realize many of the Northern Dancers went overseas.)

Bold Ruler and Mr. Prospector had only one Kentucky Derby winner each, although both of those sires regularly had top-tier sons who were contenders for the classics.

So, having two with the quality of Greatest Honour and Essential Quality in a single crop is special. It’s like having two barrels full of gold.

In addition to sharing a great sire, these two colts both were bred by their owners and share some other qualities that assist the colt’s chances in the coming classics. They have a sufficiently tractable nature that allows them to be placed somewhat in racing; they have finishing speed that makes them dangerous at any distance; and they have a dominant personality that makes them want to win.

They are not, however, identical by any means.

Greatest Honour is a bay, and Essential Quality is a gray. Those are superficial differences, but more importantly, each is his own type. Greatest Honour is a big, rangy colt who is clearly growing and strengthening; his best days are ahead of him, and both his trainer and jockey believe that distance is his friend.

In contrast to the colt who is only now coming to his proper form, Essential Quality is more typical of his famous sire in size and muscularity and is a much more finished racehorse. He won his first Grade 1 last fall in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, and he won the divisional championship with a smooth and professional victory over Jackie’s Warrior and others in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, the colt’s second Grade 1.

The bay Greatest Honour looks more powerful in forecasting what he should be able to do, compared to what he can do now, and is the sort of colt who promises to become a genuine classic colt. The greatest barrier to that may be his paternal half-brother, Essential Quality, whose greatest asset is his speed and ability to quicken away from his competition.

Along with contrasting physiques, these two colts also have some differences in their families. Greatest Honour is out of a mare by Street Cry, whose son Street Sense won the Kentucky Derby, and that mare is a half-sister to a pair of Belmont Stakes winners: Rags to Riches (A.P. Indy) and Jazil (Seeking the Gold). This is about as stamina-rich a pedigree as we can find in America.

There can be no doubt that Essential Quality has more speed in his family. His broodmare sire is the remarkably fast Elusive Quality, and the second dam is by Storm Cat, the third dam by Fappiano. Those are high-quality speed influences, and yet each of those sires had a classic winner. Essential Quality’s family breaks more toward the speed side of its heritage, however.

The dam of the champion juvenile colt is a stakes-placed half-sister to champion 2-year-old filly Folklore (Tiznow), and the third dam is a graded stakes winner whose speed and durability were her greatest assets. Yet even among the speed in this high-quality family of Essential Quality, there is evidence of stamina, including Japan’s champion Contrail (Deep Impact), who is out of a half-sister to the dam of Essential Quality.

In summary, the athleticism and competitiveness of these two colts make them serious classic contenders. Will those qualities help them play Alydar and Affirmed, or Easy Goer and Sunday Silence, through the Triple Crown season? The possibility of that is enough to quicken the pulse of any racing fan.

mishriff wins the saudi cup and extends a legacy of breeding success from the middle east

The victory of last year’s Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) winner Mishriff (by Make Believe) in the 2021 Saudi Cup on Feb. 20 was a fascinating piece of international sporting competition, and the result highlighted a couple of interesting points.

One is that international racing has resoundingly shifted the basis and emphasis of winter racing to the warmer climates, especially those of the Middle East. The second is that one of the architects of that shift in emphasis, Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum of the UAE, has almost single-handedly also managed the continuation of one of the handsomest and most talented branches of the Mr. Prospector line.

Although neither owned nor bred by one of the Maktoum entities, Mishriff is an extension of the line descending from Mr. Prospector’s elegant and highly talented son Seeking the Gold, bred and owned by Ogden Phipps and a stallion at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky for his entire career. Sheikh Mohammed bred the best son of Seeking the Gold, the once-beaten Dubai Millennium, whose nine victories included four Group 1 races: Dubai World Cup, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Prix Jacques le Marois, and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

A remarkably handsome horse who stayed 10 furlongs well, Dubai Millennium went to stud with great expectations. This exceptional animal, however, fell victim to grass sickness and died part-way through his first season at stud in 2001. He left behind only 56 foals born the next year, and yet from that small group comes the continuation of this line of Mr. Prospector.

Although the sire of several good horses from his first crop, the star was Dubawi, a winner of three Group 1 races: National Stakes at two; the Irish 2,000 Guineas and Jacques le Marois at three. Second in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II and third in the G1 Derby Stakes at Epsom, Dubawi stayed quite well, although he was a touch off his amazing sire for absolute ability.

Sent to stud at four in 2006, Dubawi has been a revelation as a stallion, siring 52 G1 winners to date and standing now for 250,000 euros (US$303,638) for a live foal. Among the stallion’s G1 winners are the highweighted Ghaiyyath (Coronation Cup and Eclipse Stakes) and Too Darn Hot (Dewhurst), as well as the classic winners Night of Thunder (2,000 Guineas), New Bay (Prix du Jockey Club), and Makfi (2,000 Guineas).

The latter was rated the top 3-year-old miler in Europe in 2010 and entered stud in 2011. From Makfi’s first crop came Make Believe, a smooth bay colt who won a pair of G1 races: the 2015 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas) and Prix de la Foret. Those efforts were enough to give Make Believe the top ranking among the French 3-year-old colts in 2015.

The next year, however, his sire Makfi was sold to Japan. In the fall of 2016, the Japanese Bloodstock Breeders’ Association announced that they had purchased Makfi to stand in Japan at the JBBA Stallion Station.

Typically, the exit abroad of a stallion when his first crop are only four is a decidedly negative sign. Makfi’s top son, Make Believe, however, went to stud in 2016 and has proceeded to go from strength to greater strength.

With his first crop now four, Make Believe has sired French classic winner Mishriff, and that colt is a key to the enduring fortunes of this line because Mishriff’s owner-breeder, Prince A.A. Faisal, also owned and raced Make Believe.

As a weanling, Make Believe sold to Hugo Merry for 180,000 guineas at the 2012 Tattersalls mixed sale and went into training with Andre Fabre for Prince Faisal. After winning a pair of G1s at three, Make Believe went to stud in Ireland at Ballylinch Stud, where he stands today.

Mishriff is from his sire’s first crop and is the third stakes horse from three racers out of the mare Contradict, a daughter of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Raven’s Pass (Elusive Quality). The mare’s earlier produce are the listed stakes winner Orbaan (Invincible Spirit) and multiple G3-placed Momkin (Bated Breath).

Prince Faisal’s Nawara Stud bred the colt in Ireland, and he is the fourth generation of the family owned by Prince Faisal. Nawara Stud bred Mishriff’s third dam Rafha (Kris) from the Artaius mare Eljaazi, and the elegant chestnut won the 1990 Prix de Diane at Chantilly.

West Australian (1850 by Melbourne x Mowerina, by Touchstone) comes from this family. Once beaten in 10 starts, West Australian is the first winner of the English Triple Crown. At 10, he was sold to the Duc de Morny and sent to Haras de Viroflay in France. When Morny died two years later, West Australian was moved to Haras du Pin, the French national stud. In addition to siring Summerside (1859 Oaks), Jeune Premiere (1867 Prix de Diane), and The Wizard (1860 2,000 Guineas), West Australian was responsible for the survival of the Godolphin Arabian male line through his son Solon, the sire of Barcaldine and then to Hurry On in Europe, and through Australian, the sire of Kentucky Derby winner Baden-Baden and of Spendthrift, the sire of Kingston (the greatest winner of races in history, 89) and of Hastings, thence Fair Play and Man o’ War, which has come down to us today in the male line of In Reality and Tiznow.

Sent to stud, Rafha produced four stakes winners, three stakes-placed performers, and a pair of high-quality stallions. First among those was the mare’s fifth foal, G1 winner Invincible Spirit (Green Desert), who included Haydock’s Sprint Cup among his six victories and who has become an overachieving sire in Europe as an influence for speed and durability. The less-expected sire from Rafha is Kodiac (Danehill), whose best racecourse achievement was a second in a G3 stakes but who has been a marvel at producing speed and precocity. He is the leading sire of 2-year-old winners for a single season with 61.

Two years younger than Kodiac is the now 18-year-old Acts of Grace (Bahri), a G3 stakes-winning daughter of Rafha and the dam of Contradict.

Mishriff is the last reported foal of his dam, but Contradict is in foal to the great Frankel (Galileo) for 2021.

a big part of the formula for classic success is classic performance

The prep races at the Fair Grounds brought out some of the bright prospects for the 2021 classics, and the winners of both the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra and the G2 Risen Star Stakes are a filly and a colt marked for classic potential by their immediate antecedents.

Stonestreet Stable’s Clairiere (by Curlin) won the Rachel Alexandra and is by a Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner out of a mare by a Preakness winner, Bernardini (A.P. Indy). Juddmonte’s Mandaloun won the Risen Star and is by the sire of 2020 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Authentic (Into Mischief) out of a mare by Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker (by Kentucky Derby and BC Classic winner Unbridled).

The recipe is clear. Breed a top-class stallion to a daughter of a classic winner, especially if it’s a classic son of Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner A.P. Indy.

In addition to Authentic, Into Mischief is also responsible for Kentucky Derby third Audible, who is a G1 winner and is now a sire standing at WinStar Farm. This year, Into Mischief also has the highly regarded Life is Good (2021 Sham Stakes) and Mutasaabeq (2021 Mucho Macho Man Stakes) also working their way along the classic trail.

In contrast, Curlin is light-handed for colts at the moment, but the glowing chestnut titan is flush with fillies. As of the weekend, chief of these is Clairiere, who picked up 50 points for the Kentucky Oaks and guaranteed herself a starting gate position if all goes well between now and the filly’s classic.

And among Curlin’s stakes horses of 2021, at least five by the two-time Horse of the Year are out of daughters of Horse of the Year A.P. Indy or one of his sons. Is this the greatest cross of the present day?

Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Bloodstock LLC, Clairiere is the first foal of the Bernardini mare Cavorting, who won three Grade 1 races (Test, Personal Ensign, and Ogden Phipps). That race record shows that Cavorting had first-class speed, especially for a daughter of champion Bernardini, who sires a sprinter only by accident, but some of his best are so talented that they can race effectively at almost any distance.

A son of classic winner A.P. Indy, Bernardini won the Preakness and Travers during his championship season. As a sire, he is an strong influence for classic scope and quality, and his daughters are passing on these traits. (Photo courtesy of Darley)

Cavorting was one of the latter, as she proved with a Grade 2 victory in the Adirondack Stakes at two, then progressed at three and four to win Grade 1 races both years.

Bred by Swettenham Stud and purchased by Stonestreet as a weanling for $360,000 at the 2012 Keeneland November sale, Cavorting earned $2 million her new owners. John Moynahan picked out Cavorting for Stonestreet and recalled that she “was a beautiful foal. Total quality.

“Then as a yearling, she looked like she’d be a very precocious 2-year-old. She won her debut by 11 lengths, then won the Adirondack by a length and a quarter,” from Angela Renee, another Bernardini filly who won the G1 Chandelier Stakes later that year. Fifth in the Adirondack was Take Charge Brandi (Giant’s Causeway), who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and was named champion of her division for 2014.

Cavorting went to the G1 Frizette unbeaten in two starts but finished seventh and “had to be put on the shelf due to some minor bone bruising,” Moynahan recalled, “although she never had any real soundness issues.”

“When she got older,” Moynahan said, “[trainer] Kiaran [McLaughlin] came with the idea to try her going two turns,” and Cavorting won the last three starts of her career going a mile or more, including two of her three Grade 1s.

On retirement, great hopes were held for Cavorting because “she’s kind of a throwback who can last on the New York circuit to win major races at two, three, and four. Real hickory,” Moynahan said.

Sure enough, the lovely bay mare has continued her winning ways at stud. Clairiere is the first foal of her dam and now is her first graded stakes winner. The Rachel Alexandra winner is the 74th stakes winner for Curlin. Since Clairiere, Cavorting has produced a 2-year-old filly by Medaglia d’Oro who is yet unnamed and has a yearling full brother to Clairiere. Bred to Quality Road last year, the mare was barren.

The mare is booked to Into Mischief.

Clairiere is the third generation of her female family to win a graded stakes, as the filly’s second dam is the Carson City mare Promenade Girl, who won the G2 Molly Pitcher, four other stakes, and also was third in the G1 Spinster and Ogden Phipps.

“Cavorting’s pedigree, physique, and attitude made us very hopeful for her prospects as a broodmare,” Moynahan said, “and now it looks like she could be a tremendous producer, the sort of mare who could get a world-class champion.”

setting the gold standard: medaglia d’oro approaches 150 stakes winners

With the graded stakes victories of Moonlight d’Oro and Risk Taking over the weekend, their sire Medaglia d’Oro now has 76 graded stakes winners worldwide, from 148 stakes winners bred in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Moonlight d’Oro won the Grade 3 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 8, and shortly thereafter on Saturday, Risk Taking won the G3 Withers at Aqueduct. It was the first stakes victory for each horse.

Their sire is most famous for the champions Rachel Alexandra (Kentucky Oaks, Preakness Stakes, Haskell) and Songbird (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and eight other Grade 1 races), but there is no question that Medaglia d’Oro is a gold medal stallion.

But it was not always so. A three-time winner at the G1 level himself, Medaglia d’Oro was a leading racer by his sire El Prado, who in turn was the lone successful representative of the Sadler’s Wells line in the States at the time. Scarcity, in this instance, would not be considered a virtue among breeders, who flock to the horses who succeed the most and equally shun those who do not.

Medaglia d’Oro showing the balance and quality that have helped make him a leading sire. (Darley photo)

So the relative lack of success from the Sadler’s Wells branch of Northern Dancer was a serious impediment to Medaglia d’Oro, and being out of a mare by the Damascus stallion Bailjumper, the horse’s pedigree wasn’t the sort that brought stallion farms racing to stand the horse, no matter how strong his racing career had been.

In the eminently capable hands of trainer Bobby Frankel, Medaglia d’Oro had won $5.7 million with victories in the G1 Travers, Whitney, and Donn, along with prestigious seconds in the Dubai World Cup, Breeders’ Cup Classic (twice), and the Belmont Stakes. The race in Dubai was the last one for Medaglia d’Oro, and he was sold to Richard Haisfield in May 2004.

As a 6-year-old, the horse entered stud in 2005 with John G. Sikura at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, then was transferred to Audrey Haisfield’s Stonewall Farm in 2006. Now an independent bloodstock consultant, Clark Shepherd was then the seasons and matings manager for Stonewall.

Shepherd recalled that “since the Haisfields already owned the horse, when the stallion barn was finished at Stonewall, he yanked the horses – Medaglia d’Oro, Doneraile Court, and Marquetry, as I recall – and put them all at Stonewall.”

In addition to these, Stonewall also stood champion older horse Lawyer Ron (by Langfuhr) and champion turf horse Leroidesanimaux (Candy Stripes), plus several others.

These were bullish years in racing and breeding, and Shepherd recalled that he didn’t have “a lot of trouble getting mares to the horses, especially Medaglia. In part, that was because the farm had started a deal of awarding complimentary matings to mares who were either graded stakes winners or graded stakes producers. That kept the mare volume at a level that second- and third-year stallions don’t usually enjoy these days.”

Part of the rationale behind that aggressive approach to bringing mares into the stallions’ books was to make the resulting foals as commercially appealing as possible, as well as to get many mares of racing quality into the stallions’ books.

The first-crop yearlings by Medaglia d’Oro made him a successful commercial sire at the sales in 2007, and he was well-ranked in fourth among the 2008 freshmen sires, led by Tapit (Pulpit), when Rachel Alexandra was her sire’s first-crop leader, and the filly backed up that early promise with classic greatness in the 2009 Kentucky Oaks and Preakness Stakes.

Entrepreneur and sportsman Richard Santulli, along with businessman Barry Weisbord, had purchased a minority interest in Medaglia d’Oro in August 2008, as first the national, then the world, economy tipped into deeper collapse.

As that economic demise precipitated through the end of 2008 and reached its lowest point in the first part of 2009, bloodstock and the commercial equine market felt the sting even worse than the general economy. Then, as the financial side of the Stonewall operation began to unwind, Godolphin came in and bought the rapidly appreciating Medaglia d’Oro for a reported $40 million total valuation in a deal that closed in early June 2009.

The stallion shipped across town to Darley‘s Jonabell stallion farm, and that has been his base ever since.

One of the more successful shuttle stallions, Medaglia d’Oro sired two of his better colts Down Under with champion Vancouver and Group 1 winner Astern. In the Northern Hemisphere, as well, success for the stallion’s progeny has become more equally divided between the colts and fillies, with such as Talismanic (Breeders’ Cup Turf), and his sons at stud continue to have a following among breeders. Chief among these stallion sons is Violence, who stands at Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa, and Medaglia d’Oro’s younger sons without foals of racing age include G1 winners Bolt d’Oro (Spendthrift) and Higher Power (Darby Dan).

Currently standing for $150,000 live foal at Darley, Medaglia d’Oro is one of the most popular and influential sires of the day.