With her victory in the Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 26, Songbird (by Medaglia d’Oro) won her third race without a defeat and her second Grade 1, following the Del Mar Debutante. Her time of 1:43.79 was 1.1 seconds faster than the colt Nyquist ran in winning the G1 Frontrunner earlier on the same card.
A frontrunner of obvious ability, Songbird takes a great deal after her famous sire, both in racing style and racing class. Medaglia d’Oro was a steed of prodigious frontrunning ability, and in the capable hands of trainer Bobby Frankel, the dark brown son of El Prado was first or second in 15 of his 17 starts, earning more than $5.7 million.
At the track, Medaglia d’Oro’s best victories included the G1 Travers, Whitney, and Donn, while he was also second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Belmont Stakes, and Dubai World Cup.
A horse of striking presence and individuality, Medaglia d’Oro began his stud career at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm, where the mares he covered included Lotta Kim (by the Forty Niner stallion Roar), the dam of Preakness and Woodward Stakes winner Rachel Alexandra.
Rachel Alexandra was the biggest star in the first crop by Medaglia d’Oro, who had been transferred to his owners’ Stonewall Farm. There the dark brown horse continued as a highly popular stallion till his first-crop successes engendered an offer from Darley that could not be refused.
Now Medaglia d’Oro stands at Darley’s Jonabell stallion center in Lexington on Northern Hemisphere time for the February through June breeding season and commutes to Australia, where he stands at Darley Kelvinside in New South Wales for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season.
The sire of 72 stakes winners in the Northern Hemisphere, Medaglia d’Oro is especially well-known for the excellence of his daughters, which include classic winners Rachel Alexandra and Plum Pretty (Kentucky Oaks), as well as other major winners like Marketing Mix (Gamely), Champagne d’Oro (Acorn), Gabby’s Golden Gal (Acorn), and now Songbird.
But Medaglia d’Oro also has sired G1-winning colts like Violence (Hollywood Futurity), Warrior’s Reward (Carter), Mshawish (Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap), as well as his best racer in Australia, G1 Golden Slipper victor Vancouver.
Results such as these have guaranteed Medaglia d’Oro a steady supply of outstanding racemares and producers as his mates, and the dam of Songbird proved herself a talented and resilient racehorse during her career on the track.
In three seasons of racing, Ivanavinalot won six races and $647,300. In addition to winning the Florida Stallion Stakes My Dear Girl division at 2, the daughter of West Acre progressed at 3 to win the G2 Bonnie Miss at Gulfstream, as well as finish second in the G2 Davona Dale.
One of three stakes winners out of the Deputy Minister mare Beaty Sark, Ivanavinalot was the best racer by her royally pedigreed sire West Acre. That horse was by champion juvenile and leading sire Forty Niner (Mr. Prospector) and out of the important producer Narrate, who was also a graded stakes winner during her racing career.
An April 30 foal, Songbird has proven herself the best of her dam’s produce by far. Although Ivanavinalot had several foals to race without distinction, Songbird was such an outstanding prospect that she was accepted for Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga select yearling sale last year. A real star on the sales grounds, the striking bay filly with four white stockings had a typical profile for her sire.
She carries very good condition, has good length through the body, with strong quarters, and has the balance of shape and fluidity of motion that suggests a high-quality individual.
All these attributes caught the attentive eye of sales inspector Tom McGreevy, who purchases racing prospects for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm, and on a bid of $400,000, the lovely filly went into the training set for Fox Hill.
After the Chandelier, Songbird will justly be one of the favorites for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, where she may meet Spinaway winner Rachel’s Valentina (Bernardini). The latter and this year’s Vosburgh Stakes winner Rock Fall (Speightstown) are early evidence that Medaglia d’Oro is a broodmare sire for tomorrow.
With the size, speed, quality, and scope of the stallion’s daughters, they seem natural selections as premium broodmares. They are already proving themselves in that, and the combination of more Medaglia d’Oro daughters coming into production every year and their selection as mates for better stallions will mark this gold medal sire as a future broodmare sire of distinction.