Bloodlines: Sons Of Medaglia d’Oro Loom Large For The Classics

by | 03.13.2018 | 8:50am
Enticed (Medaglia d'Oro) and jockey Junior Alvarado win the Gotham (Gr III) at Aqueduct Racetrack 3/10/18. Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin. Owner: Godolphin Racing, LLC

Coming up with the victors in both the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct and the G2 San Felipe at Santa Anita, Medaglia d'Oro (by El Prado) had his most impressive showing to date as a sire of classic colts. Already a star as a sire of champion fillies, Medaglia d'Oro has gotten colts who have been good, but either timing or talent or aptitude have not connected them to the Triple Crown in the resounding way that Enticed and Bolt d'Oro have announced themselves for the 2018 classics.

Bolt d'Oro started favorite for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year at Del Mar, on a day when several strong favorites seemed to have a hard time getting hold of that track. The third-place finish cost the big bay the Eclipse Award as 2-year-old champion, and instead, the winner Good Magic also toted home the trophy at the Eclipse Awards ceremony.

After overcoming a minor setback, Bolt d'Oro had prepared with increasing intensity for the coming challenges on the road to the Triple Crown with improving works, and the colt staged a mighty tussle through the stretch with the highly talented McKinzie (Street Sense), who finished in front by a head but was disqualified for interference.

Both colts pulled away from the quick and capable Kanthaka (Jimmy Creed), who was 6 ½ lengths behind in third, and only a head separated Bolt d'Oro and his nemesis. They are expected to return for the Santa Anita Derby on April 7, and that should provide both another thrilling race, as well as a serious update on their progress toward the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.

Bred in Kentucky by WinStar from the A.P. Indy mare Globe Trot, Bolt d'Oro is bred on a similar pattern to Enticed and the Medaglia d'Oro filly Wonder Gadot. The Gotham winner is out of a daughter of A.P. Indy's Horse of the Year son Mineshaft, and Wonder Gadot is out of a daughter of champion Vindication, a son of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew like Horse of the Year A.P. Indy.

On the same day as the Santa Anita Derby, Enticed is expected to return in the April 7 Wood Memorial, and thence to Kentucky. A G2 winner at 2 in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, Enticed is a proven graded winner at Churchill Downs, which is a consideration because some horses like the surface and others do not.

Enticed is also a rugged and robust individual who is expected to thrive on his racing. As a Darley homebred, Enticed races in the blue silks of Godolphin, and the good-looking dark bay is following in the path of Frosted (Tapit), who prepped for the classics here in the States with a victory in the Wood Memorial prior to a fourth in the Kentucky Derby and a second in the Belmont Stakes (behind Triple Crown winner American Pharoah). Frosted then trained on to multiple G1 successes at 4 before retiring to stud at Darley's Jonabell Farm in Kentucky.

A similar destination would be desirable for Enticed, especially if he can participate in a classic exacta with another son of Darley sire Medaglia d'Oro. Acquired by Darley in a private transaction after his first crop rocketed to the top and made him leading freshman sire, Medaglia d'Oro has become a staple sire of quality horses who can go two turns and have versatility to race on turf or dirt.

The stallion's first crop was led by champion and Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra, who was elected Horse of the Year. Subsequently, he has had multiple champion Songbird, and the presence of those headline fillies has caused their sire to be misunderstood as a stallion with a bias toward fillies of quality.

Doubtless he does sire excellent fillies, but like Darley stallion Street Cry, who sired champions Zenyatta and current Australian star Winx, Medaglia d'Oro does sire more than star fillies. The problem for him is that the fillies have burned so much more brightly than any colts to date.

Bolt d'Oro is at work to rectify that perception.

Street Sense did his part to make breeders aware that Street Cry was not a filly sire by winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, becoming champion 2-year-old colt, then winning the Kentucky Derby the following year.

At stud, Street Sense has been a remarkably steady sire of stock that show form at 2, then improve at 3. McKinzie has been a model of that trend, and he is a serious competitor for the Kentucky Derby, despite the result at Santa Anita.

Both he and Bolt d'Oro showed classic form, and it is really a question of improvement and further development in the coming weeks that will tell us which should be the master of the classics in 2018.

Frank Mitchell is author of Racehorse Breeding Theories, as well as the book Great Breeders and Their Methods: The Hancocks. In addition to writing the column “Sires and Dams” in Daily Racing Form for nearly 15 years, he has contributed articles to Thoroughbred Daily News, Thoroughbred Times, Thoroughbred Record, International Thoroughbred, and other major publications. In addition, Frank is chief of biomechanics for DataTrack International and is a hands-on caretaker of his own broodmares and foals in Central Kentucky. Check out Frank's lively Bloodstock in the Bluegrass blog.

  • whirlaway

    I am a loyal MDO fan and so pleased to see his colts doing well, I started the year following five of his sons and two have made it this far. Another is back working to return and two others could still come back all 3 for later races. MDO had some nice colts in this crop.

    • Elle D

      Wouldn’t it be great to see Medaglia with a Derby winner! I saw him race only once, in the Donn at Gulfstream, but I’ve long admired him, and get out to see him whenever possible. Now that his son Astern is here, I’m hoping he will take Medaglia’s place down under.

      • whirlaway

        I would be overjoyed no matter which of his colts would be successful. I also loved Enticed’s dam It’s Tricky. BTW a few posting here and none of us remember anything about her cause of death, do you happen to know.

        • Elle D

          I think it was just last year, but I don’t recall. She was a rather young mare, about 10. Foaling perhaps?

          • whirlaway

            So sad, at least there is Enticed and she has a 2 yr old filly by Ghostzapper.

        • Stephanie

          I believe I read in a Bloodhorse article recently posted about the Stonerside stables acquisition that It’s Tricky had passed due to complications from laminitis.

          • whirlaway

            Thank you and I did finally see that also as a few of us had been asking about that. I loved that mare and her death at such a young age was a loss. That is why Enticed was in my virtual stable before he even raced. She has an unnamed 2 yr old filly sired by Ghostzapper that I will be watching for and also a 4 yr old unraced filly Too Complicated also by MDO that I would think if all is well with her maybe she will
            be a broodmare for Darley.

  • David Worley

    I have long thought, and continue to think, that Medaglia d’Oro will go down as the best American dirt sire of his crop (plus or minus five years from his foal date of 1999). The Northern Dancer line through Sadler’s Wells and El Prado is proving to be quite potent over the long term given MDO, Kitten’s Joy, and Artie Schiller. I wonder if American Breeder’s might have overlooked Schiller a bit and weren’t patient enough with breeding excellent mares to him; Australian interests were smart to spot his potential; Turkish interests were smart to buy Paddy O’Prado.

    • whirlaway

      Sadly turf sires are not a priority in America. EL Prado was underappreciated. Luckily MDO
      produces runners on dirt. War Front has been popular more than most turf horses.

      • Terri Z

        Racing on turf is more prevalent than ever in the US.
        I have seen turf races at Gulfstream with quality fields of 12 horses. In some of the fields, I have seen 6 of the 12 horses capable of winning the race. And Gulfstream has had quite a few races that are 1 1/2 miles on the turf. (The nongraded stakes named for H. Allen Jerkens is on the turf at 1 1/2 miles. And on the the day of the Pegasus, there were two 1 1/2 mile and one 2 mile races on the turf).
        Thank goodness things are changing. If you want to look at stallions that excel on the turf and that are reasonably priced, look at the Calumet stallions.

        • whirlaway

          I love turf racing and honestly if I was an owner could be very happy racing turf horses. I did notice those distance races at Gulfstream. I have never been to Gulfstream but on TV the turf looks like it is not in very good shape with what seems
          like some turf with dirt being kicked up by the horses. I live in the NE and really need to get up to Woodbine to see turf racing there. Calumet not only has turf stallions but
          stallions that are distance runners will be interesting to watch their horses they are breeding, probably will never be like the original Calumet but he has had some success.

  • John McEvoy

    How about the Scat Daddys on the Derby trail?

    • In addition to Justify, who’s unbeaten in 2 but never started in a stakes yet, there are Mendelssohn (G1 winner and expected for the UAE Derby next) and Flameaway (second in the Tampa Bay Derby after winning the Sam Davis last month) among the more proven sons of Scat Daddy who will try to vie for the classics.

    • whirlaway

      What a loss his early death was. Glad he has quality horses both colts/fillies for the future. He would have been a very important stallion for years to come.

    • StrideBig

      I think it would be neat if a Scat Daddy wins the Derby…Even though I love several on the trail from a few different sires.

  • Jonni Sincere

    It’s his Turn to get a Classic Runner. Maybe 1,2. Bolt over Entice.

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