Three-year-old colts racing toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) provided a stakes double for Darley sire Medaglia d'Oro March 10, when his sons Bolt d'Oro and Enticed took top Derby preps.
Medaglia d'Oro's top two sophomore colts head the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, and his daughter, Gary Barber's grade 2 winner Wonder Gadot, is a candidate for the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Bolt d'Oro moved into first place on the Road to the Kentucky Derby with 64 points after his win via disqualification in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park. The colt earned two top-level victories for owner/trainer Mick Ruis as a 2-year-old: the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and FrontRunner Stakes (G1). Ruis purchased the colt at Fasig-Tipton's 2016 Saratoga select yearling sale for $630,000 from Denali Stud's consignment.
Medaglia d'Oro, a son of El Prado (IRE), crossed with A.P. Indy mares has produced six stakes winners from 59 starters, a strike rate of 10%. By comparison, A.P. Indy mares crossed with other sires have produced 7% stakes winners from starters. The cross has resulted in grade 1 winners Plum Pretty, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Oaks (G1), and last year's Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1T) winner Dickinson.
Godolphin's grade 2 winner Enticed bumped his Kentucky Derby points to 63, placing him second, with his 2 3/4-length victory in the Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack. The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained colt placed third in the Champagne Stakes (G1) in his second start at 2 and went on to win the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) later in the year.
Enticed's dam is the late multiple grade 1 winner It's Tricky. The daughter of Mineshaft won the TVG Acorn Stakes (G1) and the TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at 3, and the 2012 Ogden Phipps Handicap (G1) the following year. Enticed is her first foal to race.
When sons of El Prado are bred to Mineshaft mares, the cross has produced three stakes winners from 10 starters for a 30% strike rate. Sons of El Prado crossed with all other broodmare sires have a 7% stakes winner-to-starter rate.
Ranked 11th on the general leading sires list through Thursday, Medaglia d'Oro has 22 grade 1 winners. He led all other sires in 2017 by gross sales with $36,302,400 and is off to another solid year. Heading into the Ocala Breeders' Sales March sale of 2-year-olds in training, the stallion led gross sale results at $2,375,000 from 10 sold out of 11 offered. With no progeny entered in the sale, he now ranks fifth by gross. However, of those top five he has the highest overall average at $237,500.
The 19-year-old, grade 1-winning Medaglia d'Oro, campaigned by Edmund Gann and trainer Bobby Frankel, began his stud career in 2004 at Hill 'n' Dale, where he stood his first year for $35,000. He moved to Stonewall in 2006 and was bumped to a $40,000 fee, before landing at Darley in 2009.
"When you see him in the flesh, people are always surprised," Darren Fox, sales manager at Darley, said. "During the stallion show they hear that he is 19 ... I know his dam, she's (still alive) at age 29, so there is some longevity in the genes. He's obviously a horse that is in great shape and looks it when you see him."
The sire of four champions who has shuttled to Australia every year since moving to Darley, Medaglia d'Oro had his most significant bump this year when his stud fee was raised to $250,000 from $150,000. Last year he became only the fourth stallion to sire seven grade 1 winners in a single year, joining Danzig, Mr. Prospector, and Storm Cat.
"He's the lynchpin of our stallion roster and was increased from $150,000 to $250,000, making him the co-second most expensive stallion in North America," Fox added. "His legacy is really starting to unfold through his position as a broodmare sire. I believe he is the broodmare sire of 14 black-type winners, two of them graded and two of them grade 1."
For a stallion known for producing top fillies—two of his champions are Rachel Alexandra and Songbird—he is gaining ground as a sire of sires as well. His champion son Vancouver is standing at Ashford Stud for $15,000, and other sire sons include Three Chimneys Farm's Fast Anna , Taylor Made Stallions' Mshawish , Hill 'n' Dale Farms' Violence , and Spendthrift Farm's Warrior's Reward .
"Violence is making a great start, and then we have a son in Astern, who is in his first year," Fox said. "So he is really an important stallion to us and, I think, an important stallion to the industry. His legacy is really just starting to develop, and we kind of see that we'll be experiencing the full effect of Medaglia d'Oro through sons and daughters for generations to come. It's certainly gratifying and exciting to be associated with a horse of this caliber."