Medaglia d'Oro (horse)

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Medaglia d'Oro
SireEl Prado
GrandsireSadler's Wells
DamCappucino Bay
Foaled (1999-04-11) April 11, 1999 (age 24)
Paris, Kentucky, U.S.
CountryUnited States
ColourDark bay/Brown
BreederAlbert and Joyce Bell
OwnerJoyce Bell
Edmund A. Gand
TrainerRobert J. Frankel
Record17: 8-7-0
Major wins
San Felipe Stakes (2002)
Jim Dandy Stakes (2002)
Travers Stakes (2002)
Whitney Handicap (2003)
Oaklawn Handicap (2003)
Strub Stakes (2003)
Donn Handicap (2004)
Last updated on August 29, 2008

Medaglia d'Oro (foaled April 11, 1999) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won several major stakes races including the 2002 Travers Stakes and the 2003 Whitney Handicap. He also finished second in the 2002 Belmont Stakes, the Breeders' Cup Classic in both 2002 and 2003, and the 2004 Dubai World Cup. Since retiring to stud, he has become an excellent stallion whose progeny include 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, two-time champion filly Songbird and two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year Golden Sixty.


Medaglia d'Oro is a dark bay or brown stallion with a white star and three white socks. He was bred by Albert and Joyce Bell of Great Falls, Montana and foaled on April 11, 1999, at Katalpa Farm in Paris, Kentucky.[2] His sire was Ireland's 1991 Champion 2-Year-Old, El Prado, who was a son of the fourteen-time leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland Sadler's Wells, who in turn was a son of the 20th century's most influential sire and sire of sires, Northern Dancer. El Prado was the first son of Sadler's Wells to establish himself in the United States, becoming the leading sire in North America in 2002.[3] However, the dam's side of his pedigree is less distinguished. His dam, Cappuccino Bay, won a minor stakes race but then descended into the claiming ranks. Her sire, Bailjumper, was not a success at stud, though he was a son of Hall of Fame inductee Damascus.[4] Her family had failed to produce a major winner in several generations.[5]

As a yearling in 2000, Medaglia d'Oro was sent to a ranch in Arizona where he learned the basics of being a racehorse under the care of Raland Ayers. "He was just a pro from day one", said Ayers. |The first time I galloped him, he went between two horses like he'd been doing it all his life. I've never been around a horse with that much class." In May 2001, Medaglia d'Oro returned to Kentucky where he was placed in trainer David Vance's stable at Churchill Downs.[2]

Medaglia d'Oro has been described as an attractive horse with excellent conformation. He stands 16.2 hands (66 inches, 168 cm) high.[6]

Racing career[edit]

Medaglia d'Oro finished second in his only race as a two-year-old in 2001. After his winning three-year-old debut, he was sold to Edmund Gann and transferred to trainer Robert J. Frankel.[2]

Leading up to the 2002 Triple Crown, Medaglia d'Oro won the San Felipe Stakes in California then finished second in the Wood Memorial in New York. In the 1+14 mile Kentucky Derby, he was ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr. to a fourth-place finish behind War Emblem. Ridden by Jerry Bailey in the 1+316 mile Preakness Stakes, he ran eighth behind War Emblem, then with Kent Desormeaux as his jockey, he finished second in the 1+12 mile Belmont Stakes, beaten by long-shot Sarava.[6]

After a brief rest, Medaglia d'Oro returned in early August to win the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course by 13+34 lengths under jockey Jerry Bailey, who would ride him in all his subsequent starts. In the Jim Dandy, Medaglia d'Oro earned a career high Beyer Speed Figure of 120.[6] He then won the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, before running second to Volponi in the 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic. Medaglia d'Oro finished second to War Emblem in the Eclipse Award for champion three-year-old of 2002.[7]

Medaglia d'Oro started his four-year-old campaign with a seven-length victory in the Strub Stakes in February at Santa Anita, then won the Oaklawn Handicap in April by 2+34 lengths.[6] After a rest, he returned to win the Whitney Handicap by a length over Volponi, becoming the first horse to win Saratoga's Jim Dandy, Travers and Whitney.[8] He then ran second to Candy Ride in the Pacific Classic and to Pleasantly Perfect in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic. Sent back to the track in 2004, the five-year-old Medaglia d'Oro raced twice. He won January's Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park in Florida, then at the end of March, he finished second to Pleasantly Perfect in the Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates.

Stud record[edit]

In May 2004, Medaglia d'Oro was sold to Richard Haisfield, who retired him to stud duty in 2005 at Hill 'n' Dale Farms for a fee of $35,000. In 2006, Medaglia d'Oro was moved to Audrey Haisfield's newly completed Stonewall Stallions, where he stood through 2009. His fee increased to $40,000 in 2007, then $60,000 in 2009.[6] From his first crop born in 2006, he produced several stakes winners, the most notable of which was Rachel Alexandra, who was the 2009 Horse of the Year. As a result of this success, he was purchased by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stud for an undisclosed price in 2009.[9]

Starting in the summer of 2010, Medaglia d'Oro has been shuttled to Australia for the southern hemisphere's breeding season. His first Australian crop was only moderately successful, but his second Australian crop included Vancouver, who won the Golden Slipper Stakes and was named Australia's champion two-year-old of 2014–5.[10] For the 2015 season in Australia, his fee increased to A$110,000.[11]

In 2016, his fee in North America was increased to $150,000 live foal. One of the mares bred to him was Zenyatta, the 2010 Horse of the Year.[12]

Medaglia d'Oro had seven GI winners in 2017: among American stallions, only Danzig, Mr. Prospector and Storm Cat have ever had as many. With two winners at the 2017 Breeders' Cup, Darley raised his stud fee to $250,000.[13]


By Racing Year, for offspring racing in the Northern Hemisphere[14]
Year North
Winners Stakes
Chief Earner Earnings
2008 #4 first-crop 18 4 2 Retraceable $1,335,405
2009 #1 second-crop 67 10 5 Rachel Alexandra $7,737,666
2010 17 82 14 6 Rachel Alexandra $6,247,361
2011 9 98 12 7 Plum Pretty $6,882,615
2012 20 103 11 6 Marketing Mix $9,305,068
2013 12 112 18 7 Rydilluc $7,783,016
2014 6 126 19 8 Coffee Clique $9,162,175
2015 2 129 22 12 Songbird $13,219,030
2016 7 98 15 6 Songbird $10,664,220

Prior to 2015, the Leading Sire Lists published by The Blood-Horse excluded earnings from Hong Kong and Japan due to the disparity in purses. Starting in 2015, earnings from Hong Kong and Japan are included on an adjusted basis.[15]

Notable Progeny[edit]

Medaglia d'Oro has currently sired 26 individual Group 1 winners:

c = colt, f = filly, g = gelding

Foaled Name Sex Major wins
2006 C. S. Silk f Just a Game Stakes
2006 Gabby's Golden Gal f Acorn Stakes, Santa Monica Handicap
2006 Rachel Alexandra f Kentucky Oaks, Preakness Stakes, Mother Goose Stakes, Haskell Invitational Stakes, Woodward Stakes
2006 Warrior's Reward c Carter Handicap
2007 Champagne d'Oro f Acorn Stakes, Test Stakes
2007 Passion For Gold c Critérium de Saint-Cloud
2008 Marketing Mix f Rodeo Drive Stakes, Gamely Stakes
2008 Plum Pretty f Kentucky Oaks, Apple Blossom Handicap
2010 Coffee Clique f Just a Game Stakes
2010 Lochte g Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap
2010 Mshawish c Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, Donn Handicap
2010 Violence c Los Alamitos Futurity
2012 Bar Of Gold f Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint
2012 Dickinson f Jenny Wiley Stakes
2012 Vancouver c Golden Slipper Stakes
2013 Astern c Golden Rose Stakes
2013 Songbird f Del Mar Debutante Stakes, Chandelier Stakes, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, Santa Anita Oaks, American Oaks, Alabama Stakes, Cotillion Stakes, Ogden Phipps Stakes, Delaware Handicap
2013 Talismanic c Breeders' Cup Turf
2014 Elate f Alabama Stakes, Beldame Stakes
2014 New Money Honey f Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Belmont Oaks
2015 Bolt d'Oro c Del Mar Futurity, FrontRunner Stakes
2015 Crown Prosecutor c New Zealand Derby
2015 Golden Sixty g Hong Kong Mile (thrice), Hong Kong Stewards' Cup (twice), Hong Kong Gold Cup (twice), Champions Mile (thrice)
2015 Higher Power c Pacific Classic Stakes
2016 Cambier Parc f Del Mar Oaks, Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes
2016 Flit f The Thousand Guineas


Pedigree of Medaglia d'Oro, dark bay or brown stallion, 1999[16]
El Prado
Sadler's Wells Northern Dancer Nearctic
Fairy Bridge Bold Reason
Lady Capulet Sir Ivor Sir Gaylord
Caps and Bells Tom Fool
Cappucino Bay
Bailjumper Damascus Sword Dancer
Court Circuit Royal Vale
Dubbed In Silent Screen Prince John
Prayer Bell
Society Singer Restless Wind
Social Position (Family 9-b)[4]


  1. ^ "Statistics – Medaglia d'Oro". Equibase. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Haskin, Steve. "The Journey of Medaglia d'Oro". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. ^ Roman, Steve; Miller, Steve. "Chef-de-Race: El Prado". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b Medaglia d'Oro's pedigree and partial racing stats.
  5. ^ Sparkman, John P. "Medaglia d'Oro strikes gold Down Under". Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e Hammonds, Evan. "Medaglia d'Oro Profile" (PDF). Blood-Horse. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  7. ^ Mieszerski, Bob (1 February 2003). "Fresh Start for Medaglia d'Oro". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Medaglia d'Oro Shines Brilliantly in Whitney". Blood-Horse. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  9. ^ Mitchell, Ron. "Darley Purchases Hot Sire Medaglia d'Oro". Blood-Horse. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  10. ^ Stevens, Martin. "Golden Slipper hero Vancouver joins Ballydoyle". Racing Post. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Medaglia D'Oro fee doubled for 2015 season". Racing Post. Archived from the original on 29 April 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Zenyatta Bred to Medaglia d'Oro". Blood-Horse. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Two Breeders' Cup Winners Boost Medaglia d'Oro's Fee". Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Leading Sire Lists". Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  15. ^ Mitchell, Eric. "Sire List Evolution". Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Pedigree of Medaglia d'Oro". Equineline. Retrieved 25 July 2016.

External links[edit]