Breeding Watch: Big bucks, big success

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Six North American stallions command an advertised fee of $100,000 or more for the 2015 season and three of them sired new stakes winners last weekend.

Darley’s Medaglia d’Oro is this continent’s third most expensive stallion at $125,000 and he’s making that look like a bargain this year.

The son of El Prado is up to a North American-leading nine stakes winners for the year after a pair last Saturday. In Oaklawn Park’s Grade 2 Azeri Stakes it was the Medaglia d’Oro filly Gold Medal Dancer over a pair of Tapit fillies, champion Untapable and the streaking Mufajaah.

The 5-year-old Gold Medal Dancer won last year’s Minnesota H.B.P.A. Distaff Stakes at Canterbury Park and became her sire’s 32nd (North American) graded stakes winner with her victory in the Azeri. She’s out of a mare by Kingmambo, the first stakes winner from 10 starters on that direct cross.

Earlier in the afternoon the latest example of Medaglia d’Oro’s success with the Forty Niner broodmare line was on display when Taylor S took center stage in the $75,000 Any Limit Stakes on the grass at Gulfstream Park.

The 3-year-old filly is out of a mare by Forty Niner’s grandson Trippi. Medaglia d’Oro has sired at least four other stakes winners (three graded) with Forty Niner-line dams, including future Hall of Famer Rachel Alexandra. Taylor S is her sire’s 67th lifetime stakes winner in the Northern Hemisphere.

Tapit, who stands for $300,000 at Gainesway, still remains atop the North American general sire list with more than $3.1 million in progeny earnings and seven 2015 stakes winners.

Tapit’s latest good one is Race Day, who gamely fought off the Midnight Lute colt Midnight Hawk to capture Oaklawn’s Grade 3 Razorback Handicap.

The 4-year-old is among three starters so far by Tapit out of mares by More Than Ready and just the third stakes winner produced by the larger A.P. Indy-More Than Ready cross after the Malibu Moon graded stakes-winning full siblings Kauai Katie and Winding Way.

The female side of Tapit’s pedigree continues to produce as well.

Overandabeauty, Tapit’s half sister by Grand Slam, is the dam of Sunday’s Cicada Stakes heroine Noble and a Beauty. A $750,000 yearling purchase by Leonard Riggio’s My Meadowview Farm in 2006, Overandabeauty was stakes-placed at Belmont Park and Mountaineer Race Track. She’s now part of the My Meadowview broodmare band and Noble and a Beauty is a homebred by Riggio’s late Giant’s Causeway stallion Noble Causeway. She’s at least the 10th stakes winner by Giant’s Causeway and his sons out of mares from the Gone West broodmare line.

WinStar Farm’s Distorted Humor is in the midst of his 17th season in the breeding shed at a 2015 fee of $100,000. He was represented by his 121st stakes winner and 52nd winner at the graded level in the Northern Hemisphere when Hoop of Colour won Sunday’s Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

The 4-year-old is a Flaxman Holdings homebred out of the Unbridled mare Surya and is Distorted Humor’s third stakes winner out of an Unbridled daughter from 13 starters (23 percent stakes winners from starters). Distorted Humor has also sired a stakes winner out of a mare by Unbridled’s Song and three Distorted Humor sons have sired stakes winners out of Unbridled granddaughters.

Juveniles by Darley’s Bernardini were in high demand at this week’s OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training. Five of his youngsters went through the ring in Ocala, all finding new homes for an average price of $675,000.

The group included the $1.4 million sale topper, a colt named Zero Hour, who is out of the Miswaki mare Misty Hour.

Misty Hour is the granddam of two of Bernardini’s Grade 1 winners – To Honor and Serve and Angela Renee. The colt was secured by Live Charlotte Weber’s Oak Plantation, who raced To Honor and Serve.

The highest-price filly of the sale at $850,000 is also a Bernardini and she’ll race in the colors of Lael Stables. The filly is out of the multiple Grade 1-winning Pure Prize mare Pure Clan.

Matt O’Neil is a freelance writer and pedigree consultant based in Chicago. A former editor of Owner-Breeder International, his work has also appeared in numerous publications that include The Blood-Horse MarketWatch, The Florida Horse and Keeneland Magazine. He is currently marketing and social media coordinator for Adena Springs Farm and a partner in the fantasy horse racing game MyFantasyStable.com.