Darley had a weekend to remember with top stallions Medaglia d’Oro, Teofilo, Dubawi, Shamardal, Hard Spun, and Bernardini represented by notable Graded winners around the world on Saturday, March 5.
At Santa Anita yesterday, Medaglia d’Oro‘s Songbird continued her march to the G1 Kentucky Oaks with an easy win in the G3 Santa Ysabel Stakes to remain undefeated in six starts with $1.7 million in earnings. She’s being compared to her sire’s celebrated first-crop daughter Rachel Alexandra, who, like Songbird, was from a Forty Niner-line mare. Songbird’s pedigree was discussed in detail here. By the imported Sadler’s Wells sire El Prado from Cappucino Bay, by Bailjumper, Medaglia d’Oro stands for $150,000 at Darley Jonabell in Kentucky and his North American progeny are fully at home on dirt tracks, as he was, though he gets turf runners like G1 Golden Slipper winner Vancouver, a star in Australia last year, as well as those like Mshawish, who perform on both surfaces. Mshawish won the G1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in February of 2015 and the G1 Donn Handicap at the same track this year. He will next run in the G1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan and is a serious threat to take the race.
Meanwhile in Dubai yesterday, Darley sires Teofilo and Dubawi were one-two in the G1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 — the last local prep for the DWC. Teofilo’s Irish-bred Special Fighter took advantage of a pronounced rail bias and set a new record time of 2:03.09 in the 2000-meter dirt race — a faster time than California’s Chrome’s recent winning race at the trip in Dubai.
By Galileo from Spearbhein, by Danehill, Teofilo is bred on the potent cross of Frankel and many other G1 winners and is a champion juvenile colt who stands for €50,000 at Darley’s Kildangan in Ireland. His forte is turf, so Special Fighter, his 10th worldwide G1 winner, adds more versatility to his growing resume. On the same day Special Fighter won in Dubai on dirt, Teofilo’s Australian-bred Palentino won the G1 Australian Guineas at Flemington for a rare international G1 double.
Dubawi’s Hong Kong-based and Australian-bred Gun Pit was a spirited second to Special Fighter in the Al Maktoum Challenge and once again showcased his sire’s ability to get dirt runners in Dubai — last year, his son Prince Bishop upset California Chrome in the DWC. By Dubai Millennium from Zomaradah, by Deploy, Dubawi is — with Galileo, Tapit, War Front, American Pharaoh, and Deep Impact — one of the most expensive sires in the world at a fee of £225,000 October 1. He stands at Darley’s Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket and was also represented on Saturday by G2 Dubai City of Gold winner Postponed, who last season won the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at Ascot.
Second to Postponed in the City of Gold was Dariyan, a son of Darley’s Sharmardal. By Giant’s Causeway from Helsinki, by Machiavellian, and from the immediate family of Darley’s late flagship sire Street Cry, Sharmadal stands alongside Teofilo at Kildangan for a private fee. His son Tryster won the second G1 race of the day at Meydan on Saturday, the G1 Jebel Hatta on turf. In third was Hard Spun‘s Australian-bred Ertijaal, last year’s winner of the G1 Cape Derby at Kenilworth in South Africa.
By Danzig from Turkish Tryst, by Turkoman, G1 winner and Derby second Hard Spun was campaigned by Fox Hill — Songbird’s owner — and stands for $45,000 at Darley’s Jonabell. He had another Australian-bred in the spotlight on Saturday when Le Romain won the G1 Randwick Guineas.
Also at Darley Jonabell with Hard Spun and Medaglia Oro is Bernardini, whose young classics prospects were detailed here recently. Bernardini’s presence was felt at Meydan on Saturday, too. Le Bernardin was third in the G3 Burj Nahaar at 1600 meters, but his 3-year-old colt Shagaf was his weekend headliner, winning the G3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct to remain undefeated in three starts. He is one of several promising 3-year-olds for his sire this year.