Classic Review -- Rachel's Romp

The Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) was taken in devasting style by Rachel Alexandra, who romped by 20 1/4 lengths. Like Mine That Bird, she is from the first crop of her sire -- in her case, Medaglia d'Oro (TrueNicks,SRO) (With Tapit (TrueNicks,SRO) , Speightstown (TrueNicks,SRO) , Candy Ride (ARG) (TrueNicks,SRO) , and Even the Score (TrueNicks,SRO) also having first-crop 3-year-olds in 2009, this is beginning to look like a very smart, if slightly surprising group).

Medaglia d'Oro (by El Prado (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO) , by Sadler's Wells), was among the best of his crop at 3 (when, like Mine That Bird's sire Birdstone (TrueNicks,SRO), he took the Travers (gr. I)), 4, and 5. He's had seven first-crop stakes winners, all fillies, and the day after the Oaks he was represented by two stakes-placed horses and an allowance winner (two of which were colts).

Rachel Alexandra (TrueNicks rated A++) and stakes winner She's Our Annie are the only starters by Medaglia d'Oro out of mares by the Forty Niner stallion Roar. Rachel Alexandra's dam Lotta Kim was a stakes-winning daughter of that horse, and is half-sister to stakes winners Lotta Rhythm and High Blues. The third dam, Early Decision, was a stakes-winning daughter of Lord Gaylord, and her granddam Native Go Go was a stakes-winning daughter of Raise a Native, out of a half-sister to the Belmont Stakes, Jersey Derby, and Travers Stakes winner Hail to All. The family goes back to Ellen's Best, a mare who owns a very unusual pedigree as she is by War Relic, and her third dam is Speed Boat, winner of the 1933 Test Stakes and a sister to War Relic.

There doesn't appear to be one defining reason for Medaglia d'Oro to particularly like mares by Roar. His sire El Prado has sired a lot of stakes winners out of Mr. Prospector-line mares, although his strike rate on the cross has not been sensational. There is well-placed Northern Dancer inbreeding; five crosses of Turn-to plus one of his genetic relative My Babu; and three of Ribot. As mentioned, Medagila d'Oro and the dam of Roar are from the same sire line; both also go back to mares bred on a Ribot/Royal Charger cross.

In this pedigree, however, we're more intrigued by the build-up of the Imperatrice family through Sir Gaylord and Cure the Blues. Sir Gaylord (Turn-to--Somethingroyal, a daughter of Imperatrice) appears 5 x 5, and Rachel Alexandra's granddam is by Cure the Blues (by a grandson of Turn-to, out of a granddaughter of Imperatrice).

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