Patience Rewarded

The owners of Warrior’s Reward must have known they had a top-class prospect on their hands when the colt defeated the Speightstown (TrueNicks,SRO) sons Munnings and Reynaldothewizard in a salty seven furlong allowance race at Churchill Downs last May. They have, however, had to be patient while Warrior’s Reward ran through six races over a variety of distances and surfaces, and employed a variety of tactics, without scoring a win. The string was broken in February when Warrior’s Reward came from off the pace to take a 7 furlong allowance at Gulfstream Park. That his true métier is as a closing sprinter was confirmed on Saturday when he came from last to run down the game Musket Man in the Carter Handicap (gr. I).
As patient as Warrior’s Reward’s connections have had to be, and as patiently as he was ridden, so his sire, Medaglia d'Oro (TrueNicks,SRO), has had to be to get his first male dirt graded stakes winner. He now has 13 first crop stakes winners, and 11 of them have been fillies, headed by Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, and grade I winner Gabby’s Golden Gal. The most successful colt from that crop prior to Warrior’s Reward’s victory was Al Khali, who took the Saranac Stakes (gr. III) on turf. We’ve never thought that Medaglia d’Oro was a “filly sire” per se, but suspected that his colts tend to be leggy individuals who need time to get those legs underneath them, and Warrior’s Reward certainly struck us as a long-striding horse who benefitted from being given some time to get into gear.
From his second crop – now just three – Medaglia d’Oro has three stakes winners, including Passion For Gold, a group I winner in France at two last year, and Laus Deo, who took the Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct early this year. Interestingly enough, David Cohen, Laus Deo’s pilot for the Count Fleet, remarked that “He’s got a big, long stride, obviously – he’s a huge horse.”  
Out of the Seeking the Gold mare, For All You Do, Warrior’s Reward (TrueNicks A++) is bred on a cross that has been very good however you look at it. His sire, El Prado, has three stakes winners and a grade I placed horse out of mares by Seeking the Gold, and Medaglia d’Oro has six stakes winners from 49 starters out of mares by Seeking the Gold’s sire, Mr. Prospector, his sons, and his grandsons. Warrior’s Reward’s granddam, Salina Cookie, is a three-parts-sister to Leap Lively, who was a group winner and third in the English Oaks (gr. I) carrying the colors of Paul Mellon. Subsequently Leap Lively produced Champion English Two-Year-Old Filly Forest Flower, and stakes winner Scoop The Gold (dam of High Yield, a grade I winning son of Storm Cat).
One day earlier, Medaglia d’Oro was represented by another new stakes winner, when the four-year-old filly Cassidys Pride took the Harmony Lodge Handicap at Gulfstream Park. She is out of Cassidy, a daughter of Jolie’s Halo, and is inbred 4 x 4 to Sir Ivor, with that horse’s genetic relative Halo in the third generation.

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