After an unforgettable second half of last year with Authentic , a 3-year-old colt that Spendthrift Farm and MyRaceHorse Stable owned with Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing, Spendthrift Farm and MyRaceHorse Stable are winning again with another talented 3-year-old.
This time they own a star within the sophomore filly ranks—Moonlight d’Oro, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro who rallied from last to first to beat Kalypso by 1 1/2 lengths the $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes Feb. 6 at Santa Anita Park.Moonlight d’Oro, b, 3/f
Medaglia d’Oro — Venetian Sonata, by Bernardini
Owner: MyRacehorse or Spendthrift Farm LLC
Breeder: Stonehaven Steadings (KY)
Trainer: Richard E. Mandella
Jockey: Flavien Prat
Information provided by Equibase at time of entry.
Medaglia d’Oro stands at Darley for $150,000 (2021).
KEESEP2019 • $620,000 • Consignor: Stonehaven Steadings • Buyer: Spendthrift Farm.
Her victory in the one-mile Las Virgenes earned her 10 qualifying points toward the April 30 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs, but it was the manner in which she won that properly suggests she is a leading Oaks contender.
Everything went the way of favored Kalypso early in the Las Virgenes. The frontrunning filly grabbed an uncontested lead under Joel Rosario and relaxed comfortably with fractions of :23.25 and :47.47, while Moonlight d`Oro raced at the back of the field.
But once Kalypso, winner of last month’s Santa Ynez Stakes (G2), completed six furlongs in 1:12.72, it was apparent her lead would not last. Swooping wide around the second turn, Moonlight d’Oro quickly shot past her in early stretch, and the winner maintained a clear advantage down the lane while not appearing to fully extend herself.
She completed a mile on a fast track in 1:38.01 under mild encouragement from jockey Flavien Prat, who won his third consecutive Las Virgenes following Venetian Harbor in 2020 and Bellafina in 2019.
“Rosario was at the front and nobody was really bothering him, but when I came around the turn, I made that great move and tried to get some momentum out of it,” Prat said. “She was traveling nicely behind horses, and I was very happy with how she ran.”
Moraz, racing in traffic in an inside stalking position for much of the race, ran third after finding room in the lane, 1 3/4 lengths behind the runner-up. Brilliant Cut and Honor America completed the order of finish.
Moonlight d’Oro ($4.60), trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, recorded her second consecutive victory since being stretched out to two turns following a maiden win at Los Alamitos Race Course in December. Earlier in her career, she had twice earned minor awards in a pair of sprints last year at Del Mar.
Bred in Kentucky by Stonehaven Steadings, she was a $620,000 purchase by Spendthrift Farm at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale from her breeder’s consignment. She is the first stakes winner out of the Bernardini mare Venetian Sonata, a sister to stakes winners Wilburn and La Appassionata, from four foals to race. Venetian Sonata also produced Olive Branch, third in the Adirondack Stakes (G2) in 2016.
The Las Virgenes, won by 3-year-old filly champions Blind Luck (2010), Beholder (2013), and Songbird (2016) during the prior decade, was downgraded this year to grade 3 status after first dropping from a grade 1 to a grade 2 in 2016. It regularly serves as a prep for the Santa Anita Oaks, a grade 2 race at Santa Anita April 3.
Mandella is now a three-time winner of the Las Virgenes, having won it with Spendthrift Farm’s Beholder and Golden Eagle Farm’s Likeable Style in 1993. Beholder scored a repeat victory in the Santa Anita Oaks, then a grade 1, and Likeable Style was sixth.