05/21/2009 11:00PM

Medaglia d'Oro producing fast fillies

Tom Keyser
Payton d'Oro wins Friday's Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Medaglia d'Oro's daughters made Preakness weekend a big one for the sire and Stonewall Stallions, where he stands this year for a $40,000 fee.

The Preakness victory by Medaglia d'Oro's daughter Rachel Alexandra on Saturday marked the first time a filly has won the race since Nellie Morse in 1924, and it understandably stole the limelight. But on Friday, the Medaglia d'Oro filly Payton d'Oro also scored a notable, if less historic, victory in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. This filly phenomenon doesn't just apply to Preakness weekend, either. All of Medaglia d'Oro's seven stakes winners are female.

Stonewall Stallions manager Clark Shepherd isn't surprised that Medaglia d'Oro's fillies have come to the fore this year from the stallion's first crop of runners.

"The colts are starting to come," he said. "Everybody thought the Medaglias as a whole would have to go two turns and they would be later, but the fillies were more precocious. Early on, we noticed that the fillies looked more like colts than the colts themselves."

The 10-year-old El Prado horse works well with a number of different pedigree lines, Shepherd said, a factor that broadens his appeal to breeders.

"He serves a broad base of mares, and that's what makes racehorse sires," he said. "I've seen a lot of really commercially bred horses, heavily line-bred [selectively inbred], where you almost have to streamline a certain type of mare to get a racehorse. Breeding a stallion, it can be very random when the phone rings - a lot of people want to breed to a horse just because. So a horse like Medaglia, and in particular the bottom side of his pedigree, he is very accommodating to a broad base of mares."

Medaglia d'Oro is out of the Bailjumper mare Cappucino Bay, a stakes winner in Washington before she produced Medaglia d'Oro and stakes-placed Expresso Bay.

In 2009, Stonewall dropped breeding incentives it previously had offered for Medaglia d'Oro, including limited free seasons for Grade 1 winners or dams of Grade 1 winners.

But those incentives, Shepherd believes, contributed to Medaglia d'Oro's early success.

"They helped to develop the books," he said. "This crop is just doing fantastic, but the book of mares in his second year are absolutely amazing . . . Physically, we saw a better horse out of his yearlings last year, which are the 2-year-olds this year."

He also got this year's highest-priced auction juvenile so far, a son of Bayou Plans named Al Zir that cost Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum $1.6 million at Fasig-Tipton's Calder sale in February.

Tapit colt brings sale record $850K

A record-priced $850,000 Tapit colt and a $485,000 half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner-up Mine That Bird were the highlights Monday at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic's May 2-year-old sale in Timonium, Md.

Monday's session saw an increase in average price, even as gross and median fell. The session sold 113 horses for $5,364,900, down 26 percent from last year's total for 158 juveniles and in keeping with declines seen earlier this season. But average price climbed 4 percent to $47,477. The $22,000 median was down 19 percent.

The two-day sale opened with the sale-record bid for Tashop, a Tapit half-brother to Grade 1 winner Miss Shop. Steven W. Young, agent, was the buyer. The late Jack Dreyfus's Hobeau Farm sold the chestnut colt as part of its dispersal, with Cary Frommer acting as consignor. Tashop's dam is the Private Account mare Shopping.

Tashop sold as Hip No. 24. He was one of the sale's fastest workers at the under-tack previews last week, when he worked an eighth of a mile in 10.20 seconds.

The previous sale record was the $625,000 that Jeff Singer paid for Zounds in 2006.

Dogwood Stable paid $485,000 for Mine That Bird's half-brother by Yonaguska.

Frommer consigned the colt on behalf of Paul Saylor, who bought him for $100,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March 2-year-old sale earlier this year. Saylor entered him late for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction after Mine That Bird's Derby win.

The auction was to continue through Tuesday.

* Hill 'n' Dale Farms announced Monday that 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri foaled a Ghostzapper filly on May 17. The three-time champion is owned by the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust, which bought her back for $4.4 million at the 2009 Keeneland January sale, where she was carrying this foal.

* Barathea, winner of the 1994 Breeders' Cup Mile and a champion in England and Ireland, was euthanized May 13 due to complications of laminitis, according to Racing Post. The 19-year-old stallion stood at Rathbarry Stud in Ireland and was the sire of Group 1 winners Tobougg, Magical Romance, and Tante Rose.