06/04/2004 12:00AM

Medaglia d'Oro sold, retired to stud

The retired Medaglia d' Oro was second in the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2002 and 2003.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Medaglia d'Oro, a multiple Grade 1 winner who finished first or second in 15 of 17 career starts, has been sold and will stand at stud at Hill 'n' Dale Farm in Lexington, Ky., as the property of Never Tell Farm. He will not race again.

Audrey Haisfield's Never Tell Farm purchased Medaglia d'Oro from Edmund Gann for an undisclosed sum. The deal is to be finalized by the middle of the week. Shortly thereafter, Medaglia d'Oro will be shipped from Bobby Frankel's Hollywood Park barn to Kentucky where he will stand the 2005 season.

, a son of El Prado, went 8-7-0 from 17 career starts and earned $5,754,720. He went 3 for 3 at Saratoga, winning the Jim Dandy and Travers at 3 and the Whitney at 4. His other stakes wins include the Oaklawn Park Handicap, Donn Handicap, Strub Handicap, and San Felipe. He twice finished second in the Breeders' Cup Classic and, in his last start, finished second to 2003 Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect in the Dubai World Cup.

"The people that bought him and the guy that owned him felt he had done plenty," said Mark Reid, the bloodstock agent who purchased the horse for Gann in 2002 and who assisted in brokering this deal. "After all those Grade 1's and going undefeated at Saratoga they felt he had done enough. He was a real nice horse. He reminded me of Smarty Jones in one way: He didn't need to carry his racetrack with him. He beat them at Santa Anita, Gulfstream, Oaklawn, and he killed them at Saratoga."

At Hill 'n' Dale, Medaglia d'Oro joins a stallion roster that includes Theatrical, Jade Hunter, Vindication, Buddha, Mongoose, El Corredor, and Vision and Verse.

"He's a wonderful race horse, has been a great racehorse for 3 years," said John Sikura, owner of Hill 'n' Dale Farm. "He's a big, magnificent individual, and to stand a horse of those credentials you have to be excited at the reception we expect to get from breeders. We're aggressively looking for well-conformed, excellent racehorses, and he's one of those horses."

Sikura said a stud fee has not been set and probably won't be until fall. "It'll be good value for breeders, but it will also reflect the achievements and significance of the horse," he said.

Frankel called Medaglia d'Oro a great horse who "tried really hard all the time."

The only two times Medaglia d'Oro finished worse than second were in the 2002 Kentucky Derby, when he ran a trip-troubled fourth, and that year's Preakness, when he inexplicably finished eighth.

"I'll miss him," Frankel said, before nodding at Medaglia d'Oro's stablemate Peace Rules, and adding, "I'm hoping this guy can take his place."

Frankel said Peace Rules, also owned by Gann, would run again next year.

A memorable career

Medaglia d'Oro was first or second in all but two of his 17 starts.

March 27, 2004Dubai World CupNad Al Sheba2nd
Feb. 7, 2004Donn HandicapGulfstream1st
Oct. 25, 2003Breeders' Cup ClassicSanta Anita2nd
Aug. 24, 2003Pacific ClassicDel Mar2nd
Aug. 2, 2003Whitney HandicapSaratoga1st
April 5, 2003Oaklawn HandicapOaklwan1st
Feb. 1, 2003StrubSanta Anita1st
Oct. 2, 2002Breeders' Cup ClassicArlington2nd
Aug. 24, 2002TraversSaratoga1st
Aug. 4, 2002Jim DandySaratoga1st
June 8, 2002Belmont StakesBelmont2nd
May 18, 2002PreaknessPimlico8th
May 4, 2002Kentucky DerbyChurchill4th
April 13, 2002Wood MemorialAqueduct2nd
March 17, 2002San FelipeSanta Anita1st
Feb. 9, 2002Maiden Special WeightOaklawn1st
Dec. 7, 2001Maiden Special WeightTurfway2nd