Warrior's Reward

published: 01 Jan 2018 in Stallion profiles

THE Gr.1-winning sprinter-miler Warrior’s Reward (USA), already a proven sire in the US, offers breeders the chance to access the Medaglia d’Oro branch of the Sadler’s Wells male line at a modest fee. He shuttles to Spendthrift Farm, Romsey and his first small crop of southern yearlings are at the sales in 2018.

IT would be an understatement to say Darley’s flagship sire Medaglia d’Oro (USA) enjoyed a wonderful run in November 2017. He started the month with two Breeders’ Cup winners, bringing his total of Gr.1 winners for the year to seven, his champion daughter Songbird then made $US9.5m at the Fasig-Tipton auction and his 2018 northern fee, which had already been raised to $US200,000, was given another hike to $US250,000 in the wake of this incredible achievement.

  All this while the 18 year-old son of El Prado (Sadler’s Wells) was covering his eighth Australian book at Kelvinside, Aberdeen on $110,000 and his young Gr.1-winning Australian-bred sons Vancouver ($49,500, second season) at Coolmore, and Astern ($38,500, first season), also at Kelvinside for Darley, were being swamped by broodmare owners. Vancouver was also busy in his first northern season, covering 166 mares at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky in 2017 and is in Kentucky again in 2018 (fee $US15,000). Darley has also sent Astern to its Jonabell Farm in Kentucky, where his first year northern fee is also $US15,000 and his book will be limited to 120 mares.

  Those high fees commanded for his Australian bred sons are one reason why breeders on a tighter budget should be looking to Spendthrift’s Warrior’s Reward (USA) (ex For All You Do by Seeking The Gold) when considering their matings for 2018. A Gr.1 winner at 1400m in the US and a proven sire there, his oldest Australian progeny grace our yearling sales in 2018. His fee in Victoria in 2017 was just $9900. After a quiet first southern season in 2015, covering just 24 mares (14 live foals) when Spendthrift’s billionaire owner B. Wayne Hughes was just setting up his Australian operation, Warrior’s Reward had a much busier season in 2016 with 116 mares covered. He found favour with breeders again in 2017 as they acknowledged the strength of his pedigree and his value for money fee.

  His runners are doing a good job on the track too and among his 27 black type performers are the Puerto Rican Gr.1 winner Exclusivo (dam by Alydar son Jeblar) and a first crop runner Tencendur (ex Still Secret by Hennessy (USA)) who was runner-up in the Wood Memorial-Gr.1 at three in 2015 when also fourth in the Withers-Gr.3. Warrior’s Reward had career stats of 188 winners from 289 runners (65.1%), 10SW (3.5%) worldwide to early December 2017. While 65 of them won at two, his runners just get better with age, as he has had 131 win at three (from 216 to race) and 64 at four (from 99), with no obvious sex bias. 

  Another of his first crop runners is Listed winner Requite (Carson City), a Gr.2 runner-up and fourth in the Hopeful Stakes-Gr.1, while other stakes winners are Super Marina (Lil’s Lad), Strawberry Baby (Theatrical), Yockey’s Warrior (Gone West), Warriorscmoutoplay (Victory Gallop), Andreya’s Reward (Mister Baileys), Strong Incentive (Comic Strip), T Rex Express (Maria’s Mon) and Battle Station (Unbridled). He also has stakes placed runners from dams by Is It True, Citidancer, Lemon Drop Kid, Peace Rules, Pulpit, Gentlemen, Hennessy, Not For Love, Lord at War, Dixieland Band, A.P. Indy, Skip Away, Tapit and Unbridled.

  Liatris, a stakes placed filly who won at Pimlico on debut over 5f at two, is an RF (Rasmussen Factor) to the influential mare My Charmer (5mx4m) as her son Seattle Dancer (Nijinsky) is the sire of Salina Cookie, second dam of Warrior’s Reward, while Liatris is out of a mare by A.P. Indy, a son of Seattle Slew (Bold Reasoning-My Charmer by Poker). Another stakes placed runner, Flowmotion, is out of a mare by Tapit, a grandson of A.P. Indy, and his pedigree carries doubles of Mr. Prospector, Nijinsky and Sir Ivor.

  Aussie breeders with mares whose pedigree contains Exceed and Excel could try a similar double up of My Charmer. Exceed and Excel (Danehill) is out of a mare by English 2000 Guineas winner Lomond (Northern Dancer-My Charmer), a three-quarter brother to Seattle Dancer. Mares by Bernadini (A.P. Indy) or descendants of Statue of Liberty (Storm Cat-Charming Lassie by Seattle Slew)or Air de France (Seattle Slew) are other options, as are daughters of California Dane, a Danehill son whose dam is by Seattle Slew. Lomond is also the sire of Citidancer (IRE), a sire success in Australia and NZ and dam sire of VRC Derby winner Polanski.

  Exceed and Excel is by Danehill (Danzig), whose dam Razyana is by His Majesty, while Warrior’s Reward’s third dam Quilloquick (4fx2f Beau Pere) is by Graustark, a brother to His Majesty. Doubling the brothers has proved a winning move in the past and it’s a big bonus that Warrior’s Reward’s sire Medaglia d’Oro has worked so well with Danehill ((9% Group winners to runners), with Golden Slipper-Gr.1 winner Vancouver being from a daughter of Danehill and Golden Rose-Gr.1 winner Astern being from a daughter of Exceed and Excel.

  Warrior’s Reward, bred by Jayeff B Stables and from the first crop of his sire, was in the first three in 11 of his 17 stars, winning twice at three in 10 starts and then twice at four. He opened his account on debut in late January 2009, winning a $US35,000 mile maiden at Gulfstream Park and was then runner-up in an allowance (9f) there to Dunkirk in mid-February and eighth in the Tampa Bay Derby-Gr.3 on March 14 before another win in a $50,000 Churchill Downs allowance (9f) from Munnings on May 1.

  He was then runner-up to Successful Dan in the Northern Dancer Stakes-Gr.3 (8.5f) at Churchill Downs on June 13, third in the Dwyer Stakes-Gr.2 (8.5f) to Kensei at Belmont on July 4 and then second to that horse in the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes-Gr.2 (9f) at Saratoga on August 1. Warrior’s Reward was fifth in the Travers-Gr.1 on August 29 at Saratoga and fifth in the Perryville Stakes-Gr.3 at Keeneland on October 17 and ended his three year-old campaign with a second in an allowance (6f) at Keeneland on November 21 behind Flavor.

  Warrior’s Reward came out swinging early in 2010 for trainer Ian Wilkes, winning an allowance (7f) from Royal Vindication at Gulfstream Park on February 11 and then beating Musket Man and Munnings to take the $250,000 Carter Handicap-Gr.1 (7f in 1:21.62) at Aqueduct on April 3, coming from last with his trademark strong late run to grab victory on the line after a final furlong duel with the runner-up. He held that form next start when second to Atta Boy Roy (Musket Man third) in the Churchill Downs Stakes-Gr.2 (7f) on May 1. On May 31 he was sixth in the Met Mile-Gr.1 at Belmont and did not reappear until September 4 when fourth in the Forego Stakes-Gr.1 (7f) behind Here Comes Ben. His final two starts on October 8 and November 6 produced a third in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes-Gr.3 (6f) behind Wise Dan and a fifth (of 12) in the $2m Breeders’ Cup Sprint-Gr.1 (6f) behind Big Drama at Churchill Downs, coming late with a strong run to finish on the heels of the placegetters. His World Thoroughbred ranking in 2010 was 115.

  Medaglia d-Oro (El Prado-Cappucino Bay by Bailjumper) had eight wins and seven seconds in 17 starts, racing from age two to five. His major wins came in the Travers-Gr.1 (10f), Whitney Handicap-Gr.1 (9f) and Donn Handicap-Gr.1 (9f) and he was twice runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic-Gr.1 (10f) and also second in the Dubai World Cup-Gr.1, Pacific Classic-Gr.1, Belmont Stakes-Gr.1 and Wood Memorial-Gr.1 and fourth in the Kentucky Derby-Gr.1, winning about $5m.

  It’s hardly surprising, given his stellar racing career, that he was an immediate success at stud with his first crop runners including Rachel Alexandra (Roar), Horse of the Year and Champion US 3YO Filly in 2009. The Gr.1 winners have kept coming since then and among the seven in 2017 is the $9.5m auction heroine Songbird (West Acre), rated leading 3YO Filly (Int) and equal leading 3YO Filly (mile) on the World Thoroughbred Rankings in 2016. The dual Eclipse Award winner counted the Santa Anita Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies among her eight Gr.1 wins as well as the Ogden Phipps Stakes (8.5f) and Delaware Handicap (10f) this season at four before her retirement on August 31. She won 13 of 15 starts and $4.7m and was runner-up in the others, both Gr.1 races. Only Mr. Prospector, Danzig and Storm Cat have sired as many as seven Gr.1 winners in a single year, so Medaglia d’Oro is in great company. Medaglia d’Oro retired to stud in the US in 2005 and began shuttling in 2010 and has more than 680 winners of $123m worldwide. His 109 stakes winners (21 Gr.1) represent 10.3% of runners and his winners to starters is 64.4%. He had 120 winners (14SW) of $16.1m in Australia to early December 2017.

  His Breeders’ Cup winners in 2017 were Talismanic (Machiavellian) in the Turf and Bar of Gold (Lemon Drop Kid) in the Filly and Mare Sprint, while other Gr.1 winners during the year were juvenile colt Bolt d’Oro (A.P. Indy), three year-old fillies New Money Honey (Distorted Humor, second dam by A.P. Indy), who also won the BC Juvenile Fillies (turf) at two, and Elate (Distorted Humor, second dam by A.P. Indy) and turf mare Dickinson (A.P. Indy, Mr. Prospector), the last two fillies both trace to La Troienne and Dickinson is a Rasmussen Factor (RF) to Special 5fx5m (Fairy Bridge and Nureyev). 

  It’s not hard to inbreed to this mare as Medaglia d’Oro’s sire El Prado is by her grandson, breed shaper and multiple champion sire in GB and Ireland Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer-Fairy Bridge by Bold Reason). That horse is a brother to Fairy King (USA), best known in these parts as the sire of Gr.1 winner and champion sire Encosta de Lago, and a three-quarter brother to Perugino (USA) (Danzig), sire of champion sprinter and very good sire Testa Rossa. Special is also the dam of Nureyev (Northern Dancer), another sire who has made a profound impact on the breed. Mares with these names in their pedigrees should suit Warrior’s Reward.

  El Prado (ex Lady Capulet by Sir Ivor), who is inbred to Mahmoud and Turn-to, was a Gr.1-winning juvenile in Ireland and the grey defied the odds (and a huge bias against turf horses) when he went to stud in the US by becoming Champion Sire in 2002. His Gr.1 winners also include leading sire Kitten’s Joy (Lear Fan). El Prado’s dam sire Sir Ivor, also dam sire 
of Green Desert, has a thriving male line in this part of the world via the descendants of his son Sir Tristram, including of course that horse’s great-grandson Lonhro, who brings in a line of Mr. Prospector and whose grandsire, Zabeel, is out of a mare by Nureyev.

  Warrior’s Reward’s dam, For All You Do, is by one of Mr. Prospector’s best sons in Seeking The Gold (ex Con Game by Buckpasser), best known here for his imported Gr.1-winning son and very good sire Secret Savings (USA) (Damascus) and that horse’s Gr.1-winning son Dash For Cash (Rubiton), but internationally as the sire of champion racehorse 
Dubai Millennium (Shareef Dancer), whose single crop of 56 included five stakes winners, notably triple Gr.1 winner Dubawi (IRE) (Deploy), whose sons Night of Thunder (IRE) and Akeed Mofeed (GB) stand here and whose son Makfi (IRE) did so well when shuttling to NZ. Another Gr.1-winning son, Poet’s Voice (GB) (Chief’s Crown) also shuttled for Darley and his daughters could be a good fit with Warrior’s Reward. Seeking the Gold’s son Lujain (USA) (Shadeed), winner of the Middle Park Stakes-Gr.1, was another who briefly shuttled (2001-04) for Darley.

  For All You Do raced just once and has produced five winners, while her stakes placed dam Selina Cookie (Seattle Dancer) won at two and is a three-quarter sister to Ascot Fillies Mile-Gr.3 winner Leap Lively (Nijinsky), dam of the English 1000 Guineas-Gr.1 winner Forest Flower (Green Forest) and fifth dam of Night of Thunder. Leap Lively’s daughter 
Scoop The Gold (Forty Niner, second dam Nijinsky) is the dam of multiple Gr.1 winner High Yield (USA) (Storm Cat), a horse who died young but left several stakes winners from four southern seasons (2001-04) at Coolmore.

  As mentioned earlier, Quilloquick, third dam of Warrior’s Reward, is a winning daughter of Graustark and nine of her 14 foals were winners. She is a black type producer, as are several of her daughters. Next dam Quillobelle (Princequillo-Bellesoeur by Beau Pere) is a half-sister to Belle Musique (Tudor Minstrel), second dam of Gr.1 winners Hawaiian Sound and Maria Waleska (dam of Polish Patriot). This is family 2n, Bellesoeur’s dam Donatrice being a daughter of Donatello II and Tivoli by Teddy. n