Travel Column and Clairiere Meet Again in Rachel Alexandra

Friday, February 12, 2021 at 11:00 am |
Back to: Shared News Updated: February 12, 2021 at 2:16 pm

The expensive Travel Column (Frosted) and regally bred Clairiere (Curlin), who finished one-two in the GII Golden Rod S., face off again Saturday at Fair Grounds in the GII Rachel Alexandra S., presented by Fasig-Tipton, which offers 50 points towards the GI Kentucky Oaks. Tabbed a ‘TDN Rising Star’ after an impressive score in her career bow sprinting at Churchill Sept. 4, the $850,000 FTSAUG purchase was third when trying two turns for the first time in Keeneland’s GI Darley Alcibiades S. Oct. 2. The gray was last seen rallying to victory in the Nov. 28 Golden Rod and has been working in company with champion juvenile colt Essential Quality (Tapit) leading up to this, most recently covering five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 (4/51) in NOLA Feb. 7.
“I loved her going into the race, I was concerned during the race, and I loved her even more after the race,” trainer Brad Cox said. “It was a little bit of a worry. We saw it in the Alcibiades too, she breaks a little slow and had to make a premature move. But once she gets going, she’s a really, really nice filly and she’s shown it time and again.”
The first foal out of MGISW Cavorting (Bernardini), Stonestreet homebred Clairiere made a powerful late run to win at first asking in a 1 1/16-mile test at Churchill Oct. 25 and came up just a length short in the Golden Rod.

“She’s a very good, lightly-raced filly with a huge pedigree,” conditioner Steve Asmussen said. “It’s the right spot to start her back and we’re really looking forward to it. But obviously we have our eye down the road [towards the Kentucky Oaks] with her too.”
Another of interest in this field is Cosmic Racing’s Zoom Up (Upstart), who is two-for-two over this track. Hitting the board in her first two tries in Kentucky last fall, the dark bay broke through in a local sprint Dec. 19 and followed suit with an optional claimer score Jan. 18.

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This story was posted in Shared News and tagged Charlie’s Penny, Clairiere, Fair Grounds, Golden Rod Stakes, Kentucky Oaks, Rachel Alexandra Stakes, Travel Column, Zoom Up.

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The TDN Kentucky Oaks Top 10 for Feb. 11

In the month since we last served up a TDN Kentucky Oaks Top 10, there have been a number of stakes for 3-year-old fillies, but not a lot of movement on our list. Sun Path (Munnings) drops off the list after a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Silverbulletday and we’ll wait to include Girl Daddy (Uncle Mo) until she has her first official workout in 2021. Moonlight d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro) came out of last weekend looking like the top threat from the West after her win in the GIII Las Virgenes S., but has been sidelined with a knee chip. Charlie’s Penny (Race Day), the winner of the Silverbulletday S., is also off the trail after suffering a hairline fracture in her shin.Fair Grounds will host the GIII Rachel Alexandra S. Presented by Fasig-Tipton this Saturday, which features the return of the Brad Cox-trained Travel Column (Frosted). Meanwhile, the GII Davona Dale S., to be run Feb. 27 at Gulfstream, is shaping up as the best 3-year-old filly race so far this year with several members of the Top 10 slated to take part.
1) VEQUIST (Nyquist–Vero Amore, by Mineshaft)O-Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable & Swilcan Stable. B-Swilcan Stables (KY). T-Robert E. Reid, Jr. Sales History: $120,000 RNA ylg ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 4-2-2-0, $1,235,500.Last Start: 1st GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, KEE, Nov. 6Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Spinaway S., SAR, Sept. 6, 2nd GI Frizette S., BEL, Oct. 10Next Start: GII Davona Dale S., GP, Feb. 27Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 24To the surprise of no one, Vequist was named the champion 2-year-old filly of 2020 when the Eclipse Awards were announced last month. She wrapped up the title when winning the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies over rival Dayoutoftheoffice (Into Mischief). She’ll attempt to become the first horse to pull off the Breeders’ Cup-Kentucky Oaks double since Silverbulletday, the 1999 Oaks winner. After giving his filly some time off over the winter, trainer Butch Reid has started to get serious with her in the mornings. She’s had three listed workouts this year at Palm Meadows, the latest five furlongs in 1:00.95, and will breeze again Saturday. It won’t take long to tell how she has progressed since winning the Juvenile Fillies, as she will need to be at her very best to win what will be a loaded Davona Dale.

2) DAYOUTOFTHEOFFICE (Into Mischief–Gottahaveadream, by Indian Charlie)O-Blazing Meadows Farm & Siena Farm. B-Siena Farms (KY). T-Timothy Hamm. Lifetime Record: GISW, 4-3-1-0, $556,500.Last Start: 2nd GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, KEE, Nov. 6Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Frizette S., BEL, Oct. 10, 1st GIII Schuylerville S., SAR, July 16Next Start: UndecidedEquineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 18Dayoutoftheoffice returned to the Tampa Bay Downs barn of Tim Hamm last month and breezed five furlongs there Jan. 24 in 1:01. Hamm does most of his winning at B and C level tracks like Mahoning Valley, which makes him easy to root for when he goes up against the Bafferts and Pletchers of the world. Her team reports that they have yet to decide on this one’s next start. She hasn’t had a work since the Jan. 24 move, which is a concern, but the connections say the Oaks remains a goal.
3) TRAVEL COLUMN (Frosted–Swingit, by Victory Gallop)’TDN Rising Star’ O-OXO Equine. B-Mr. & Mrs. Bayne Welker, Jr. & Denali Stud (KY). T-Brad Cox. Sales History: $850,000 ylg ’19 FTSAUG. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 3-2-0-1, $209,184.Last Start: 1st GII Golden Rod S., CD, Nov. 28Accomplishments Include: 3rd GI Darley Alcibiades S., KEE, Oct. 2Next Start: GII Rachel Alexandra S. presented by Fasig-Tipton, FG, Feb. 13Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 12Since his emergence as a top trainer, Brad Cox has always been loaded with 3-year-old filly talent and has won the  Kentucky Oaks twice in the last three years. Travel Column appears to be his best filly at this point. After running third, beaten 7 1/2 lengths in the GI Darley Alcibiades S. in October, she fared much better when winning the GII Golden Rod S. She goes next in Saturday’s Rachel Alexandra S. at the Fair Grounds, which should be a good test as she headlines a solid field that includes Golden Rod runner-up Clairiere (Curlin). An $850,000 yearling purchase at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga, she is by Frosted out of a Victory Gallop mare and should have no problem getting the Oaks distance of nine furlongs.
4) MALATHAAT (Curlin–Dreaming of Julia, by A.P. Indy)’TDN Rising Star’ O-Shadwell Stable. B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings (KY). T-Todd Pletcher. Sales History: $1,050,000 ylg ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSW, 3-2-0-0, $172,150.Last Start: 1st GII Demoiselle S., AQU, Dec. 5Accomplishments Include: 1st Tempted S., AQU, Nov. 6Next Start: GII Davona Dale S., GP, Feb. 27Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 10There’s a lot to like about the daughter of Curlin who was a $1.05-million yearling buy. Trained by Todd Pletcher, she is undefeated in three starts and has already won at a 1 1/8 miles, which she did in the GII Demoiselle S. The main knock on her is that she isn’t that fast. She got a 76 Beyer in the Demoiselle, a slight decline from the 83 she got when winning the Tempted S. She will get a serious test in the Davona Dale and if she were to win that, she’d likely assume the top spot in this and other polls.
5) ZAAJEL (Street Sense–Asiya, by Daaher)O/B-Shadwell Stable (KY). T-Todd Pletcher. Lifetime Record: GSW, 2-2-0-0, $84,140.Last Start: 1st GIII Forward Gal S., GP, Jan. 31Next Start: Undecided.Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 10.Like Malathaat, she comes from the team of Todd Pletcher and Shadwell Stable. A homebred, her dam has had four winners from five starters, but Zaajel is her first stakes winner. After toying with her opponents in her debut, she came back to win the GIII Forward Gal S. at Gulfstream at seven furlongs. She still has to prove that she can win around two turns, but based on her breeding that probably won’t be a problem. Pletcher said he has not picked out the next start for this filly. It’s likely he will want to keep her and Malathaat apart.
6) SIMPLY RAVISHING (Laoban–Four Wishes, by More Than Ready)O-Harold Lerner, Magdalena Racing & Nehoc Stables. B-Meg Levy (NY). T-Ken McPeek. Sales History: $50,000 ylg ’19 FTKOCT. Lifetime Record: GISW, 5-3-0-0, $414,200.Last Start: 4th GII Golden Rod S., CD, Nov. 28Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Darley Alcibiades S., KEE, Oct. 2, 1st P.G. Johnson S., SAR, Sept. 3Next Start: UndecidedEquineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 13Trainer Kenny McPeek seems to be taking his time with this filly. He has yet to announce her first start and she only recently showed up on the work tab. Her first work came last week and it was a four-furlong breeze in :48.89. A $50,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall yearling sale, she appeared to be among the best in her division when winning the GI Darley Alcibiades S. by 6 1/4 lengths, but, subsequently finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and the Golden Rod. McPeek will need to get her to rebound and run back to her best races to have a shot at winning the Oaks.
7) KALYPSO (Brody’s Cause–Malibu Cove, by Malibu Moon)O-David A. Bernsen, Rockingham Ranch & Chad Littlefield. B-Spendthrift Farm (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $240,000 ylg ’19 FTKJUL. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 5-2-2-1, $245,600.Last Start: 2nd GIII Las Virgenes S., SA, Feb. 6Accomplishments Include: 1st GII Santa Ynez S., SA, Jan. 3, 1st Anoakia S., SA, Oct. 18, 2nd GI Starlet S., LRC, Dec. 5Next Start: Undecided.Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 18A $240,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Yearling Sale, she was somewhat of a disappointment when second as the 7-10 favorite in the Las Virgenes. But with race winner Moonlight d’Oro having been sidelined, Kalypso looks as good as any of the fillies based in California. But that might not be enough as that group looks to be weaker than the groups in the East and Midwest. She’s been beaten the only two times she has gone around two turns, so that is a concern.
8) SLUMBER PARTY (Malibu Moon–Devilish Lady, by Sweetsouthernsaint)’TDN Rising Star’ O/B-Gary and Mary West Stables (KY). T-Kelly Breen. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $25,800.Last Start: 1st MSW, GP, Jan. 24Next Start: Undecided.Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 0.The ‘TDN Rising Star’ snuck up on a lot of people when breaking her maiden Jan. 24 at Gulfstream by 7 1/2 lengths for trainer Kelly Breen and owners Gary and Mary West. Sent off at 5-1, she absolutely demolished the competition that day, winning in a manner that suggests there is a lot more to come. It’s not impossible to have your first start in January and then go on to win the Kentucky Oaks, but she has a lot of catching up to do. She looks like Breen’s best 3-year-old filly since he won the GII Gazelle S. and the Davona Dale in 2017 with Miss Sky Warrior (First Samurai).
9) CURLIN’S CATCH (Curlin–Catch the Thrill, by A.P. Indy)O-Breeze Easy, Inc. B-Sam-Son Farm (On). T-Mark E Casse. Sales History: $180,000 yrl ’19 KEESEP; $430,000 2yo ’20 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: SW, 4-2-1-0, $103,454.Last Start: 1st Suncoast S., TAM, Feb. 6Next Start: GII Davona Dale S., GP, Feb. 27Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 10.Another Curlin filly and an Ontario-bred trained by Mark Casse, she started her career off at Woodbine, where she was 0-for-2 over the synthetic surface. Since switching to dirt, she’s 2-for-2, including a win in the Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs. She probably didn’t beat much that day, but looks like a horse on an upper trajectory for trainer Casse and the team at Breeze Easy LLC. She’s about to get a serious test in the Davona Dale and will be looking to give the Hall of Fame trainer his first Oaks win. Might also, eventually, wind up in the Queen’s Plate S.
10) THE GRASS IS BLUE (Broken Vow–Shine Softly, by Adebaran) O-Louis Lazzinnaro LLC. B-Phillips Racing Partnership (KY). T-Chad Brown. Sales History: $20,000 yrl ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: SW, 5-3-0-1, $121,978.Last Start: 1st Busanda S., Aqu, Jan. 24Accomplishments Include:  3rd Anne Arundel County S., Lrl, Dec. 26.Next Start: Undecided.Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 10.Just a $20,000 yearling buy who debuted in a $25,000 maiden claimer at Monmouth for trainer Jose Delgado, she has come a long way. She now finds herself in the barn of Chad Brown, who got her to win the Busanda S. at Aqueduct in her last start. She remains with Brown’s division in New York and will likely target races like the Gazelle S. This is not normally a division where Brown is strong, but this filly may be good enough for him to make some noise on the way to the Oaks.

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Medaglia d’Oro Filly Last to First in Las Virgenes

The highly regarded Moonlight d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro) took her first steps toward the GI Kentucky Oaks for Hall of Famer Richard Mandella with an impressive, last-to-first victory in Saturday’s GIII Las Virgenes S. at Santa Anita.
The good-looking, last out Los Alamitos maiden winner in her two-turn debut with a field-best 87 Beyer Speed Figure Dec. 13 was sent off as the 6-5 second-choice in this stakes debut.
She was content to trail the field of five beneath Flavien Prat as the Bob Baffert-trained favorite Kalypso (Brody’s Cause), a last out winner of the GII Santa Ynez S. and runner-up in the GI Starlet S., led through fractions of :23.25 and :47.47.

Moonlight d’Oro caught the eye with a flashy, three-wide move as they approached the quarter pole and took care of business from there, powering clear in the stretch to win with authority.
The Las Virgenes carries 10-4-2-1 qualifying points on the road to the Kentucky Oaks.
Moonlight d’Oro faced the starter two previous times sprinting before earning her diploma. She gamely split horses in deep stretch after getting outsprinted early to finish an educational second as the 3-5 favorite on debut last summer at Del Mar Aug. 2. She also completed the trifecta going six furlongs at Del Mar Nov. 7.
“It turned out good,” Mandella said. “I was worried she got a little washy going to the gate, and she was a lamb over at Los Alamitos where she should have gotten upset. Sometimes you take them over to something like that and then the next time they’re looking for the excitement.”
Prat added, “I was trying to see if I should stay inside or go around, and I decided to go around. She was there for me when I asked her to go. [Joel] 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. She was traveling nicely behind horses, and I was very happy with how she ran.”
Winning co-owners MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farm also campaigned recently crowned Horse of the Year and new Spendthrift sire Authentic (Into Mischief) in partnership. They are currently also represented by the MGSP 4-year-old Tizamagician (Tiznow), runner-up in last weekend’s GII San Pasqual S.
Backed by B. Wayne Hughes’s high-powered operation, the microshare partnership re-loaded at the yearling sales last fall, purchasing 14 head at Keeneland September for $3.355 million and another $850,000 on three yearlings at the Fasig-Tipton Showcase.
For a feature on Moonlight d’Oro and her owners earlier this week, click here.
Pedigree Notes:
Among the perennial leading sires, Darley’s Medaglia d’Oro notched his 75th graded winner with Moonlight d’Oro’s Las Virgenes score, half an hour before adding his 76th with Risk Taking’s GIII Withers win. The striking bay and triple Grade I winner is just shy of 150 career black-type winners with 148. His four-years younger stablemate in the Darley stallion barn, Bernardini, is Moonlight d’Oro’s broodmare sire. The filly becomes the 44th stakes winner out of a Bernardini daughter and the second by Medaglia d’Oro. With zero inbreeding through her first five generations, Moonlight d’Oro is a half-sister to 2016 GII Adirondack S. placer Olive Branch (Speightstown), while her own dam is a full-sister to GSW Wilburn and SW & GSP La Appassionata, all by Bernardini, as well as a half-sister to GSW Beethoven (Sky Mesa). Second dam Moonlight Sonata (Carson City) is a half to GISW Bevo (Prospectors Gamble) and to the dam of 2017 champion and $5-million seller Abel Tasman (Quality Road). Venetian Sonata’s yearling colt is by Justify. She was bred back to Medaglia d’Oro.
Saturday, Santa AnitaLAS VIRGENES S.-GIII, $200,000, Santa Anita, 2-6, 3yo, f, 1m, 1:38.01, ft.1–MOONLIGHT D’ORO, 120, f, 3, by Medaglia d’Oro1st Dam: Venetian Sonata, by Bernardini2nd Dam: Moonlight Sonata, by Carson City3rd Dam: Wheatly Way, by Wheatly Hall1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($620,000 Ylg ’19 KEESEP). O-MyRacehorse & Spendthrift Farm LLC; B-Stonehaven Steadings (KY); T-Richard E Mandella; J-Flavien Prat. $120,000. Lifetime Record: 4-2-1-1, $163,040. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Kalypso, 120, f, 3, Brody’s Cause–Malibu Cove, by Malibu Moon. ($240,000 Ylg ’19 FTKJUL). O-David A Bernsen, LLC, Rockingham Ranch & Chad Littlefield; B-Spendthrift Farm LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $40,000.3–Moraz, 120, f, 3, Empire Maker–Malvinia, by A.P. Indy. O-Don Alberto Stable; B-Don Alberto Corporation (KY); T-Michael W McCarthy. $24,000.Margins: 1HF, 1 3/4, 2 1/4. Odds: 1.30, 1.00, 4.10.Also Ran: Brilliant Cut, Honor America.Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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